Strength in Numbers: Bros Before Financial Woes

The largest problems with Greek Life stem from the administration’s simultane­ous refusal to accept the nature of Greek life and their demand to improve it. These or­ganizations exist as academic, philanthropic and primarily social organizations. As such, each organization reserves the right to au­tonomy and self-selection to preserve their founding principles.

The methods with which each organiza­tion uses these rights are subject to school standards, as they do exist within the Col­gate community, but lack of respect for these methods diminishes the organizations’ char­acter and effectiveness in accomplishing their respective goals.

As it stands, many view Greek Life as an institution of exclusion, which in part caused the enforcement of rush acceptance. This is a valid point, as six fraternities and three so­rorities cannot be expected to accept such a high number of new members.

Additionally, the Colgate Campus Life Survey, according to Maroon-News articles from last October, found that social, racial and financial differences correlate to student satisfaction. In order to improve student sat­isfaction, the school must do two things: 1) allow the Greek System to expand, and 2) show more willingness to assist low-income students in meeting financial requirements of the system.

I have heard that the administration claims that Greek Life must strengthen be­fore it can expand. Ironically, the best way to strengthen it is to expand. A rift exists between Greeks and non-Greeks. Because of the comparatively high number of fraterni­ties, they should not expect expansion any time soon. However, the small number of sororities, bloated membership and social reputations associated with each (deserved or not), means that bringing more sororities to campus should bring more women into the system and thereby decrease social exclusion inside and outside the classroom.

The majority of Greeks identify as white and wealthy. The school has made strong efforts in recent years to increase diversity and minimize racial division among the students. Expansion of the Greek system would allow for more students to join, and probably by default, create a more diverse Greek population.

Additionally, assistance with the finan­cial obligations to Greek Life would greatly enhance the ability of many students to par­take in the system. If the school spent more money offering financial assistance to those needing it for Greek Life, the system would become a more positive, unifying institution on campus.