minority in greek life
Student Life

We Need To Recognize The 'Other' Greek Life That Is Trying To Bring Cultural Diversity To The Greek System

The perspective from a smaller greek organization.

Michelle Reyes

When you think of Greek Life, what are the first words that come to mind? Are they good? Are they bad? Are they based on things you've heard or experienced yourself? Are you aware that there is a more diverse Greek organization on campus than you originally thought?

When I mention Greek Life to anyone, the first impression people give me is that I'm only talking about Panhellenic Association (PA) or Interfraternity Council (IFC) organizations such as Kappa Delta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Nu, Theta Chi, and numerous other organizations found nationally. On ECU's campus alone 26 greek organizations are dedicated to PA/IFC groups out of a total of 40. These organizations are made up of amazing brothers and sisters, but they do not account for the entirety of Greek Life.

The remaining 14 organizations are divided by two Greek Councils: Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Respectively, there are four fraternities and four sororities in MGC and three fraternities and three sororities in NPHC. The difference in numbers is staggering and it may be because people don't know they exist.

PA/IFC greek organizations are known for being predominantly and historically white. For individuals who couldn't join these Greek organizations, they turned towards creating their own. From this, NPHC and MGC were formed.

NPHC organizations are aimed towards building communities and Greek Life for African American students while MGC governs students from diverse cultures so they may express and build communities for or in the interest of their cultures.

These organizations are overlooked by a majority of students because they aren't taken as seriously as PA/IFC organizations. Due to their status as the minority of Greek Life, students may overlook their accomplishments and events.

NPHC and MGC organizations are bringing service and leadership to individuals who need it. They establish relationships within campus, the surrounding communities and between individuals to strengthen and build each other up. Collaborative events are done between Greek Councils (IFC, PA, NPHC, and MGC) to build connections between the different organizations and to create a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy Greeks.

NPHC and MGC organizations purpose are to bring cultural diversity to Greek Life where it was needed. They opened up doors to students who may not have felt welcomed or felt too alienated from the majority which kept them from rushing or joining a sorority/fraternity.

I have met numerous individuals who have told me they wouldn't have thought of joining Greek Life until they knew about these other organizations. I wouldn't have thought about joining a Greek organization until I got to meet my own Sisters and understand the mission of my own sorority, Delta Phi Omega Sorority Inc.

Meeting these various organizations, I've learned to appreciate the efforts of many. These individuals are working hard to build a presence on campus and to dispel the idea that they aren't 'real' Greek Life because they are smaller in numbers. They work as hard as anyone else, if not harder because they have to just to gain recognition for their actions.

Students should be aware of these organizations and be attending their events if possible. They offer a new perspective to cultures that may be unfamiliar and a different experience to Greek Life. If you are interested in joining these organizations, understand their missions and purpose and become aware of the reason why you want to join these organizations.

Don't judge these organizations by what you hear or assume to know the individuals apart of these organizations if you haven't met them. Find out what is true by asking them yourselves and using what you learn to clear false assumptions others make about these organizations.

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