Greek Life is certainly a central feature to the OU experience. One can hardly miss the pretense of on-campus events, parties, and of course large, mansion-style houses. However, there are many who find these institution problematic in a number of ways. For some, the cost of joining a Greek organization is prohibitive. For members of multi-cultural or otherwise non-traditional Greek organizations, pressing concerns include an imbalance of resource allocation and recognition from the university.
There are many unfortunate consequences of Greek organizations on campus, including the wide-spread perpetuation of rape-culture and sexual assault, and racist behaviors. Most famously, the SAE scandal. However, many folks believe that these institutions still belong on our campus, despite their flaws. One anonymous submitter believes that her experiences in a sorority prepared her for a successful future; “A pro associated with Greek Life would be that they give back a lot to the community through community service and it is a great way to meet people.”
Multi-cultural sororities and fraternities, however, are not given the same incentives as in-house, traditional Greek organization are given for participation in community service events, which may change the way we understand Greek philanthropy as a whole.
While these institutions have proven their duration and timeless appeal in collegiate spaces, we offer a critique of Greek Life and encourage thoughtful engagement from the OU community. One of the central goals of this issue has been to provide a platform for marginalized voices in Greek Life; while we recognize the many meritorious activities and provisions of some Greek organizations, we think that it is ultimately more timely and relevant to discuss the ways in which these groups can better their practices. We also want to provide a space for multi-cultural or otherwise non-traditional Greek organizations to discuss their unique position on our campus.
We would like to add that this collection of experiences and thoughts are far from comprehensive; there was more that we wish was reflected in this issue, including the at-times overlooked problematic nature of white sorority members, hazing experiences, and more. However, we feel that the strict social atmosphere of Greek organizations limited our sample for this issue; many of the folks we reached out to expressed fear of retaliation.