As social creatures, our drive for inclusion and acceptance is one of the strongest instincts we have.
Recognizing this, Allegheny works hard to foster an atmosphere conducive to students finding this acceptance within our diverse college community.
This diversity of interests plays a large role in how well a college community like Allegheny thrives. Club sports, environmental groups, college radio and others all foster positive atmospheres on campus where students can become involved. But not all groups are equally positive.
In particular, I’d like to focus on Greek life.
There’s no doubt that people can find acceptance within Greek life.
Greek life provides young people with an excellent means of making life-long friends.
Yet the same is true for political groups, music ensembles, the college newspaper and a variety of other groups.
In fact, by bringing together people with similar passions, these groups may have even more potential for friendship than Greek life.
I have a few close friends that joined fraternities for the benefit of an active community of alumni.
Getting involved with Greek life can open up new opportunities for internships and job shadowing through former members.
They also feel that Greek life provides them with a tight-knit support group, as well as social and philanthropic opportunities.
However, Allegheny College provides students with many of these types of opportunities.
The Allegheny alumni network, Gator Locator and the ACCEL office are highly competent resources for networking and extracurricular opportunities.
ACCEL is also the quintessential resource on campus for learning more about community service and service learning.
Getting involved in the world outside Allegheny is as simple as taking a stroll to Reis Hall.
There is no reason to join Greek life when these opportunities are so readily available with the price of tuition.
Greek life offers little that is not already offered by the various, diverse groups at Allegheny.
It divides our community for no real purpose, creating artificial separations between people.
In reality, that’s all that Greek life brings to campus- separation and division.
The lines drawn by Greek life contribute nothing positive to our community.
Additionally, Greek life displays a tolerance for systematic prejudice by sending the message that it is okay to treat people differently based on the groups they associate with.
This kind of distinction manifests itself as a rivalrous enmity between Greek organizations.
In the “real world,” this kind of antagonism can lead to systematic forms of hate such as religious zealotry, extreme nationalism, political extremism and others.
While not overtly bigoted, Greek life provides an atmosphere in which fear and hate between people can develop.
We are letting the precursors of systematic forms of hate to exist in our midst.
I’d like to make it clear that I do not think members of Greek life are bigots or bad people.
Yet, by not questioning the global ramifications of their actions, they only increase divisions in our college community.
The type of diversity Greek life brings to campus is something we can live without.