By Shelondra Harris and Austin Miller, Guest Writers
Pacific Lutheran University doesn’t have a Greek row, but that isn’t a bad thing. Some students say that PLU should implement a Greek system because of the widely-known benefits sororities or fraternities may bring to the campus; however, the Greek systems need to be analyzed from a more critical perspective.
Let’s start with what we know. Greek systems often do plenty of good within their communities, such as charity work and community engagement. Members gain a sense of pride along with a lifelong brotherhood or sisterhood. However, Greek systems also promote elitist views.
We’ve all heard about Oklahoma University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s racist video. The video displayed the fraternity partaking in racist chants against the membership of black students. Although this case reveals extreme racism, it is not to say that all Greek members are racist. Yet this situation shines light on the institutionalized problems that are deeply embedded in Greek systems.
Greek systems are exclusive to one type of student. Most sororities or fraternities are predominantly one race. Among racial homogenous members, there is usually likeness of social class.
To go Greek often means paying high fees. On top of paying tuition, a lot of students cannot afford to pay these expenses. Students of low socio-economic backgrounds are automatically dismissed from membership.
PLU strives for an inclusive community. Students don’t have to worry about who the top house on campus is, or being rejected because of superficial factors. Having a Greek system tends to exclude non-affiliated students, whether this be by race, socio-economic class or other identities.
Without a Greek row students can still have most the benefits that a Greek system offers, such as networking and community outreach. PLU is able to achieve a more all-encompassing campus without a Greek row. ◼︎