Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Greek Life Divides Student Body

3 min read
Over 100 submissions on what students think about Greek life have come to the SGA website, according to SGA President Jeremy Thompson.

Over 100 submissions on what students think about Greek life have come to the SGA website, according to SGA President Jeremy Thompson.

Last week, SGA released a survey that asked students for their opinions on Greek life. The results from the survey were released on April 25 at the Student Senate meeting. Only 23.9 percent of the student population completed the survery.

“When the senate first said they were going to do this, it was a huge project,” said Thompson.

A motion called to survey students about their feelings towards recognized Greek life last fall. The publicity committee then created the survey, according to Morgan Buckner, SGA publicity chair.

“The purpose of the survey was to make sure student voices were heard. The senate did the best they could to try and look at that,” said Thompson.

According to Thompson, many people were involved in developing the questions for the survey, including the publicity committee and administration.

“It was a combined effort on a lot of people’s part,” said Thompson. “It was vetted several times, and it was a long process.”

The survey questions were given to the administration to look over and review, but not all the recommendations were implemented in the final verison, according to the Vice President of Student Affairs Doug Searcy.

Results were released Wednesday, April 25 at the Student Senate meeting.

According to the survey, 47.11 percent of students said that the absence of a University recognized Greek life system affected their decision to attend UMW, while 30.39 percent say it did not affect their decision.

The survey also reported that 47.01 percent of students believe UMW should not have Greek life, while 32.28 percent believe it should.

“Because this was a Student Government—student initiated survey, students had final oversight regarding what was provided to the University community,” said Searcy.

UMW recognizing greek life would mean sororities and fraternities would not necessarily get money allocated, but just be a part of the university, according to SGA Vice President and Student Senate President Robert Belcourt.

“The questions arent going to give us the answers that we are looking for,” said Belcourt. “I am encouraging a new survery to go out in the fall which will be made in conjuction with faculty with knowledge of research methods.”

There was a Board of Visitors (BOV) meeting his past weekend. According to Belcourt, the board briefly discussed tuition and Greek life.

The SGA President will use this information to speak to the university and the BOV, according to the offical report from SGA.

“They are aware a survey occurred and are expecting results in the fall from the SGA President,” said Belcourt.

A town hall meeting was held on Wednesday, April 25 to discuss the matter and let students voice their opinions.

Each speaker was given three minutes to speak on Greek life, whether they were for or against it.

Sean O’Brian, both a UMW alumni and UMW faculty moderated the two hour event. He was a past SGA President.

“In terms of student government, we just do what the students want. If the majority of students say ‘we want greek life’ then it’s the SGA’s mission that we articulate those needs upward,” said Thompson. “We do articulate both sides of the issue to administration, because even if the majority want something its really unfair just to articulate one view.”

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