Recently, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma made national headlines for a racist chant that launched a large-scale investigation. Though systematic racial issues surrounding Greek organizations are important to talk about, the conversation needs to be shifted.
Simply put, there is no diversity within Greek organizations. It’s a way for students to self-segregate, which has positive, but mostly negative effects. It can be a good experience for students to bond with students with similar backgrounds, but they won’t grow individually if they are mostly limited to these interactions.
Integration is key, but it also is hard to implement. For instance, predominantly white sororities or fraternities may have one or two minority members, a result of so few minority students rushing. The same is true of minority sororities and fraternities.
The media love to bash Greek organizations by only reporting their flaws. They can be a positive experience, but just as integration within our nation was the big step for social justice, Greek organizations should strive for diversity.
There is no easy way to do this, but I think implementing more diversity is the first step in the road of reform for Greek organizations.