Greek life is a very rewarding group of fraternities and sororities that impact the community and campus through community service, academics, and empowerment through service and events. Amidst the death of Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi member at Florida State University, I felt the need to touch on the subject and Greek life as a whole, being a member of Greek life myself. Andrew passed away in the early morning after a fraternity house party off campus. Prayer and love goes out to the family members of Andrew and from this tragedy the Florida State President, John Thrasher, decided to ban all Greek life on Florida State’s campus. The ban prohibits all new member events, chapter meetings, tailgates, socials, retreats, and Market Wednesdays. I understand that his death should be taken very seriously, but all Greek councils should not have to suffer for the actions of one fraternity from one council, being the InterFraternity Council. Let me explain. On Florida State University’s campus there are five councils made up of likeminded groups of fraternities and sororities. First, the InterFraternity Council (IFC) is made up of twenty one predominately white fraternities. Second, the Panhellenic Association is made up of seventeen predominately white sororities. Third, the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) is made up of seven predominately black sororities and fraternities. Fourth, the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) is made up ten collectively unique Latinx based, multiracial, and multiethnic fraternities and sororities. Last, the Order of Omega is a Greek honor society made up of any Greek fraternities and/or sororities that excel in academics and leadership.
As I said, these councils are made up of very influential and empowering groups of sororities and fraternities that should not have to halt the work they do for the community and the campus because of the action of one specific fraternity. NPHC and MGC alone raise money for philanthropies and programs such as UNICEF, Children International, Breast Cancer Awareness, Child Cancer Awareness, Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women (RAVAW), youth programs, education programs, and scholarship programs. Greek life collectively raises massive amounts of money for specific philanthropies and programs that better the community and society so when President Thrasher puts a ban on all Greek activity, Greeks are unable to hold events dedicated to these specific causes. Also, being unable to bring in more members, chapters could possibly die out, depending on when the ban will be lifted, then being unable to use sororities and fraternities as a platform for these causes. A greater importance of Greek life at Florida State is the National Panhellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Council, which create a platform for minorities to offer a safe space. Banning NPHC and MGC declines the minority presence where these groups can give a voice to other minorities on campus and in the community.
What Does This Mean For Greek Life?
Andrew’s death will create a further negative reputation for Greek life, along with the sexual misconduct allegations from the IFC Council at the University of Michigan. But this is not the case for all sororities and fraternities. Greek Life in its entirety is very beneficial to campus and the community because of the influential presence through events for charity, fundraising, socials, new membership presentations, stepping, strolling, retreats, workshops, etc. Greek Life creates a more meaningful and fun environment for the campus while benefiting society and the community through philanthropy and programs. Yes, Greeks are people too, we like to have fun but sororities and fraternities are also a business. We work hard with our brothers and sisters. Not all fraternities and sororities are the same which means not all fraternity brotherhoods and sorority sisterhoods are the same. So do not let Greek life incidences deter you from joining a sorority or fraternity.
Valdosta State University Greek Life
I am definitely proud to be Greek at Valdosta State University, with an array of different fraternities and sororities. For our campus at Valdosta State University, the College Panhellenic Council is made up of seven predominately white sororities. The InterFraternity Council is made up nine predominately white fraternities. The National Panhellenic Council is made up of eight predominately black sororities and fraternities. The Multicultural Greek Council is made up of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Incorporated and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated both being multiethnic. Lastly, we have fraternities and sororities that are specific to music, dance, and service known as U.N.D.O standing for the Universally and Nationally Diverse Organizations made up of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Gamma Sigma Sigma Service Sorority, Phi Mu Alpha Music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota Music Sorority, Tau Beta Sigma Music Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Music Band Fraternity, and Delta Phi Delta Dance Fraternity. Sororities and Fraternities apart of NPHC, MGC, and U.N.D.O. will host new member presentations to showcase new members of the organization to the campus as well as host their “week” for their sorority or fraternity with a week full of events dedicated to their organizations values and principles. These three groups will also host annual yard shows encompassing stepping and strolling. NPHC fraternities will hold annual scholarship pageants as well as stepping and strolling events such as the Ms. Black and Gold hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Ms. Phi Beta Sigma hosted by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, GreekDom step and stroll competition hosted by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Hall vs. Hall stroll off hosted by Phi Beta Sigma, and Step for the Throne hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha. NPHC sororities of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta will host an annual women’s conference. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority of NPHC hosts the I Am Every Woman forum event dedicated to breaking down stereotypes and uplifting all kinds of women. Sigma Lambda Gamma hosts the Slut Walk event dedicated to eliminating stereotyping and rape culture. Also, IFC and CPC will host the Big Man on Campus cross dress fundraising event. Greek Life makes campus life more enjoyable while creating, learning, and grinding with you brothers and sisters. Greek Life is what you make out of it. Find what is right for you.