Thank you for reading! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find Part One of this article here.
Not only have Hannah and Arielle held officer positions in Theta, but they have also held various leadership positions in other organizations. Arielle was just elected as the incoming president of AdLab, the largest student-run advertising agency in the country, after previously serving as the Vice President of Accounts. Meanwhile, Hannah is the Assistant Managing Editor and Podcast Editor for BU News Service, as well as a Talk Show Host for WTBU. Undoubtedly, both women have greatly contributed to campus life, flourishing as leaders not only in Theta but also in these other organizations.
Photo Credit: Arielle Kimbarovsky
Pictured (from left to right): Audrey Tucker, Margaret Hauck, Arielle Kimbarovsky, and Emma Packard
But what if they were banned from doing so?
In 2016, Harvard University ordered all fraternities and sororities on its campus to go co-ed. Otherwise, members of Greek life would be ineligible to hold leadership positions within the university or gain endorsement for outside grants such as the Rhodes Scholarship. As a result, several fraternities and sororities, including our own, Kappa Alpha Theta, filed a federal lawsuit against the university. If Boston University made a similar decision, our campus would lose the leadership, poise, and spirit of women such as Hannah and Arielle in other organizations.
As I summarized the situation at Harvard to Hannah, I could hear the frustration in her voice, “To exclude people in the Greek life community from [leading] others is just… what are you hoping to achieve? If you’re worried about people being prioritized for those positions because they’re in Greek life, you need to do things to uplift those other organizations, not tear down those that aren’t doing anything wrong.”
Photo Credit: Caitlin Meyer
Pictured (from left to right): Jes Mandel, Cait Meyer, Caitlin Edwards, and Hannah Harn
While I understand the concern surrounding hazing and toxic culture in Greek life, what we see in the news represents a small minority within a massive, nationwide community. Rarely do we see the hours of community service, thousands of dollars donated to philanthropies, and supportive, lasting friendships. Among my sisters, there are presidents, directors, Dean’s Hosts, college athletes, performers, artists, and writers. We seek not only to be valuable members of our campus beyond Theta, but we also gain our best qualities through it.
Arielle phrased it best, “Harvard’s decision doesn’t take away spaces for Greek life members to exist; it takes away their ability to develop as leaders, scholars, and positive members of their community. It creates a culture that furthers exclusion rather than promotes it, and removes important resources from members of its student body. Greek life organizations aren’t just parties like movies portray; they’re filled with systems of support that span mental/emotional health to education.”
You can learn more about the Eta Chi chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta here.