Greek organizations, like any institution, are as good as the individuals who constitute them. Some of my best friends have come from Greek life. I’ve also seen people change drastically throughout the years — some for the best, others otherwise — as a result of their experiences in fraternities and sororities.
I don’t disagree that Greek organizations often amplify harmful behavior on college campuses; they can act as echo chambers for negative qualities that would otherwise remain under the radar. But I’m not so sure that getting rid of them would solve those problems either. Issues associated with frats and sororities run deeper than letters on a jacket — they have a lot to do with basic values, such as genuine respect and consideration for others. If Penn really wants to improve campus culture, it’ll have to do it from the ground up.
Being a Greek can be fun, but it’s important to stay open-minded and expose ourselves to the many different kinds of people on campus, including those who don’t fit the traditional fraternity/sorority mold. Greeks and other members of exclusive student groups are no better or worse than anyone else on campus — a fact we should make sure to keep in mind.
Jonathan Iwry is a College senior from Bethesda, Md. studying philosophy and intellectual history. His last name is pronounced “eev-ree.” Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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