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Greek Life Expands

Sororities trump fraternities

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Find out what students think about Greek life on campus in the “YouSpeak” video above. Video by Robin Berghaus

Could this be the year of the Greek?

For the first time in nearly two decades, the BU Greek community has expanded—with Kappa Delta joining the ranks of nine other sororities last fall and Sigma Phi Epsilon joining eight previously established fraternities this spring.

“It’s a really positive step to bring new organizations in,” says Bryan Adams, coordinator of programs at the Student Activities Office. Greek life is “definitely getting stronger and growing.”

Yet Kenneth Elmore, the University’s dean of students, sees a difference in how the two bookends of Greek life are expanding. While sororities are “bursting at the seams,” fraternities are having a harder time filling their ranks.

“I think fraternities are struggling with the question of how they make their missions meet the needs of young males on campus right now,” says Elmore, who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha while an undergraduate at Brown University.

Despite the new sorority and fraternity, BU is not a hotspot for Greek life. Fraternity and sorority members account for only 10 percent of the total student body. The recent expansions, however, do suggest a rekindling of interest among students—especially women, who make up three-quarters of the roughly 2,000 Greeks on campus.

“I do think that many students come to a university, not just this one, with a distinct sense that they are not going to join a fraternity or sorority,” Elmore says. He thinks Greeks on campus work hard to dispel people’s stereotypes of fraternities as solely party centers, à la Animal House, and sororities as populated by vacuous and superficial women. “Our women seem to be able to steer that conversation into a direction women on campus feel is worthwhile,” he says. “Our men are having a tougher time breaking from that image.”

Elmore says he and sorority women on campus often talk about the social and professional opportunities—like fundraisers and life skills workshops—their chapters provide.

He does not have the same conversations with fraternity men.

“They’re pressured to be that social entree point for people,” Elmore says, referring to fraternities’ party image. “It’s a hard point to get people to see that this is not the only thing fraternities do… and not the primary reason for men to connect with them.”

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky  for Boston University Photography

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky for Boston University Photography

Alex Mecattaf (CAS’14) (from left) and Adam Weaver (SED’13) with Anant Shukla (CAS’10) at Jillian’s during a recruitment event for Sigma Phi Epsilon, a national fraternity establishing a branch at BU. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Consider Sigma Phi Epsilon’s spring recruitment. One of the nation’s largest fraternities, SigEp sent two recruiters over 10 weeks to interview BU men, with the goal of starting a chapter of 35 members. To date, 27 have joined and organizers are optimistic they will meet their goal.

Supporters of SigEp say the fraternity is unique and brings something new to Greek life here. Brothers do not pledge and are considered full members once initiated. They tackle a continuum of leadership opportunities throughout their college career, and they follow the Balanced Man program, which promotes a “sound mind and sound body” by attending various cultural events, such as operas, while following a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

“We really like their whole Balanced Man program, they have a good reputation nationally, and they’re really goal-oriented,” says Jackson Sandeen (CAS’11, COM’11), president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, the governing body for BU fraternities, which voted for SigEp’s presence on campus.

“The people in it are really going to be outstanding,” says Anant Shukla (CAS’10), a SigEp chapter advisor. “I feel that this is going to change people’s lives.”

Sandeen is more measured in his opinion of the new entry and is watching carefully to gauge BU men’s interest in joining the fraternity. “We want to take a step back and see how the SigEp process goes,” he says. “If it turns out to be a good experience, with good numbers, then it’s tough to make an argument not to” invite more fraternities to campus.

If fraternities are struggling to fills their ranks, sororities face a different dilemma: how to keep up with demand.

Paige Reese (CAS’11), president of the Panhellenic Council, the governing body for University sororities, says Kappa Delta’s fall rush alone brought in 100 members to the organization, which raises money for the Girl Scouts. That strong response bolsters the council’s plans to invite another sorority to “colonize” in fall 2012—Kappa Alpha Theta, whose chosen philanthropy is National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Many sororities at the University boast more than 130 members, so finding a spot to hold meetings can be challenging. (BU’s Greek houses were sold, primarily to MIT, in the 1960s after a power struggle between the University and national headquarters of various Greek organizations, according to former BU Greek advisor Seth Rosenzweig.) Reese says the Student Union passed a resolution allowing sororities a regular block of weekend meeting time in the George Sherman Union Alley, which can hold 200 people. But she continues to hope for a more permanent space.

