Greek Life has come pretty far, but we still have a lot of work to do

By: Charlotte Smith, Columnist

I love Greek Life, and I think Towson’s Greek community in particular is amazing. In this semester alone, many chapters have already raised incredible amounts of money for their respective philanthropies, recruited great new members and have had some great events here on campus. I truly believe that Greek Life is making excellent progress to dissolve negative stereotypes. From what I have witnessed from my own involvement, fraternities and sororities alike are returning to the positive roots of their organizations and focusing on what is important: friendship, philanthropy, scholarship.

However, I can’t turn a blind eye to remaining issues that I’ve noticed. I honestly think that Greek Life members have good intentions, but I also think there are still some problems that need to be fixed.

1. Support for other organizations within your council:

It’s normal to have some competition between organizations! We often compete against one another in philanthropic challenges and other types of events, but it’s so important to remember that we’re all involved in Greek Life for similar reasons! We need to support our fellow sororities and fraternities more and quit trash-talking. We all have a lot in common, and we might be missing out on some amazing connections and friendships by separating ourselves.

2. Support for organizations outside of your council:

Everyone always talks about the need for diversity and expanding our involvement with other organizations, but it seems that this is rarely acted on. Greek Life is not just Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council! There is also the National Panhellenic Council, or NPHC, and professional fraternities, and they are all doing a lot of cool things at Towson. It would be so great if all the councils made it a priority to be more connected. We can all benefit from attending one another’s events, meeting new people and being more inclusive.

3. It’s time to abandon outdated traditions:

I’ve already talked about this in previous columns, but hazing needs to go. It’s that simple. End of story. Additionally, some of the other activities that were started before our time are outdated. For example, my inner feminist has an issue with fraternities holding pageant-type competitions to raise money for philanthropies. I am all about raising money for charity, but I think there are far better ways to do it. I personally find such events shallow and objectifying, but that’s just me. There are some other events that I also find questionable, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I just think we should all evaluate our traditions and decide if they are truly making a positive impact.

4. Thinking about how we represent ourselves:

When you go Greek, you’re symbolically wearing your letters and representing your organization at all times. That said, we should all be constantly striving to exemplify our organizations’ values.

I say all of this with love and respect, because I care about Greek life and what it stands for.

Go get ‘em, Tigers.

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