Greek life has had a negative attitude surrounding it for decades. Over the last year or so, Greek organizations on campus claim they have been working to better their reputation and eliminate stigmas related to fraternities and sororities.
One innovation they have made is prioritizing academics and philanthropy and trying to engage in more missions on campus to better the community. Some groups have taken a hard stance on supporting these ideals by enforcing that each member must participate in a minimum of 10 hours of community service. The organizations have also raised the required grade point average (GPA) to 2.5 to join a fraternity or sorority on campus.
Along with raising the GPA requirement, Greek life has created Greeks Getting Good Grades, a tutoring program aimed to help students improve their grades in order to stay in their organization.
Greek life on campus has drastically changed in the past couple of years from being unorganized and less-involved to more community-oriented.
“On behalf of Kappa Chi, we have been trying to focus on putting good out into the community, and we’ve been doing a ton of philanthropy, trying to do events that the entire SNHU community would like, and we’ve also been working on our inner workings and trying to better those as best we can,” said Meredith O’Donnell, president of Inter-Greek Council, Kappa Chi and Order of Omega.
O’Donnell described an event Kappa Chi holds in February every year called Trash Your Insecurities. At this event, the sisters gather to fight against eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
“The point of it is to influence more positive self-esteem,” said O’Donnell. The event has been rescheduled this year due to the weather and will now be held after Spring Break.
Kappa Chi isn’t the only Greek organization trying to change the way they operate on campus, however.
In 2009, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity president was caught embezzling funds. Following, it was found that the organization was also having difficulty monitoring which pledges had paid their fees. This led to a debt as high as $17,000. Since then, the organization has worked to eliminate the debt and has reduced it to approximately $6,000.
Phi Delta Theta is working to improve their image on campus and show the SNHU community what their principles are.
“People think of sororities and fraternities as party kind of people, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re trying to change our vision,” said Ricky Pulisciano, treasurer and co-recruitment chair for Phi Delta Theta.
Phi Delta Theta President Marc Nolin added, “One of the things that we quote all the time is that we use the full word fraternity instead of frat because a frat is a group of boys and a fraternity is a group of men.”
The members of the Greek organizations acknowledge the positive effects that being in a fraternity or sorority has had on their lives.
President Myla Barron of the Phi Omega Psi sorority said, “By being in this position, my leadership skills have definitely grown compared to when I rushed in the fall of 2015. Also, by participating in community service projects, you grow as a person and become more humble.”
Overall, the members of Greek life on campus hope to eradicate the stigmas surrounding their organizations and to express their pride in themselves and one another.
“My favorite moment… definitely has to be when I received my letters,” said Barron. “Nothing is more rewarding than joining an organization filled with sisters always there to support you whenever needed.”