“In terms of community, it’s hard not to have a central location,” she says. “You have to hunt people down and figure out where you can meet.”

Why do fewer BU men than women appear to be attracted to Greek life? Students say there’s more to it than the fact that women outnumber men (about 60 percent to 40 percent). Sandeen credits sororities for doing a good job in recruitment, but Reese sees a broader trend.

“Statistically, women are more involved on campuses across the country,” Reese says. “I also think a big part of why women join sororities is to find a close-knit group of female friends. Guys have an easier time finding a group that they click with.”

Reese, a southerner from Kentucky and former president of Gamma Phi Beta, says she felt going Greek was something that would enhance her college experience. “I look at Greek life as a great opportunity to be involved in so many different things,” she says. “I couldn’t pass it up.”

Sandeen says fraternities can offer the same benefits. He cites his own experience in Sigma Chi, which has allowed him to raise funds for charity, assume leadership roles, and join a brotherhood on campus, all while juggling schoolwork.

Admittedly, not every Greek brother takes that perspective. Some off-campus houses, which are rented by fraternity men but not recognized by the University or national organizations as official Greek homes, have reputations as party spots for underage drinkers.

“Sometimes we do have groups that self-stereotype,” says the SAO’s Adams. But “that negates what the majority of organizations are doing.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon is offering two Balanced Man scholarships worth $1,000 each. The scholarship is open to all male applicants who are full-time undergraduate students during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday. Robin Berghaus can be reached berghaus@bu.edu.

35 Comments

35 Comments on Greek Life Expands

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 8:57 am

    Come on Research

    This article contains a few errors that some research could have cleared up. First, the greek community did expand in the last two decades, with the addition of Sigma Alpha Mu in 2007. Also, no mention was made of the fact that Sigma Phi Epsilon isn’t new to the University, but was present within those same last two decades, but was removed for inappropriate behavior. Also, underplaying the angle of fraternity houses as having “reputations as party spots for underage drinkers” is a dangerous angle which doesn’t acknowledge the continuous history of those problems. On another note, the need for these groups is clear. BU is a huge place, and getting lost is easy. Those who are affiliated with an activity tend to be more connected to their BU experience, a vital cog in the wheel of generating alumni who remain interested.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 10:34 am

    Undermining Fraternities

    The root problem here is that the university undermined greek life back in the sixties by selling the house of several fraternities to MIT and continues to put greek life on a backseat to a lot of other student activities.
    Furthermore the video itself portrays greek life in a very poor way by starting off with a hazing scene which mind you is banned in nearly every single state and is strictly monitored by the university as well as including a scene from Animal House which glorifies Fraternities parties but is in no way representative of actual greek life at BU or across the country.
    So instead of focusing on the negatives I believe BU and the student body at the very least needs to recognize the positives that greek life brings to BU such as raising money for philanthropy and numerous leadership opportunities through individual organizations. To say that all fraternities do is party is both ignorant and wrong.
    Underage drinking has been and will continue to be a problem on campuses across the country. Instead of saying that underage drinking is wrong and stopped at all costs BU should promote a policy that educates students on moderation and openness. Simply saying no and punishing behavior is unlikely to discourage drinking in both dorms on campus and parties off campus.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 10:39 am

    Undermining Fraternities

    The root problem here is that the university undermined greek life back in the sixties by selling the house of several fraternities to MIT and continues to put greek life on a backseat to a lot of other student activities.
    Furthermore the video itself portrays greek life in a very poor way by starting off with a hazing scene which mind you is banned in nearly every single state and is strictly monitored by the university as well as including a scene from Animal House which glorifies Fraternities parties but is in no way representative of actual greek life at BU or across the country.
    So instead of focusing on the negatives I believe BU and the student body at the very least needs to recognize the positives that greek life brings to BU such as raising money for philanthropy and numerous leadership opportunities through individual organizations. To say that all fraternities do is party is both ignorant and wrong.
    Underage drinking has been and will continue to be a problem on campuses across the country. Instead of saying that underage drinking is wrong and stopped at all costs BU should promote a policy that educates students on moderation and openness. Simply saying no and punishing behavior is unlikely to discourage drinking in both dorms on campus and parties off campus.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 10:42 am

