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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2017

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Official Greek life would harm UMW community

Official Greek life would harm UMW community

By VICTORIA MUNEVAR

Staff Writer

Last year in the official UMW Class of 2020 Facebook group, several students started a petition to officiate Greek life on campus. This sparked a heated debate in the comments section, among students who had polarizing opinions on the issue. Many students were saying that one reason they chose UMW was because there was no Greek Life. Others were saying they should have the equal opportunity to have Greek life like other universities do. This has been an issue of much debate among UMW students for many years and it continues to be a hot topic. I can see truth in both sides of the argument, however I support the system that UMW has right now.

It is true that there are many stereotypes surrounding Greek life and it is wrong to assume that all fraternities or sororities reflect what is portrayed in the media. Fraternities and sororities share goals of trying to connect people with similar interests to help the community, which is similar to the values of other campus organizations. While I personally would never join a sorority, I understand why people do.

However, as an outsider, I do not understand the rushing process and what qualifies a person to be chosen to join a fraternity or sorority. I think that if someone is interested in Greek life and they go to all the rush events, then they should be able to join. However, not everyone is selected and this is concerning. It calls into question what sororities and fraternities value. This makes Greek life seem cliquey and exclusive.

The first time I toured UMW, I found out that the school did not have Greek life on campus which was surprising to me since other schools I was considering had strong cultures of Greek life. When I was deciding where I wanted to go, UMW stuck out to me for many reasons, one of which being the absence of Greek Life. If the school changed their policy for Greek life, I think it would completely change the atmosphere on this campus.

I really like the middle ground we have right now, where fraternities and sororities operate off campus and are independent from the school. This is a great compromise for all students since it does not turn UMW into a Greek life campus but it does provide students with the option of joining these organizations if they wish.

UMW is different from many other universities in the country for many different reasons, however having no official Greek life makes us special. I could not imagine going to a school with a Greek Row and a culture that revolves around a large number of different fraternities and sororities.

I think UMW tries very hard to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. Our UMW principles are based on diversity and inclusion. We want every student feel welcomed and comfortable at all times. With the selectiveness that Greek life brings, I cannot imagine it fitting into our school’s community. Giving students the freedom to choose Greek life while limiting them from being recognized on-campus is what I think works the best for everyone.

Comments

  1. Anonymous

    If it were up to me, 100% of greek life would take place off campus. These groups are exclusive and harmful to our community.

  2. Anonymous

    Idk, I don’t really understand or like Greek Life personally, but if it’s important to other people I don’t see too big of a problem with it. Those of us who don’t like it can always just ignore it or choose not to participate.

  3. Anonymous

    Lets all be honest with ourselves here. The sports teams at Mary Wash sub in as the greek life. They have their own houses. They throw parties. The ony difference is the name and the exclusivity of having to be good at a sport. There is already greek life popping up on campus and if there are strict rules put in place by faculty, I see no issues with allowing greek life to continue sprouting up.

  4. Anonymous

    The reason allowing Fraternity and Sorority Life to exist off Campus is harmful is because they organizations run with no oversight from the campus. If UMW accepts Fraternity and Sorority Life on it’s campus then administration will be able to oversee the organizations and recruitment processes. As of now only organizations who are recognized by their national headquarters have any accountability for their actions. Organizations who do not have a national headquarters such as Zeta Omega Delta are then allowed to run without oversight by UMW or a national entity. Ask any fraternity members on executive boards at UMW, they do not truly want to be recognized by UMW as it would just lead to answering to both campus and nationals.

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