By Leanndra W. Padgett
Heeding the words of the Apostle Paul which describe a state where there is recognition of “neither Greek nor Jew…slave nor free,” I begin by asserting that this is not an anti-Greek life article. As an Independent, I have many thoughts that I could share about the role of sororities and fraternities on campus, and the issues that are associated with their presence. This is not, however, the time for those opinions to be voiced. As it is the time to continue my plea for involvement, though, I will not shield them from their share of responsibility.
We know that our campus has an ailment that keeps participation in worthy causes (Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity, Student Abolitionist Movement, Georgetown Sustainability Initiative, various music programs etc., etc.) down. has already been recognized. But what is the root cause? I propose three diagnoses.
Some students are so concerned with their academics that they do not find time to get involved in other activities. If you are the student feverish with worry over tests and exams, crippled by papers and projects, drowning in notes and readings, take heart. Thousands have gone before you and escaped with degrees.
There is still time in even the busiest of academic schedules for participation in campus organizations. Some of the most academically minded students that I have ever known (Asher dwellers, even) have found time to be involved and even lead groups on campus. It is possible to be both studiously conscientious and active on campus. And let’s be honest — this diagnosis fits only a small group of students.
Let’s talk about athletes. I understand that if you play at the collegiate level, your sport is a top priority. But is there no time left for other good causes? And what about the off season? If teams are so all consuming that players cannot be spared for other organizations, perhaps teams should work together with clubs to accomplish great things. The women’s basketball team joins with Habitat for Humanity each year during the Habitat Classic. My prescription — more partnerships of that kind should be formed between on-campus groups and our tiger athletes.
Now for a word on the taboo subject of Greek life: I propose a correlation between high involvement in Greek life and low involvement in other organizations on campus. It’s not rocket science —there are a finite number of hours in a week, and Greek life consumes many of those hours for its participants.
Consider the sacred Monday night. Non-Greek organizations avoid planning anything from 6 p.m. on because that is the established meeting night for Greek organizations. It is foolish to try to compete.
Once again, I suggest that the group in question (in this case, Greeks) should partner with others on campus. Each organization has its own philanthropy, however, so unless they are directly connected with on-campus efforts, cooperation seems unlikely. Individuals can and should step outside of their realm of sisters or brothers to work with other students to accomplish feats within and beyond campus.
Whatever the excuse — academics, athletics, Greek life — everyone should make an effort to be involved in meaningful campus groups. The result will be a more united, more active college where people from all corners of campus make great things happen.