    Undermining Fraternities

    The root problem here is that the university undermined greek life back in the sixties by selling the house of several fraternities to MIT and continues to put greek life on a backseat to a lot of other student activities.
    Furthermore the video itself portrays greek life in a very poor way by starting off with a hazing scene which mind you is banned in nearly every single state and is strictly monitored by the university as well as including a scene from Animal House which glorifies Fraternities parties but is in no way representative of actual greek life at BU or across the country.
    So instead of focusing on the negatives I believe BU and the student body at the very least needs to recognize the positives that greek life brings to BU such as raising money for philanthropy and numerous leadership opportunities through individual organizations. To say that all fraternities do is party is both ignorant and wrong.
    Underage drinking has been and will continue to be a problem on campuses across the country. Instead of saying that underage drinking is wrong and stopped at all costs BU should promote a policy that educates students on moderation and openness. Simply saying no and punishing behavior is unlikely to discourage drinking in both dorms on campus and parties off campus.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 12:28 pm

    RE: Undermining Fraternities

    Did you watch the whole video? Yes, the video does open with stereotypical Hollywood images of frats/sororities, but the whole second part is devoted to BU students challenging those ideas by talking about positive things that the fraternities/sororities do for the community, such as fundraising.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 12:30 pm

    Philanthropy

    Greek Life raised 23,000 dollars last week for Huntsman Cancer Institute and BU can’t even get 5,000 seniors to donate 1 dollar back to BU.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 12:48 pm

    Using the Animal House references was SO creative and original.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 1:44 pm

    The Greek lifers can say whatever they want, but I know several male BU fraternity members from various groups and every one of them was hazed in a variety of ways, including being blindfolded, paddled, forced to drink a bottle of vodka in a certain amount of time, and not allowed to sleep. Ratting on your brothers after so much time and effort makes you ostracized, and no one’s going to say anything. Maybe they do a lot of volunteering, but the negatives far outweigh the positives. Ban all fraternities and let them reorganize as service-only organizations 100% dedicated to helping the community, rather than bastions of back-slapping nepotism and debauchery.

    Do you know why frat houses are full of underage drinkers? Because anyone 21 (or with a good fake ID) goes to bars or friends’ apartments, where they can act like adults, and they don’t have to give ‘respect’ to a bunch of people trying to trick first year females into have sex with them.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 1:51 pm

    Not only is this article offensive and at many times incorrect, it leaves out a large number of positive fact about the BU Greek Community. That the reporter only went to Sandeen, Reese, and Adams, the three main faces of the Greek community, for facts instead of putting a little effort in and speaking to other members of the community, shows a true lack of good reporting and reporter bias. Not only do we have higher GPAs than the average student, we are more involved in extra-curricular activities and raise large amounts of money for various charities all year. We support each other’s events and provide a support system at school. Our events are not exclusive to Greek life and we welcome everyone to participate in recruitment, of which minimal student are turned away from joining chapters. Greek life isn’t for everyone, but stereotypes shouldn’t determine our image on campus.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 2:06 pm

    You can really only this as a positive development if you are a proponent of sexual assault and students’ choking to death on their own vomit.

  • George on 04.11.2011 at 2:17 pm

    Change your perspective.

