Her Campus American journalists are free to express opinions. The opinions in this article are not representative of Her Campus American’s opinions as an organization.
Greek life has been a hot topic amongst American University students since 2020 when there was a push for the abolition of fraternities and sororities on campus. The abolition movement lost traction as students were spread out at home due to COVID-19. Earlier this semester, a new group of students started an Instagram page in hopes of working towards abolishing Greek life at AU.
While many stories have been shared via the Abolish Greek Life At AU Instagram account portraying negative aspects of Greek life, many of them took place at other schools that have little in common with AU. Abby Sharkis, co-founder of Abolish Greek Life at AU, states that most of the stories that people reference when advocating against Greek life did not actually occur at AU. “More of the shocking heinous stories you do hear from larger schools where Greek life is more intense.”
Much of the information and stories shared on the Instagram page is from national statistics or disaffiliated members of chapters AU does not have, nevertheless they are cited as reasons to disband Greek organizations at American University.
“I don’t think it’s a fair way to portray AU Greek life”
Andrew Useche, sophomore at AU, believes that this is not a fair or accurate way to portray AU’s Greek organizations.
While he says that fraternities often create a toxic culture, he also believes the Abolish movement misrepresents AU’s specific Greek organizations. “I don’t think it’s a fair way to portray AU Greek life. Greek culture at AU is undoubtedly different than other schools.”
While the co-founders of the Abolish Greek Life at AU movement take a sense of authority on the topic of Greek life, they’re not all that familiar with Greek life on AU’s campus. Isabella and Abby, two of the four co-founders of the Abolish movement have never attended a Greek life event.
Useche states that “the people you hear the most from, the organization themselves, Abolish Greek life at AU, are nowhere near adjacent to Greek life, but they’re nevertheless the people that are speaking out the most on it. If you’re not part of the organization or you’re not going to the philanthropic events, then are you an expert?”
Both Abby and Isabelle cited Greek life’s party culture as a major aspect of the organizations but Shira Cohen, a member of my own sorority, Sigma Delta Tau at AU, says that parties have nothing to do with her experience in her sorority. “Sig Delt does not have a strong party culture at all. I wouldn’t consider myself a party person. We don’t feel the need to drink in order to have fun with each other.”
Abby Sharkis spoke of a lack of reliable sources available to the movement. “We don’t have exact information on statistics within AU.” admitting that: “The stats might not be 100% accurate for AU.”
Isabella Paraka stated that although Greek life varies at different colleges, the leaders of the Abolish movement believe they can generalize them all together. “While Greek life culture here is different, we don’t think it’s that different where generalizing would be incorrect.”
“The stats might not be 100% accurate for AU”
Abby Sharkis, Abolish Greek Life at AU co-founder
While the Instagram account has recently been gaining more attention around campus, it may not be the best source of information on American University’s Greek organizations.
Andrew Useche states that “If your only source of education on Greek life at AU is Abolish Greek Life at AU then you’re not as informed as you really should be.”