College fraternities and sororities are, for the most part, notorious for possessing a multitude of negative stereotypes. When the general public pictures a Greek organization, they think of hazing, paid friends, and parties. In addition to these most common stereotypes of members of Greek life, people within these organizations aren’t known to be very accepting. As a member of a nationally recognized sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, I recognize the work that my own chapter has done in creating an inclusive and welcoming space, but this has definitely come with time.
Sadly, I have heard some comments made by Greek organizations on Muhlenberg’s campus that would be considered racist or bigoted. Last year, a student discussing why another student had been let into an organization explained that the reason was “we needed more diversity”. This deeply saddens me-Greek life at Muhlenberg has turned into a display-which organization can look the best to the school community?
My chapter is lucky enough to be full of members that care about inclusion and recognizing implicit biases and prejudice. A few years ago, we decided, as an organization, to implement a Diversity Chair position on the executive committee board-someone who would help us educate ourselves on racism and discrimination on campus. We have grown into an incredibly strong and intelligent group of inclusive women, and I am very proud of the programs our Diversity Chair is implementing. She makes sure we know about events going on at the Multicultural Center each week, she hosts dinners for our Latina sisters to bring them closer to our chapter, and more.
I know that not every Greek organization on Muhlenberg’s campus, let alone across our nation, is working on promoting diversity. Many of them even are explicitly racist and exclude students of color. How can my sisterhood aid others in becoming more aware of the effects their actions have on minority groups?