    Ms. Friday, did you ever consider that Fraternities on Boston University’s campus are not “having a harder time filling their ranks,” but are intentionally recruiting smaller amounts than sororities? When you have a Fraternity that grows too big, it defeats the sole purpose of its existence: the bond of brotherhood. It becomes much more difficult to establish and maintain that bond the larger the group of men is. No disrespect to the sororities on campus, but most of us do not want to have our Fraternities grow to their size. So, tell Dean Elmore we are doing just fine.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 2:58 pm

    Houses

    Yes underage drinking is a problem in off-campus fraternity residences but did BU ever consider that maybe if the Greek community was given on-campus housing and assistance then maybe this problem would go away. Fraternities and sororities who have university supported housing have strict rules when it comes to drinking and having guests, frat ragers would be almost impossible to have. Greeks need a space on campus and need to be supported by the university. The reason things are out of hand is because we are constantly kicked off campus and forced to make our own sacred places. Having a chapter in CAS is nothing like having it in a house. Greek life has so many benefits for its participants and we need more university support. This way of life is obviously expanding and it is important for BU to get on board and give us the help, support, and assistance we need to keep it a positive and safe experience

  • JOE MAMA on 04.11.2011 at 4:22 pm

    GREEK LIFE IS DOPE

    I think some people especially girls might resent bu greek life because they did not get bids from sororities or fraternities. GIRLS HOLD GRUDGES. ITS A KNOWN FACT. get REAL people, greek life is awesome.

    Dooo WERKKK,
    Joe

  • Kevin Tomaszek on 04.11.2011 at 4:44 pm

    Insulted by the video

    The article talks at parts about getting away from the stereotypical views on fraternities that were established by movies during the 70s and 80s and early 90s. However the video starts off with some of the more stereotypical scenes and even flashes in while others are talking. SO that is insulting to see the person who made the video step to the level that instills the images and views of the videos instead of focusing only on BU and it’s many attempts to get rid of that image. While it did move to the good things fraternities and sororities do, it doesn’t matter in the end, the damage has been done.

    As a recent graduate and member of the greek community, i can only offer the highest regard for the system nationwide. i recently came down to Louisiana Tech for grad school and got in contact with the chapter at LA Tech which made my transition easy and friendly.

    BU’s Greek life is doing fine for a lack of housing. Fraternities will be lower at Universities where the student population is 30% international students. Fraternities stay smaller because its hard to host events with limited spacing when you are bigger. Pike ended last year near 120 and finding chapter space for that each Sunday night is difficult, as is setting up thanksgiving dinners etc.

    Hazing is a very broad word to use. Under the rules at Boston University, giving a “new member” a book about the fraternity and telling them they must read it and they will be tested on it is considered hazing. Your professors do this daily. If you go to the military academies, you will find that most stuff that goes on in the movies looks like child’s play. That is allowed by your military.

    Finally, alcohol is not a fraternity thing. My freshmen year i went to parties that were held on ashford by Berkley students, BU-Non Greek students, etc. Everyone will take $5 from everyone and buy 3 kegs. Alcohol has been a large part of college life for the past 30+ years. Personally i feel it is essential because it allows people to learn their tolerance and how to act before they reach the professional world. Many University Presidents have joined together to lobby state and federal governments to lower the drinking age to 18 so they do not have to divert so many resources to keep students from drinking, knowing there is no way to eliminate it.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 6:22 pm

    What damage has Greek life actually done

    My Fraternity is the only reason why i never transfered from BU. I love Greek life and other people don’t and that is fine. I think that such a large and diverse school like BU should not worry so much about Greek life stereotypes and let people do whatever makes them happiest during their time in BU. This will only make for better alumni relationships in the future, and happier students.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 6:44 pm

    Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

    Those who look down upon the Greek community need to get to know the organizations before writing them off. All of the sororities have at least one philanthropy event per semester, and each event raises thousands of dollars that go directly to the organization’s chosen philanthropy. For the girl in the video who said there’s plenty to get involved in at BU other than Greek life I have this to say: as a freshman trying to join different clubs or get involved on campus, I found it was hard to be taken seriously or to be heard because of my age. When I joined my sorority, I was immediately welcomed and respected. I also finally was able to find girls I really felt a connection to. The bonds that come from being sisters or brothers is something that cannot be matched. If you never wanted to get involved in Greek life, that’s your choice, but you have no right to pass judgement on something you know nothing about. I am very happy with my choice and I know most members of the Greek community are as well.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 6:50 pm

