Greek Life has been misunderstood

by Jordan Coll/ Staff Writer

It’s not at all odd to think of fraternities as one of the many highlights experienced throughout college. One could easily suggest that fraternities are “overly hyped” organizations that bring more harm than good to campus life here at FIU.

But what if fraternities aren’t entirely bad as they are publicly claimed to be? What if for a second all these negative notions towards these “cult behaved”, “ill-minded”, or “bought friendships” as many students have suggested fraternities entail be are just an erroneously sought out form of thinking?

Historically, fraternities served as secret groups who gathered together to discuss and debate topics not thought to be permissible within the school setting itself.

Nowadays fraternities  seen more as a social club fitted into the active life of students, than just a group in incognito mode talking about the day to day campus life.

Organizations here on campus strive on “creating a safe and educational environment for our social fraternities and sororities to thrive, grow and develop their members as campus leaders”, according to their mission statement found on ‘Fraternity and Sorority life” affairs site.

For the most part the vision of “Greek Life” is intended to create “fraternal community that lives the ritual every day and supports the educational mission and values of Florida International University.”

This statement may sound nice but to what extent do these fraternal groups commit to actually delivering on their embroidered declaration?

Not too long ago I remember reading up on how four IFC fraternities were suspended on the basis of violating several student conduct codes on campus. Or the other other headline on how the “University reinstated 10 additional Greek chapters” after undergoing months of investigation these groups are now eligible to continue roaming around campus.

With all these accusations fired at fraternities it seems to do more harm than what they are accredited for in living the “Greek Life.”

“Hazing allegations, binge drinking, sexual assaults are unacceptable but the idea of being a national entity is considerably attractive to news mediums to present only the negative side of fraternities” mentions Nelson Barahona, president of the Inter-fraternity Council.

In speaking with Nelson I was able to grasp a little more of what the concept of “Greek life” really meant personally to him and reconsidered the heart of Beta Theta Pi, his particular fraternal group.

“People from the outside try to always catch what is happening in the inside without having the proper conservation”, he stated “you don’t know what it means to sit down in a room with my brothers or for a moment sit down with them and just be vulnerable.”

Just hearing his sense of conviction with how he truly felt with his brothers revealed an aspect I hadn’t admired before prior to speaking with Nelson.

Yes, from what we’ve seen from past semesters fraternities and sororities have violated several standards of the student code at FIU, but isn’t there always an opportunity to change for the better?

And I strongly believe this is what Nelson is gradually accomplishing “shifting the negative fraternal culture to a positive one” as he put it.

It’s easy for people especially students to overly criticize something seen from an exterior platform but take a moment to consider the interior as well. With Beta Theta Pi they are making more of an effort to really value what the interior looks like rather than what can easily be said as a projected facade from the outside.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

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