10 Things Greek Life Needs To Improve On
When people think of stereotypes that describe Greek Life that most likely think of white, tall, skinny men and women that party all the time. I was hesitant about joining Greek Life because of the negative stereotypes and sometimes am not proud of some of the things that Greek Life stands for as a whole. Here are some things that I believe Greek Life should make some changes to.
1. Allowing for more diversity of membership.
I know this is something Greek Life has always said that they were trying to work on, but generally, Greek Life is still made of mostly white, heterosexual females and males. One reason that diversity is such a problem is that many Greek Life members are intolerant of people that are of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We all have implicit biases, but I think Greek Life as a whole needs to acknowledge them and work on becoming more accepting. One way they can do this is through diversity and inclusion training before recruitment and also not scoring people based on the way they look or how they look on social media.
2. Just stop hazing…period.
Greek Life is known for hazing pledges, especially in fraternities. Oftentimes pledges are forced to do ridiculous things or drink insanely large amounts of alcohol. No matter in what form, hazing is wrong. No one should be forced to participate in things that are harmful to their well being or others. Although a lot of chapters do have “no hazing” policies, oftentimes they discreetly haze new members without administration finding out. University administrators need to take a step out and speak out against hazing more frequently.
3. Membership costs need to be lowered to allow for more inclusivity.
Joining a Greek Life organization is expensive and is one of the main reasons why people end up dropping out. When dues are extremely high, it is basically preventing certain people from joining the chapter all because of financial issues. It makes Greek Life this “exclusive” thing where people are blocked from joining specifically because they do not have the money to pay for dues.
4. They need to remove the pressure that everyone has to consume alcohol or do drugs all the time.
I’m not saying that all Greek Life organizations pressure their members to drink, but a lot of them do. Members feel obligated to drink alcohol or do drugs at events which could lead to serious abuse problems. I think that members should always know that it is perfectly okay not to drink or do drugs and that no one should force them upon you.
5. More of an emphasis on academics.
Joining a Greek organization is a time commitment no matter what, but it should not inhibit your academic performance. Greek Life is doing better on requiring members to go to study hours and have a certain GPA, however of course it can still keep improving. Greek Life should be lenient and understanding if members need to miss events due to academic purposes.
6. Taking a stronger stand against sexual assault.
Greek Life has a history of sexual assault problems on college campuses everywhere. The amount of sexual assaults in Greek Life is too high especially when it comes to fraternity parties. If someone reports an assault (which most go unreported), they tend to suspend the particular organization of the assaulter, but it only goes on usually for a few weeks but then things go back to the way they were. So how can Greek Life truly stand up against this history of sexual assault? I think that there really isn’t one answer to this question, but first of all, I think that the administration needs to truly step up and create harsher punishments.
7. Losing the rivalry between all the chapters on campus.
There’s always this tension between other Greek Life chapters on college campuses. A member of a certain organization looks poorly on members of other chapters only because of their chapter affiliation. It is ridiculous that other Greek Life organizations other than your own are seen as the enemy and people to avoid. Greek Life should not look down on other chapters and should foster love and friendship between all the organizations on every campus.
8. They need to get rid of the idea of traditional gender roles and create a new system.
Greek Life has always created this system of traditional gender roles that is not going to change overnight but can be reconstructed over time with a lot of effort and work. At fraternity houses, members of the opposite sex are allowed in bedrooms, they’re allowed to throw giant parties with alcohol, while at sororities none of that is allowed. There is this type of gender separation where it seems like men have this traditionally male role of the power holder. I think that Greek Life should create equal rules that are inclusive to everyone.
9. People should be able to vote for the executive board without being told who to vote for.
Elections need to be fairer in that there shouldn’t be this pressure that you have to vote for a particular person because someone else told you to. Sometimes Greek life organizations have executive boards that know they want to elect a certain person and they will do anything to get that person elected which is wrong. People should have the freedom to vote for who they want to and who will benefit the chapter as a whole.
10. The whole ranking system needs to go.
A lot of people only will join certain chapters because of their Greek ranking. Greek ranking is completely biased and it shouldn’t matter if you are in a top or bottom house. There shouldn’t even be a ranking system because all it does is cause potential new members to already cut houses based on their ranking and nothing else.
To truly change the negative associations with Greek life, the whole culture of it will need to change. That means that all of Greek Life will have to work together to create an inclusive, safe, welcoming environment for everyone. Greek Life should still exist as it creates long-lasting friendships and a forever home.
What do you think Greek Life needs to change? Let us know in the comments below!
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Caitlyn is a third-year student at UCLA. She is majoring in English. She enjoys writing, and going to hot yoga classes and, of course, binge-watching Netflix. At UCLA, Caitlyn is a feature writer for HER Campus, part of the American Cancer Society club, and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.