Deciding whether or not to go Greek was something I thought about when I enrolled at Murray State.
Fraternities and sororities function as support systems for members and set guidelines for what it means to be professional.
I decided not to be in a sorority, but I admire what Greek organizations provide for students who decide to take that route.
However, I have seen too many instances of Greeks behaving badly. I have witnessed mottos like “men of character” and “developers of leadership” recklessly abandoned by the very men and women who swear by them.
Drunken antics, property damage and hazing are occurrences within Greek Life that are not spoken of, but they are harsh realities.
Is throwing a bottle of vodka through the door of a private home an action of character? Is putting dead animals in the mailboxes and on the porches of other Greek residences indicative of leadership?
I respect and recognize the benefits of joining a Greek organization. Some of the most involved people on campus are in a fraternity or sorority. I have had the pleasure of working with Greeks at The Murray State News.
Many political leaders, CEOs and people of influence were Greek in their college days. But in order to reap the professional and developmental benefits of being Greek, one must embody its values.
These immature pranks make it too far past the Interfraternity Council, and some serious cases are never reported because of fear that it will look bad on the victimized organization and its members.
It seems that we are turning a blind eye to the damage caused by rowdy brothers and sisters. By damage, I don’t just mean a broken window or stolen composite – I mean the damage of reputation that Greeks will be subjected to if this continues to occur.
The media has been known to set a negative stereotype for Greek organizations across the country. I have read too many stories on what pledges have to go through to be inducted, the liberal use of “date rape drugs” at fraternity parties and the intense rivalries.
Just because these stories make it to our headlines does not mean our organizations have to embody those stereotypes.
As members of professional organizations, members of fraternities and sororities that commit these jokes (and crimes) should take a step back and really reflect on what it means to be Greek.
Set a positive example for students who plan on rushing. Parents shouldn’t have to be leery when their son or daughter announces they want to go Greek. They should be proud that their children want to take the initiative to become a more well-rounded person.
If you are in a fraternity or sorority that hasn’t been acting as maturely as it should, I hope you will take this perspective from someone who isn’t Greek seriously.
Non-Greeks see students proudly wear their letters on campus and announce that they’re Greek in those awkward icebreakers on the first day of class.
Make your organization one that you can be proud of. Grow up.
Column by Carly Besser, Opinion Editor