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  #1  
Old 10-21-2021, 01:53 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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The Future of Greek Life

In another thread, this comment was made:

Quote:
The US Greek system is caving in on itself. Obviously this didnít happen overnight. It baffles my mind how some people choose to ignore the actual reasons why this is happening. It really and truly baffles my mind that people get pissed off about it yet choose not to address the core issues.
There has been a lot of upheaval surrounding Greek life in recent years. There is more activism both on and off college campuses in regard to a wide range of issues, and social media is clearly an unstoppable force, and all of this has resulted in questions aimed at Greek life, from both members and non-members: what are we doing to fix known issues, and is our entire system sustainable in the long term?

To list just a few of these issues that our organizations have had to address, perhaps now more than ever before:

Diversity & Inclusion (POC, transgender, non-binary, etc.)
Exclusivity
Expense
Hazing
Binge drinking
Sexual assault
etc.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the Greek system, and why? Can it be changed? Why or why not? SHOULD anything be changed? Who should be making the changes (the larger blanket organizations, individual fraternities and/or sororities, individual chapters)? What can we all do better? Do you feel there are forces of change being pushed on us from inside our organizations or from the outside, or both? Does it make sense to "ignore the haters" in order to survive or make meaningful changes to adjust to the times?

What say you, members of Greekchat?

Here are just a handful of articles for thought, but the conversation can go anywhere.

How Greek life is destroying itself
https://www.newsrecord.org/opinion/o...caf3aacab.html

Greek life is at a crossroads on some campuses, with fraternity and sorority membership decreasing
https://www.inquirer.com/education/f...-20191024.html

The War on Frats
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/s...at-racism.html

Tragedies Highlight Dark Side of Greek Life
https://www.voanews.com/a/student-un...e/6204177.html

NEU SpeakOut highlights a culture of sexual assault within Greek life
https://huntnewsnu.com/66138/campus/...in-greek-life/

Guest Editorial: How Abolish Greek Life gets it wrong
https://vanderbilthustler.com/33363/...gets-it-wrong/
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2021, 07:17 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I feel like this is a repeat of the 70s.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2021, 08:12 PM
XAntoftheSkyX XAntoftheSkyX is offline
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Quote:
Diversity & Inclusion (POC, transgender, non-binary, etc.)
Exclusivity
Expense
Hazing
Binge drinking
Sexual assault
etc.
I feel like the issues of hazing, binge drinking, sexual assault, and others are just as prevalent in other groups on any campus whether it's an academic club, intermural or club sport, performance group or any shared interest club.

Media like many of the movies depicting Greek life from the 70's to the mid 00's and because of the entertainment and comedy of said films, it further cemented that reputation for those outside of the system. Coupled with how bad news and rumors spread way faster than good news, especially in the social media age, anytime a GLO is accused of something terrible, it adds to an already burning fire of contempt.

The inclusion and diversity aspects are interesting as that topic has been at the forefront of social media for the last few years. I haven't been up to date with if GLOs are redefining their membership policies to include those people as potential members if they so desire. Personally, I have not had any issues with consideration of any PNMs specific to race or ethnic origin, but I know that it can still be an issue places.

The expenses associated with Greek Life vary so much it's hard to say if it is an issue everywhere. One chapter may set their dues at $100 a semester, another at $1,000. I do believe that a chapter should try to keep dues as low as possible, but I also understand that the realities of finances can be difficult when you consider housing costs, fees paid to the HQ, insurance, etc.

Perhaps the answer of what the biggest threat to Greek Life is more simple? If the reasons people joined a GLO were for the prestige, connections, and social opportunities, et al. and they could get those same benefits elsewhere, why would they join? Social media has changed networking forever, from a professional and leisure standpoint. What prestige is there to behold with a new student when all they see is the faults of specific chapters amplified on the internet? When their classmates post about ending Greek Life as a whole instead of specific people/chapters/organizations?

One specific threat to fraternities is the drop in male applicants enrolling in colleges. No matter the number of fraternities, how well they present themselves and the benefits they can offer, a smaller male student body will eventually mean a shrinking Greek Life population.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2021, 10:18 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAntoftheSkyX View Post
I feel like the issues of hazing, binge drinking, sexual assault, and others are just as prevalent in other groups on any campus whether it's an academic club, intermural or club sport, performance group or any shared interest club.
Is this what you feel or what you know? Some studies argue otherwise.

https://www.dailyemerald.com/news/uo...a7660b6e9.html

https://www.addictioncenter.com/coll...se-greek-life/

Regardless, we tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard. At least, we say we're better than the rest of the student population; better grades, higher graduation rates, a better overall college experience. But then we're OK because we're "equal" to the rest of campus in terms of hazing, binge drinking, and sexual assault?

