�What if I told you that your Greek Community sucks? Am I implying the system is broken? Am I criticizing the way that you and your friends' have committed your time during college? Or am I a bit uneducated, maybe even unjustified in my criticisms of Greek culture? Whatever the case is for this hypothetical situation, the reality is that within the last decade the Greek system has been overly criticized and profiled in an attempt to demean the unique culture that it has shaped in colleges across America and marginalize many of the positive impacts that it has on a large number of Americans today.
Harvard's President, Dr. Drew G. Faust, and its administration announced on May 6 their decision �to sanction the Greek system due to accused "discriminatory [policies and practices]". Faust claims that the group's viewpoints are "antithetical to Harvard's commitment to diverse living". The Harvard community believes that subdividing culture according to gender characteristics is a current social issue that is plaguing not only Harvard but American society in general. As a result, students involved in gender bias clubs and organizations, including Greek life, are being penalized for their membership. Many of these clubs are historically monumental and have been around for over 200 years. Not having single-sex clubs on campus because they discriminate based upon sex is like perpetuating the argument that Ivy League Colleges should not be as discriminatory in their admissions process and should accept everyone whether they are hard-working or not, smart or less intelligent. The fact of the matter is that this argument, much like any other viewpoint that implicates a prejudice against a community or person, arises due to pretentious arrogance and a blatant disregard for consistent standards. (Full article here.)
Fraternities were founded on the premise of debating revolutionary politics in local taverns surrounding the William and Mary College and have been instrumental in building stable social communities in and around colleges. More notably, Greek systems work to form college students, such as myself, into stronger more adept and capable adults. Here are some outstanding statistics that justify the assertions that Greek communities are prominent in molding success:
-Ronald Reagan attributes many of his leadership skills to his membership in Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity during his time at Eureka College.
-Condoleezza Rice, the first black woman to be a National Security Adviser and also the first black woman to be the U.S. Secretary of State, was an Alpha Chi Omega.
--76 percent of Congressman and Senators a little under half of all Presidents have partaken in Greek society. Ole Dubya was known to get down and have a good time during his time as a Delta Kappa Epsilon at Yale University.
-85 percent of Fort��une 500 Companies Presidents have proudly bound their dedication to a set of Greek letters during their college career. Additionally, 75 percent of all donations to colleges come from alumni who identify as Greek.
-Approximately 9 million Americans were or are still currently a member of a Greek organization. After graduation, these connections have been shown to be invaluable in landing great job opportunities, showing that college is not just about doing well in your major.
-Greek communities contribute on average more than 7 million dollars and 10 million hours collectively to charitable organizations each year making them the largest source of volunteers in America.
So how should you react to the devaluation of Greek societies?
Continue to be strident in your dedication to your organization and its core beliefs. Times of division and criticism are often the best times to refocus one's attention and contemplate the true reasons behind a devotion to a cause. Contemplating questions like these might help you to form and express your opinion should you ever be questioned about why you went greek: What makes fraternities and sororities a place that feels like a community? And why do Greeks typically have a higher GPA and an approximately 20 percent higher rate of graduation than non-Greeks? How has this dedication and organizational devotion trained and conditioned Greeks to be, on average, six percent more devoted and involved to their future places of employment? And how come they are still so much fun at the same time?
But realize also, that at the end of the day, most college students are also as just as strongly disinterested in this trend of Greek disenfranchisement by hypocritical institutions as you are:
Show that this matters to you by speaking your opinion when appropriate. Understand that you will be criticized and maybe even stigmatize your beliefs; but understand, the opinions of those that actually matter to you, probably belong to those who are probably standing right beside you in a shirt emblazoned with a pair of Greek letters.