To be Greek…to truly and genuinely be a brother or sister of a Greek Letter organization…it means a whole heck of a lot more than most people ever let on.
It broke my heart today. We held a Leadership Retreat and what I saw and heard was scary.
We had all of the students together in one room from all four councils. For those who don’t know, these are the four council’s at my school:
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)
Panhellenic Council (PH)
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
To be fair a large number of these fall into the IFC (1,700) or PH (2,000) groups. I advise NPHC which is only about 60 members of our 4,000 member community. Yet even with that in mind, I was disturbed by what I saw. My NPHC President was sitting beside an IFC member (for the record, she is black and the IFC gentleman is not). As she tried to introduce herself, he cut her off mid sentence. What was even worse was hearing later when I met with my council presidents that this was not the only occasion. Nor were NPHC members the only ones it happened too. MGC also had trouble.
When this is what is happening, is it any wonder that these groups don’t want to sit at the table when we talk Greek Unity? Beside this, NPHC members talked about having some of the office advisors assume they worked the same as IFC or PH and talked about being called “Fake Greek” by members of large IFC and PH chapters.
As an advisor who has watched the countless hours of service, numerous programs, and incredible students coming out of NPHC, I was rather upset by this. As such, I have a challenge for my Greek Friends out there:
As a member of Fraternity and Sorority Life, I personally hold you to a higher standard. You are a role model being given the tools to become a pillar in the community with a history that requires more of you. The moment you put on those letters, you represent them. Your actions, whether bigoted or gracious, hurtful or beneficial are all magnified as a representation of your organization and Greeks everywhere.
As a Greek Student, you are once and always a member and are accountable for your actions. Remember that.
To be Greek NEVER gives you the right to dismiss another organization. It NEVER gives you permission to disregard another person, let alone council. To be Greek NEVER means accepting less than your best.
(to clarify, less than your best will happen, but you should not settle for it).
To be Greek means so much more.