Quote:
Perhaps the answer of what the biggest threat to Greek Life is more simple? If the reasons people joined a GLO were for the prestige, connections, and social opportunities, et al. and they could get those same benefits elsewhere, why would they join?
But is this the reason we WANT people joining? Is this what we advertise?

Unless you had a different point entirely, in which case I missed it.

Quote:
One specific threat to fraternities is the drop in male applicants enrolling in colleges. No matter the number of fraternities, how well they present themselves and the benefits they can offer, a smaller male student body will eventually mean a shrinking Greek Life population.
Interesting that you mentioned this. I read this article a couple weeks ago, discussing how the tables have turned regarding the men vs. women enrollment in college.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...cation/620066/
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2021, 10:52 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
I feel like this is a repeat of the 70s.
I missed this comment previously. Care to expand? I admittedly know very little of overall Greek life history going that far back.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2021, 12:15 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Chapters closing left and right, people saying Greek life was over and outdated.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2021, 02:45 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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This was at the height of Vietnam/civil rights protests, and greek life was seen in similar light as it is now. Why if you look through the irishpipe's thread, you'll notice a lot of chapters shut in the 60's/70's.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2021, 02:52 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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The 70s was because of a general feeling of anti-establishment and Greek Life was definitely establishment. I think the issues facing Greek life today are very very different than they were then.

It certainly feels like Greeks are totally out of control. I think we used to do a better job of policing ourselves, but it's possible there were just as many issues but we didn't know about them. I did volunteer for Alpha Gam for 30 years on the collegiate side and whether it just got reported more or whether it happened more, hazing, sexual assaults, and trips to the hospital for extreme alcohol intoxication DIRECTLY related to their greek membership were increasing.

I also agree with the comments about us claiming to be living to a higher standard. Our purposes/standards/creeds, etc. and the reality of greek life are pretty far apart from each other if you ask me.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2021, 03:38 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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I find it pretty hard to rationalize why organizations with intangible selective membership criteria and practices that are not open to public inspection need university recognition.

I love Greek life. Adore it. I find myself always asking professionals whether they pledged in college (or later).

But what many organizations seem to be seem to be only tangentially related to the education of values or service to the community.

I am totally fine with anybody joining anything they want off-campus.

I think organizations seeking recognition, or (as my college called it) access to benefits, it should prioritize significant community service, prioritize pathways to academic excellence, be committed to anti-racism, and in the case of men's organizations, demonstrate a commitment to ending rape.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2021, 10:48 PM
sigtau305 sigtau305 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASTalumna06 View Post
In another thread, this comment was made:



There has been a lot of upheaval surrounding Greek life in recent years. There is more activism both on and off college campuses in regard to a wide range of issues, and social media is clearly an unstoppable force, and all of this has resulted in questions aimed at Greek life, from both members and non-members: what are we doing to fix known issues, and is our entire system sustainable in the long term?

To list just a few of these issues that our organizations have had to address, perhaps now more than ever before:

Diversity & Inclusion (POC, transgender, non-binary, etc.)
Exclusivity
Expense
Hazing
Binge drinking
Sexual assault
etc.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the Greek system, and why? Can it be changed? Why or why not? SHOULD anything be changed? Who should be making the changes (the larger blanket organizations, individual fraternities and/or sororities, individual chapters)? What can we all do better? Do you feel there are forces of change being pushed on us from inside our organizations or from the outside, or both? Does it make sense to "ignore the haters" in order to survive or make meaningful changes to adjust to the times?

What say you, members of Greekchat?

Here are just a handful of articles for thought, but the conversation can go anywhere.

