3 Ways To Regain Pride In Greek Life
It’s abundantly clear that the reputation of Greek life has suffered. Fraternities and sororities have been suspended or closed due to hazing in states from North Carolina, California, Texas, Virginia, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Florida (stop hazing now). We’re all aware of the racist rant on the bus buy a few students from the University of Oklahoma back in March. Binge drinking and sexual misconduct are ever increasing issues. Greek life has received a failing grade and has a growing reputation problem.
Here are 3 ways that every Greek organization can regain your pride in Greek life and raise your grade.
1) Renewed Commitment to Your Founding Principles: In spite of the recent bad news about Greek life, the number of students joining Greek organizations are increasing. With the increase number of students attending universities many schools are actually encouraging students to consider joining Greek communities. Why? Because Greeks are founded upon sound principles. We want and need people that follow such ideals and principles like:
- Good Character/Morals
- Ambitious Purposes
- Social Awareness
- Kindness and Empathy
- Lifelong Sisterhood and Brotherhood
2) Recommit to Leadership: You might not be aware that 85% of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life while in college. The first female astronaut was in a Greek. So was the first female senator, and college graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks (USA Today). All but three of our Presidents sense 1825 have been of members of Greek life. That’s a lot of leaders being produced through Greek organizations. Why? Because the paramount purpose of Greek life is to teach leadership and offer opportunities to lead your brothers and sisters.
This first and most vital step in leading others is to have self-discipline. Leadeing others without being able to have and maintain self-leadership is impossible.
Greeks must regain the command and control needed to influence and guide their members according to their founding principles. Greek leaders must refocus the energy their organizations have towards accomplishing the pursuits of their founders, universities, traditions and communities. The longstanding reputation that Greeks have for producing leaders on campus and in their communities depends on this step.
3) Commit to Positive Choices: When you look back upon the news reports and the mistakes of last year it’s clear they were by in large preventable.
Group hazing is a choice. Vandalism, sexual assault, racism and allowing underage drinking, are all choices. Covering up misconduct by a group or an individual is a choice. Most importantly, they are all a direct reflection upon the leadership and scream leadership failure.
You wouldn’t let a member who is 6 months behind on their dues participate in chapter events. Yet, allowing member to violate a major principle is somehow OK. This is especially true when a group of members are participating in the misconduct. It’s often said; “individual are smart groups are crazy.” We are quick to do in the dark what we would not do in the daylight. To often we have the mentality that if we don’t get caught nothing really happened. This is a clear demonstration of the lack of quality leadership.
The leadership in each Greek organization must make committed choices not to tolerate misconduct by their members. They must be the first to report misconduct and the first to take action towards those committing the offence. Then they must takes steps to prevent future violations.
The Key is the committed choice. All Greeks take an oath to their founding principles. This oath should be the very foundation upon which all other choices and decisions are to be made. It’s my experience that most Greek life organizations are lookup to on university campuses until you do something stupid.
In closing, I think it’s important to mention that I’m a brother of Sigma Chi. Joining my chapter was one of the best choices I made while in college. Our chapter was not perfect, as I’m sure it isn’t today.
I’d like to encourage all Greeks to take time to recommit to the very foundation upon which your organization was founded. As leaders stand upon these principles as you influence and guide the brothers and sisters of your chapter.