For those who have perused my blog, you may have noticed two particular themes which seem to appear time and again: Social Justice and Fraternity and Sorority Life. These are two areas that have become rather important to me personally. Important to the point where my own thesis somewhat combined these two passions for a question which I found was of incredible importance when we view the landscape of higher education these days.
So why am I combining the two in this post? Simply because of the power of these two areas. See, Fraternity and Sorority Life hold a great deal of power both at institutions and across the US these days. Students in college are often told about partnerships and making connections. It is why they are often encouraged to meet people, talk to professors, and visit career fairs. Success, today, comes from a mix of whom and what you know.
Yet we seek to build our society. There are a wide mix of calls from “Make America Great Again” to “America Has Never Been Great” and several stances somewhere in between. Regardless of your stance, no matter your approach, there are steps which must be taken to move the US in that direction (keep in mind that the US is not the only country on the American continents, so personally I feel labeling ourselves as America seems a bit presumptuous. If you prefer that, so be it. I will not be). One of those steps has been a fight going on for years. From class struggles, which led to movements such as the Morrill Act of 1862, to the Civil War and Civil Rights movements, to the Suffragettes movement, and even modern Civil rights movements surrounding race, gender, and sexual orientation. Each and every one of these movements and actions has been a fight to bring “The American Dream” to people who have been excluded.
So I bring these two topics up for a very important reason. FSL is not, inherently, a bad thing. What is bad is the decisions we make at times and the direction we have allowed these organizations to move. Today, for many people, they represent not the best of our students and leadership, but the worst. Imagine if we went back to our roots. Some of these organizations were founded as Civil Rights groups in some small way. Consider nearly any and all NPHC Groups, or any of those who fall under the banner of ethnic or multicultural.
Imagine the power we could have to not only change the world for the better, but to involve everyone in finding this better life.
Imagine the world that we, as a community, could help to create.