    Greek GPAs

    All sororities on campus require their sisters to keep a certain minimum GPA. The average requirement is a 2.5, but can be as high as a 2.7. While these GPAs may not sound stellar to you, most members are well above these requirements. Sisters are encouraged to spend time in the library and are often rewarded for doing so. Also, many sororities offer sister on sister tutoring. At such a large school, it’s often difficult to get to know students in different years, so it is extremely helpful to have a handful of sisters from each year to assist in a subject they may have taken before. Greek life really does more good than harm, and those that disagree are only judging us based on the negative way the media portrays it.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 10:43 pm

    No Fresh Perspectives

    The conflict of interest, trusting anecdote, and selective reporting paints the article with a clear bias against greek life. There is a clear conflict of interest, as the University owns the news website and also oversees the Dean of Students Office which has a clear opinion on fraternities at this University. The final argument that Greek homes “have reputations as party spots for underage drinkers” comes from an unknown source when it states that, “Admittedly, not every Greek brother takes that perspective.” There is no data to back up this statement, and is a direct reflection of a cultural ideology on-campus. Lastly, he author reports selectively with quotes from only a few key executives and students. It does not quote regular Greek and non-greek students in order to voice student perspectives. The author fails to check enough sources, hear and report dissenting voices, and seek fresh perspectives.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 11:18 pm

    Greek Life

    As a member of Greek life I have to say that it has been the best thing that has happened to me. I never ever thought I would join a sorority as I had the stereotypical characteristics in mind. But through this experience i’ve met some of the most interesting, passionate, intelligent, and caring women. Also, what’s wrong with joining Greek life to make friends? Why shouldn’t it be a place to find common ground with people? I am proud of what we do, and i’m proud to be associated with Greek life.

  • Anonymous on 04.11.2011 at 11:20 pm

    What's it worth?

    Greek life does far more good than bad and that’s where the discussion should end.

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 10:08 am

    New Member

    As a new member of a sorority, I would have to disagree with this entire article and offensive video. I had an amazing freshman first semester at Boston University, but joining a sorority second semester, has completely enriched my college experience thus far. I have a close-knit community filled with intelligent, talented women, who are actually concerned with making a positive difference, and helping those in need. Being involved in a chapter of greek life connects you with so many people who can offer you opportunities in your future. I also would like to defend fraternities on Boston University campus. True, sorority women on campus seem to be more “excited” about their philanthropies, but the fraternity boys have done so much in the greek community this semester. Though your typical “frat” involves under-aged drinking and a messy frat house, the fraternity boys on Boston University campus have much more to offer to the community, like their philanthropic attitudes, intelligence, and welcoming personalities to new and potential members. I’d appreciate it if non-greek members would stop making judgements before they know all the “good” the greek community does on campus.

  • Response on 04.12.2011 at 11:23 am

    I will not waste anyone else’s time by continuing to comment on the irresponsible brand of journalism peddled by Ms. Berghaus and Ms. Friday. Instead, I would like to direct everyone to check out a very well-written response: http://bucultureshock.com/?p=8862.

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 11:26 am

    I found this article to be misquoted, under-researched, and most of all, wrong. First off, you told IFC President Jackson Sandeen that it was a story about “Sig Ep expansion;” however, that is obviously not the case. You spend the first half of the article putting fraternities in bad light by quoting Dean Elmore on statements like, “think fraternities are struggling with the question of how they make their missions meet the needs of young males on campus right now.” Personally, I do not think it is in anyone’s power to question the mission of a fraternity, especially when you are not a part of the fraternity. Towards the end of your article, you state that “not every Greek brother takes that perspective [of Jackson Sandeen]. Some off-campus houses, which are rented by fraternity men but not recognized by the University or national organizations as official Greek homes, have reputations as party spots for underage drinker.” However, when it comes down to it, in one week Greeks raised 23,000 dollars for charity. In four months BU can’t even get 4,000 seniors to donate 1 dollar back to BU. Furthermore, when we look at the facts, over $7 million is raised each year by Greeks nationally, 850,000 hours are volunteered by Greeks annually, and the Greek system is the largest network of volunteers in the US, with members donating over 10 million hours of volunteer service each year. Just at BU, the Greek community donates to the following, but not limited to, Emmanuel House, The Lupus Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, National Prevention of Child Abuse, American Cancer Society, September 11th Fund, Alzheimer’s Disease, Maine Sea Coast Mission, Children’s Miracle Network, St. John’s the Evangelist Soup Kitchen, Community Servings, AIDS Walk, Walk for Hunger, Ronald McDonald House, Rosie’s Place, Breast Cancer Walk, Massachusetts Association for the Blind, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Salvation Army, and the Senior Citizen’s Prom. In the end, we understand the stereotypes that come along Greek life; however, this title of this article is much more misleading, and does more harm than good. As a collective, there is no group that comes close to donating as much money to charities. As a whole, Greek life serves as the largest entity on campus at, what is now, 15%. Spring pledge classes are at an all time high, and we are doing incredible things, not only in Boston, but around the world. All in all, I am offended by your article and I don’t think it is justified that you put BU Greek life in such a bad light.

