After I posted about the satirical article in my “Take Some Time…” post, this story came about on Huffington post. Student Government was working on legislation to require the integration of white sororities.
This particular topic is of certain interest to me. My own current Master’s research is on current FSL student perceptions of racial diversity in their orgs and in the community. The fact is, most research strongly supports that this is an issue. Likewise, it states that diverse experiences in college are incredibly beneficial to students as they move beyond their college years. Continue reading and you will find that being a member of an organization, particularly an IFC or Panhellenic org offers better support for members academically and express routes to leadership positions on campus.
Is it time for a cultural change? I thoroughly think so. The piece I mentioned earlier states a number of my ideas on this particular subject. Is forcing integration the best method? Personally, I think it starts with forced interaction. Students come in to these orgs at very young ages and often have not been required to have diverse interactions. They join these orgs where they only interact with other individuals who look like them. Who grows when that happens?
Start with required interaction between councils. Stop just letting IFC groups work with Panhellenic. Have them host events, do service and socials with MGC and NPHC organizations. Create a truly unified culture. Each organization is, at least on paper, open to anyone, it is time to put that into practice.
If you really think the segregation is an issue (which it is) let’s consider other areas where FSL still falls far behind the curve, such as sexual identity (let’s skip “orientation”, because it is not merely a choice), gender, ability, and much more.
It is time to create the change and not get stuck behind. It is time to promote and support students, like we started, not serve as a detriment.