Opinion: Greek life on thin ice


Zachary Downes is a junior journalism major. Contact him at [email protected].

Zachary Downes

Lately, Greek Life has been all over the media. I’m sure everyone has heard of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon racial issue at the University of Oklahoma, the incident with the USC student at the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter of USC, or the popular Rolling Stones article about the incident at the University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi. These are all risky and terrible incidents, however, they could happen anywhere with anyone.

Greek Life has always had a bad reputation. Anywhere you go, a person will say something negative about being in a fraternity or sorority. “Why would you do that? You just pay for friends,” is a common phrase that I hear constantly.

And recently, I’ve heard a lot of allegations towards organizations nationally and here at Kent about rape and hazing. There have been incidents around the nation, even at Kent State, where Greek Life has had similar incidents. We all know about them, it’s no surprise. However, it is frustrating and annoying when people who are not involved in Greek life, categorize an entire group of people for actions of one idiot or freak accident. I’m not condoning hazing or rape by any means, however not every Greek chapter is like this.

Recently in Kent, there have been rumors going around about abolishing Greek Life. Although I can understand why some people would want this to happen, it is a ridiculous idea. Greek Life does a lot for the community and other national organizations.

Yes, we do things other than party and end up in the chipotle line hungover on Sunday afternoon. In the last year, I have joined a fraternity on campus and I know that my organization, along with others, have done a lot to give back to the community.

This past year, Kent’s Greek Life sponsored Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (S.A.V.E.), an organization that helps raise awareness and prevention for suicide, for their annual campus wide philanthropy, SongFest. SongFest is a huge event in Kent’s Greek Life that raises money for Organizations. This past year, all of Kent’s Inter­fraternal and Panhellenic Chapters helped raise over $30,000 dollars for S.A.V.E.

The Gamma Kappa Chapter of Delta Zeta, which is at Kent, raised over $77,000 dollars for The Delta Zeta Foundation, which gives the money to The Painted Turtle Camp, The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Gallaudet University. The three of these organizations help people in need with chronic illnesses and hearing problems. Delta Zeta is also donating some of that money to the Kent State University Clinic for Speech and Hearing impaired.

Many other Greek organizations, on Kent’s Campus, do great things for the community. Alpha Phi­Beta Omega raised over $30,000 for women’s heart health, Alpha Xi Delta­Beta Tau raised over $50,000 dollars for Autism Speaks, and Phi Mu­Rho Kappa raised $15,000 for the Akron Children’s Miracle Network. Organizations that all help out people locally and nationally.

I think people need to remember that it’s one group of people making a vast majority of people look bad. Just because one person or chapter at a school does NOT make an entire group of people bad people.

Not all Greek chapters haze and cause national problems. It’s a couple people making Greek life across the nation look bad.