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 12:15 pm

    A wonderful rebuttal to this article: http://bucultureshock.com/?p=8862

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 3:07 pm

    Worthless

    Greek life should just go away

  • Amy Mahler on 04.12.2011 at 3:22 pm

    BU Greeks are great

    While I am not a member of Greek Life, I do support it on BU campus. The Greeks here honestly try to build community and provide value to campus. Leaders like Lauren Prince and Paige Reese have been fabulous examples of intelligent women who enjoy giving back to society and having fun during their academic years. This sort of article dismisses how Greek life at BU is different from Greek life everywhere else.

    Great job BU Today. First you colossally ruin International Women’s Day, now you bash groups trying to build community.

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 3:33 pm

    Greeks Ban Together

    While the tone of this article is offensive to most of the Greek community, I would like to commend all of us for banding together and standing up for the organizations we so strongly believe in and for eachother. Joining a fraternity or sorority goes beyond just making friendships; it is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. It is something that each of us commit ourselves to every day to better ourselves, our organization and our community. This might be “irrelevant” to some students on campus, but we are not putting down the clubs or organizations that you choose to be involved in. So yes, hatas gonna hate, but there are not many groups on campus that have such a wide network of support as Greek life and that is something that cannot be argued.

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 4:14 pm

    ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS??

    this whole thread just goes to show the whole greek community has nothing better to do than ‘band together’ and where their letters for a day on campus. seriously. get a life. also… the video/article are not incendiary at all… you guys have your panties in a twist over nothing. no one (besides yourselves) cares about greek life on campus.

  • Cerberus on 04.12.2011 at 4:16 pm

    To whom it may concern: Let

    To whom it may concern:

    Let me tell you how I feel. I do not care if you do not like Greek life. I do not care what your opinion is. I am tired of you people who sit around all day and complain about us from behind your computer. I did not join a Fraternity because I was too much of a little dork to come out of my dorm room freshman year. I joined because I saw an organization that carried similar values. I saw an opportunity to contribute and be a part something that was bigger than myself. I assume many of you do not know what that feels like. Maybe you should all just shut up? Maybe you should all find a hobby? Hey, maybe even you should join us?

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 6:03 pm

    Why all the fuss?

    I don’t see what everybody is talking about. The video and story present arguments on both sides of Greek Life, presenting people who are for it, against it, and luke warm about it. While there are some funny movie clips in the video that show the stereotypical excesses, paired with commentary from students about why they don’t join, there are articulate Greek life and BU students who describe the benefits, such as networking and charity work. The video even includes photos from Greek events, fundraisers for colitis and Crohn’s research, Dance Marathon, and Ivy Man. Too be honest, it makes the Greek organizations at BU look like angels. So why are the Greek organizations so upset?

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2011 at 8:19 pm

    Off Campus

    As a member of an off-campus fraternity, I’m pretty offended by the light in which this article paints my, and similar organizations.

    “Admittedly, not every Greek brother takes that perspective. Some off-campus houses, which are rented by fraternity men but not recognized by the University or national organizations as official Greek homes, have reputations as party spots for underage drinkers.”

