By Rebecca Harrelson, Staff Writer
Published in print Oct. 1, 2014
The known and unknown stigma attached to Greek life at UNCG was brought to the attention of some Greek members on campus; all of the women’s sororities that were contacted chose not to respond or wished to remain anonymous.
Asking for facts and figures from members of Greek life proved difficult. This quote is from a source that wishes to stay anonymous, “The hurdle I am facing is the fact that my sorority and other sororities are in the process of informal recruitment right now and will be for a few more week as far as I know and I would not want to say anything that, while you and I both know what my intent and thought are behind my answers, a potential new member would not fully understand and could possibly take the wrong way. I would feel terrible if I was the reason someone chose not to look at Greek life because I am truly so thankful for the blessing it has been in my life.”
The Webster definition for the word ‘fact’ is as follows: a piece of information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article. From another anonymous source, “If you are asking these girls for facts and figures and their thoughts on their sorority which they put so much time, energy and money into then why would they not want to give you those facts? No one can turn around and blame them if it is the truth…that raise’s a lot of suspicion in my eyes.”
Speaking on the topic of diversity, both males and females agreed that their Greek organizations were diverse. “Yes, especially since I’ve seen it evolve from when I starts 4 years ago to now” said Mike Elam a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Elam also spoke about different aspects of his fraternity, “Greek life here is so small compared to our surrounding universities, so when one dumb guy messes up then the entire campus hears about it they categorize the entire fraternity, which shouldn’t happen. I also think now with the social media generations parties, rumors and news spread so much more quickly, regardless of if its truth. ”
When asked about if Elam thought their philanthropy (which is raising money for Youth Aid foundations) was highlighted enough he responded, “No, not really, I mean there are only two big fundraisers we have. For all Greek life to reach Minerva status at UNCG you have to have a certain stipulations to be any sort of recognized Greek organization on campus.”
The conclusion reached for finances that go into these Greek organizations shows that the fees and dues that are requested every semester by each participant go to parties, semi-formals, formals, events the Greek organization puts on, food if they need to supply food for the events, as well as the sum that goes to their national dues. If they pay that means they are a legitimate Greek Organization by national recognition. Mike Elam broke down some of the figures; around 450 dollars is what it costs for Sig Ep and that is including dues. New members have to pay an extra charge of 50 dollars which goes to Nationals.
Portions of the money go to different cabinets; once they pay their dues and taxes whatever they have left over is what they use for parties and events. “Every little bit is used; it’s not as if there is money just floating around within Greek organizations,” say Elam.
A young woman from a sorority at UNCG spoke out about the stigma attached and how to go about changing that stigma. She said, “I think it would be great for Greek life to have events throughout the year that are targeted towards Greeks and non-Greeks. For many non-Greeks they think all we want to do is hangout with people who are Greek, however, that’s not the case. I truly think Greek life here is willing to welcome new people that are interested in learning about the activities that we participate in regardless if they wish to join or not. When you are passionate about something you love sharing your passion with others.”