Over the past few semesters, we have seen a clear trend in the feelings of the students: a feeling of dissatisfaction with the university and a general distrust of university leaders.
As a result, I feel the need to look to others for leadership. As a strong proponent of Greek Life, I believe Greek leadership not only has the ability to fill this role but the responsibility to do so.
First off, we must look at the established mission of most fraternities. Most fraternities share the similar values: brotherhood, leadership and scholarship.
A classic example being the Balanced Man Program of Sigma Epsilon. As a result of this, it is clear that the fraternities view leadership as important and should seek to create it where it is lacking, which sadly is no longer the case.
Furthermore, most fraternities on campus seem to no longer adapt to an attitude of inclusivity in their social functions. Most philanthropy events are either poorly advertised, or give off an air of being Greek only.
The Greeks appear to exist in their own bubble, interacting with campus as little as possible. I understand the need for restricted functions and brother only events, I really do. But an attitude of us versus them is not only sustainable, but further drives wedges in a divided campus, when we should be focused on coming together to address our issues.
A classic example of what the Greek’s could be doing is the old Springfest. I often say the best part of Springfest is that everyone comes together as equals. There is no us versus them mentality, no Greek versus non-Greek. Only a bunch of students looking to have one last big party before the end of the semester. During Springfest I met more people on this campus than during any other event, and it was primarily put on and enabled by the Greek student body.
The biggest strength of Springfest was not the party, but rather the attitude of Greeks and a general willingeness to get to know the other side, a majority of campus that they almost always ignore.
While I understand that open parties are not sustainable from both a financial and legal standpoint, there are many other ways the Greeks could engage non-greeks on campus that’s mutually beneficial. This could be the Greek’s philanthropy.
It seems like philanthropies are either poorly advertised or hosted exclusively at Greek houses, by Greeks, for Greeks. Delta Gamma’s anchor splash.
By charging a small admission and hosting it at the Hyslop, it would not only expand the number of aquatic events that would be possible, but also engage the campus. It would make a win-win situation since more money is generated for the cause, and the students are provided with a few hours of entertainment and interaction.
I was a member of AXO at my previous university and they had a philanthropy called Alpha Male. The event would have one member of each fraternity and athletic team compete in beauty pageants with hilarious questions and a talent show. The winning male’s organization gets to donate a portion of the money raised to a charity of their choice.
Lastly, Delta Upsilon used to hold a small play on campus, usually a satire on current events on campus pro bono for everyone to get together and laugh about.
By creating events which incentivize the whole campus to come together, one is capable of rebuilding the sense of community that appears lacking at the present.
Dave Owen is an opinion writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]