    First off, get your facts straight: while both aren’t BU recognized, both Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which are, to my knowledge, the only prominent chapters that BU does not recognize, are recognized by their respective national governances. These chapters operate in the same way that on campus chapters do, the only difference being that we don’t have access to the same resources that BU recognized chapters do; every charity event we run comes from money out of our pockets and our hard work, and are as successful as the events affiliated chapters hold.

    Next time, I’d advise you to practice a little more responsibility and interview someone in one of these houses before you make broad, sweeping generalizations like the ones above, because it makes you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Anonymous on 04.14.2011 at 4:07 pm

    After hearing so much about this article, and as a member of BU Greek life, I decided to read it. Honestly, BU today is not something I read unless the tagline I get every morning on my blackberry catches my interest.
    After looking at the video and reading this article, I still struggle to see what is so insulting about it. Yes, Greek life is not a majority but 10% of such a populated school is huge!
    And yes, Greek life is growing. It’s pretty straightforward, the more people are interested in Greek life, the more the chapters grow and the more BU becomes an attractive location for other Fraternities to “colonize”. Obviously, Greeks meet difficulty because they often feel undermined when their significance on campus is underplayed.
    I don’t think Greeks need to defend how much they do on campus. Anyone who actually researches Fraternities or Sororities or goes to the GSU on any given day, knows that philanthropy is vital to Greek life.
    The parties and underage drinking are fluff in this article. Greek life has a social aspect which undeniably leads to social events. And that is something we celebrate. Why shouldn’t we be able to party and have a good time? It is NOT what our organizations are about, but honestly, I think it’s a bonus.
    The only problem with the article is the tagline under the video, there are not enough people interviewed to make an accurate estimate of what “BU students think about Greek life”. And two random people walking by Marsh does not really constitute the opinion of the entire student body, not even close to 10%.

  • Anonymous on 04.14.2011 at 5:54 pm

    10% of BU is huge!

  • Anonymous on 04.14.2011 at 10:27 pm

    What people think and the stereotypes attached to it should not stop students from engaging in Greek life. Instead of these general assumptions that students have about Greek life,why don’t you take the time to meet these organizations and these brothers or sisters. If you don’t click with them or what they believe in that’s fine. Greek life is not for everybody. It’s so sad to hear from people that Greek life is irrelevant and is for people that can’t make friends. Yes you’re right there are SOME people that do it for shallow reasons, and at the end of the day they flake off because they did it for those trivial reasons. But I know you definitely know the good and the strong ties that Greek can bring to people. To hear you throw Greek offs under the bus like that was very sad to hear. If you want to talk about irrelevant, once you graduate what ties do you have with those student groups afterwards, how do these student groups benefit or make an impact after ur graduation day? Some people want a connection more than just there 4 years here. Again sad to hear you you throw Greeks in the ditch like that

  • Anonymous on 04.14.2011 at 11:22 pm

    Its not for everyone-Blanket Statements not cool

    When is the popularity of somthing ever a good measure of quality ? This says something, especially for men that have taken the time to join fraternities. Despite the low numbers, and the always present stereotypes, we seperate ourselves from the crowd and try to make an impact that is greater than our own self interest.

    Greek life is not for everyone. Why can’t students let other students decide what interests them and let them succeed in those endeavours such as the Greek system. What did greek life do to you that people sound so disenfranchised? When it comes to club soccer, rugby, Model U.N , we don’t hear such negativity. Yes, are there greek organizations, and Individuals who shame these organizations? Yes, just like we have loved ones, that shame our family, or members of organizations such as church, city council, and the elks club. But those members dont reflect the whole organization.

    To make blanket statements about greek organizations is wrong. Why dont you take the time to meet these chapters and individuals. If you don’t click with them or believe in their organizational ideals then thats ok, move on and let them be.

    Its sad to hear that you feel greek life is irrevalent and talk so hallow and negative, it personally hurts me to hear those words , as I’m sure others are as well. Of all people you know the true ties and positive impact that greeks have in the community. Funny how you say irrelevant. After graduation from BU , what under grad orgs will you keep in contact, go to their reunion, their weddings, come back to BU for events as an Alum? Lets be honest now when we speak of irrelevance.

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