How Greek life is destroying itself
https://www.newsrecord.org/opinion/o...caf3aacab.html

Greek life is at a crossroads on some campuses, with fraternity and sorority membership decreasing
https://www.inquirer.com/education/f...-20191024.html

The War on Frats
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/s...at-racism.html

Tragedies Highlight Dark Side of Greek Life
https://www.voanews.com/a/student-un...e/6204177.html

NEU SpeakOut highlights a culture of sexual assault within Greek life
https://huntnewsnu.com/66138/campus/...in-greek-life/

Guest Editorial: How Abolish Greek Life gets it wrong
https://vanderbilthustler.com/33363/...gets-it-wrong/
Last year during the pandemic, I and a few selected alumni members who were part of the Diversity and Inclusion committee for the fraternity's national alumni advisory council had a discussion about what is needed to created a more healthy diverse atmosphere among the undergraduate chapters based on what's going on especially during the BLM movement. Along with a couple of undergrad members who were invited also to speak on their experience, a lot of good ideas came across which lead to create the position of the Diversity and Inclusion Chair for both the active chapters and on the regional level for the alumni. I'm currently the D & I chair for region 4. I apply for it because I want to make a difference in helping to make a more welcoming experience for the fraternity.

I feel that everyone who cares should be able to step up and work to curtail the problems. it may take a while but It can be done.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2021, 09:22 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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As a whole, I think Greek orgs may be stumbling, but I think they'll regain their footing. I think we need to be diverse and inclusive, but at the same time, not cave or cower to these external forces asking for changes against our best interests or demanding that we disband. Our groups need to be more vocal about our right to exist, our years of tradition, the services we provide, etc. We need to be much more vocal.

We need to do a much better job holding members accountable, owning our bad actions and cooperating with schools in ensuring the bad choices of members are not the bad choices of our organizations, i.e., let's collectively avoid responding to RM infractions as the UTenn Pikes responded to that whole butt chugging incident--years ago, but what a literal shitshow. We should look at that incident as a case study of exactly how not to respond to an incident.

We have to walk the tightrope of not giving up what we are while remaining relevant.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2021, 09:32 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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Okay, I want someone to tell me exactly what they mean by diversity and inclusiveness. I know racial diversity, but what else? And I feel like some people think it means we should pledge anyone who wanders up even if they're seriously disturbed or a total social media risk or they have a 1.2 GPA.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2021, 10:10 AM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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True enough. Greek-letter membership is earned. And as Kevin said, we have a right to exist.

I know I'm preaching to the choir but there are, and have been for years, black members in NPC sororities. Same for Latina. Same for many other nationalities and races.

What are our greek-letter alumni, who are not white, currently communicating to those non-members who would have our organizations dissolve? One knows their voices are of especial interest in this debate, but does anyone inquire of their thoughts and opinions?
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2021, 10:35 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by carnation View Post
Okay, I want someone to tell me exactly what they mean by diversity and inclusiveness. I know racial diversity, but what else? And I feel like some people think it means we should pledge anyone who wanders up even if they're seriously disturbed or a total social media risk or they have a 1.2 GPA.
I think you can judge whether someone has the character befitting a member who would be an asset of the organization without taking race or sex into account. I think the gender question is a seriously thorny issue we're not going to work out on a forum anytime soon, but I'm comfortable initiating anyone into my organization who has the character befitting a member and who would be an asset who identifies as male. Of course, that's easy for me because our chapter plant doesn't have communal bathrooms, so I'm not sure the issue would be so simple for other groups.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2021, 10:39 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheerio View Post
I know I'm preaching to the choir but there are, and have been for years, black members in NPC sororities. Same for Latina. Same for many other nationalities and races.
YMMV from school to school in that regard--and I think that's a problem since those kinds of chapters are typically the most visible.

Quote:
What are our greek-letter alumni, who are not white, currently communicating to those non-members who would have our organizations dissolve? One knows their voices are of especial interest in this debate, but does anyone inquire of their thoughts and opinions?
I don't think our Greek letter alumni who are not white are under any obligation to be our POC ambassadors to these non-members. I'm not sure whether you are suggesting that. What I would suggest is that we stop taking these idiots so seriously. Stop treating them as threats. Respond to them and point out how ridiculous they are in any publications available. We don't have to apologize for being what we are unless there are issues we legitimately should be apologizing for, i.e., covering up sexual assaults/rapes, hazing, etc.--and if we have those issues, we should be doing what we can to clean those situations up, i.e., cooperating with authorities in investigations and ensuring that the stupid/heinous choices of individual members don't turn into stupid/heinous choices of the organization because that's when these folks asking for our dissolution might start to have a good point.
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