In the last issue of The Leader, an editorial was published addressing many aspects of Greek Life, primarily sorority women, by a non-Greek affiliated student.
As a Greek community, we came together and found ourselves frustrated by what we read.
This frustration was not due to the anti-Greek sentiments, but rather as a general feeling that those not a part of the Greek community might have a misunderstanding of what we do, who we are, and the values we stand upon.
This misunderstanding is twofold: first, due to society’s misinformation regarding the true benefit of fraternities and sororities.
Second, it is due to a fault on our part as an EC Greek community, as well; we realize we need to do more to educate the greater EC community on the good we do, the reasons behind our pride in our letters, and the importance of our ritual to our day to day lives.
Please let this letter serve as a response from the Greek community to say that we hear your concerns and we want to do better to make good on those concerns.
Also, we hope to better promote an understanding of the motivations behind our organizations, and why we are so strong in our pro-Greek identity.
A comparison of Elmhurst’s Greek community to a larger, residential campus such as ISU will of course find ours missing many components.
The differences between those two communities are too vast to name, but also create a unique campus identity for the Greeks here at EC that we are very proud of.
Greek chapters at Elmhurst have no official campus housing, therefore the Frick center has become the gathering place for many social, philanthropic, and other activities. To many, it serves as a home away from home for students that are looking to devote more of their time on campus.
Each Greek organization has its own rituals, meanings, and values, but there seem to be a few ideals that at the core of each organization: philanthropy and service, social involvement, alumni connections, brotherhood and sisterhood bonds, and academic excellence.
Over the past year, our chapters have performed 3,780 hours of community service (an average of 10 hours per member a year), and raised $13,930 for charitable organizations.
Though we may advertise for our philanthropy events with our organization names on posters to get folks excited to attend, the “why” behind what we do is so much more to us- it is core to our purpose.
In chapter meetings, chapters host educational workshops addressing identity and diversity, Title IX, academic skills, alcohol & substance abuse prevention, and many more.
We are a well-informed group working to combat stereotypes of our own groups as well as the community around us.
We put in many hours of hard work to educate the individuals in our chapters to be better people in the eyes of themselves, the college, and the world around them.
Our overall purpose of writing today is not to provide a direct rebuttal, but to inform the community that we are proud of what we do and who we are.
We are proud of our letters, and of the community that we’ve built on this campus. We are not inherently exclusive, as the stereotypes may seem, and we hope to directly combat that idea.
Thus, we invite you to learn more, to attend our philanthropy events and see what we stand for, all while having fun with us and serving the community.
We want to work hand in hand with every EC student, letters or not, to make a positive impact on our campus.
We don’t expect everyone to join a chapter, or even buy into the tenets of Greek life; we just hope you’ll give us another look, and seek to understand.