SAE gives Greek life a bad rep, Non-Greek student says racism applies to everyone

SAE house at University of Oklahoma.

From the perspective of a student who is non-Greek, I wanted to speak on the controversy regarding Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Undoubtedly, it has stirred up much controversy in the Greek community, the non-Greek community and the racial community.

I have seen the good, bad and the ugly of Greek life on my campus.

On the negative side, Greek organizations endure stereotypes such as members love to party, engage in excessive alcohol consumption, have very few friends prior to joining and etc. On the positive side, I have seen Greek organizations on my campus strive to promote unity, service to others, leadership, personal development, scholarship and empowerment through education.

The statement made was a prime example of how Greek organizations pick up stereotypes and stigma from outside sources. What do such statements say about one’s Greek organization?

The statement was a bad reflection upon their pillars in which they strive to uphold. According to the founding fathers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity is built on the values and goals of “Promoting the highest standards of friendship, scholarship and service for our members.”

What good is promoting friendship within the organization if it cannot first start by promoting friendship outside of the organization? Will a person of color be less likely to be befriended and initiated into the fraternity? This is the idea that the fraternity has portrayed after the statement that was made.

Members of fraternities and sororities should be cognizant that the actions of one are a reflection of all and that they are positively representing their organization by upholding the pillars they strive to promote. Negative actions of one Greek member have the power to represent all Greek organizations as a whole, not just  the particular Greek organization they are a member of.