By VICTORIA MUNEVAR
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.