What are the first things you think about when someone says Greek Life? Those who support it say Greek Life is extremely beneficial and is essential to the college experience. You fit in a group (fraternities and sororities) in which people share the same beliefs, hobbies and anything else you can think about. People that are against it immediately think about drinking, bad grades in school, hazing and exclusive organizations.
Is Greek Life suited for USF St. Petersburg? This is a question that has been asked for quite some years, according to Andrea Inman, junior at USFSP, and Christian Haas, alumni of our school. But not until the school year 2012-2013 has it been so strong-willed and talked about in our campus. When asked whether she was pro or con, Andrea Inman hesitated and said she was more in the middle. She says she understands why people want Greek Life in our campus. It could help our campus grow and attract more students. But as Inman and Haas both stated, our campus is limited as to how much it can grow. The water is stopping us from expanding and we can only build up to a certain height because of the airport.
Inman says that most of the students pushing for Greek Life are freshmen, and their determination is incredible. “If you want it, fight for it”, Inman stated. She also stated that if these students supporting Greek Life continue wanting it and fighting for it, it is most likely going to happen.
Christian Hass and Inman agreed on something important and perhaps scary to our campus. Our campus is extremely inclusive, if Greek Life becomes a reality for USFSP, the whole campus atmosphere will change and it could perhaps push people away from our campus. Our campus is extremely unique. Fellow students and professors know you by your name, not by a number. Organizations can be easily started and supported by student government and other student body. If pro-Greek Life students want a sense of belonging, unity and a reason to give back to the community, why don’t they start a regular organization or perhaps join the existing ones and push to better the ones we already have on campus? This is a question that Hass and other older students ask themselves. If you want those three qualities: belonging, unity and community service, you should not need three Greek letters to determine it.
Haas supports sororities and fraternities that give back to the community. But then again, he asks himself, why not do this through a school organization? The problem might not arise so suddenly if there is only one sorority and/or one fraternity in our campus. The problem arises when other groups of students get together to form their own sororities and fraternities. That is when USFSP will see a division amongst students. If a group of girls or guys that is still a colony states they want to accept every student that applies, wouldn’t this change once they become a nationally recognized chapter? The guidelines for each chapter vary, including philanthropy, amount of dues, activities and requirements to join such sororities or fraternities. Haas is also afraid about the negative consequences of Greek Life... Drinking, partying and losing focus on school and hazing; even though illegal, it is something that still happens in universities across the nation.
Division can already be seen on campus by just talking about the subject. On a poll that Her Campus USFSP posted on our site, 52% students were pro Greek Life and 48% students were con. (Only 58 students voted on our online poll). As it can be seen the school is clearly divided on the subject matter of Greek Life.
In order for Greek Life to be established on campus senators have to vote on a resolution that will be presented to school administrators. If school administrators support this idea, then it is later up to students to go through the process of establishment of sororities’ or fraternities’ chapters. Inman and Haas said this is not an easy process and it can take more than a year for it to happen. Whether or not Greek Life becomes a reality in USFSP, students are entitled to their opinions and students that are pro and con can each do whatever is necessary to make their voice heard.
(This article does not present any personal views of Her-Campus USFSP’s members. It is based on interviews with fellow students and of readings from Facebook posts regarding Greek Life in USFSP pages)
Photo credit in order: http://cbrownley.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/difference-in-means/