The Sigma Nu fraternity chapter at Old Dominion University in Virginia has been suspended following controversial banners that were hung at an off-campus house on freshman move-in day, according to NBC.
The banners have been taken down, but photos of them have circulated on social media and are causing a controversy regarding Greek Life as a whole. The men living at the off-campus house, who are believed to be members of Sigma Nu, hung three white banners outside the house, reading “Rowdy and fun, hope your baby girl is ready for a good time,” “Freshman Daughter Drop Off” and “Go ahead and drop off Mom too.”
Many people are viewing these banners as a promotion of rape culture on college campuses. However, none of these banners mentioned anything about rape or sex. There is no doubt that the banners were a poor decision, but we cannot stereotype all of Greek Life based on the actions of one chapter of one fraternity.
There are nine million college students that are members of a fraternity or sorority, according to USA Today. So how can we say that all of Greek Life is a bad thing just because a few fraternities and sororities have recently made headlines because of poor decisions?
While people are hearing about the negative news stories on Greek Life regarding hazing, rape and even a lack of diversity, the media is failing to show stories of the many positive things that Greek Life contributes to.
Being in a fraternity or sorority is not about binge drinking or partying. It is not about hazing — in fact, Greek organizations rarely haze members these days. However, people still believe they do because every organization that hazes makes news headlines.
People are failing to realize that being in a fraternity or sorority really means being a part of something bigger than yourself. Many people say that from the outside looking in you can never understand it, and from the inside looking out you can never explain it. While this is true, I have gained so many benefits from being in a sorority that I will do my best to explain.
Fraternity and sorority life gives you so many leadership opportunities. There are a number of leadership positions in each chapter, which is something that looks great on a resume and will also give you the chance to guide your chapter to be the best that it can be.
In addition to leadership positions within the fraternity or sorority, many Greek organizations also give their members opportunities to travel to different leadership conferences and conventions with members of the organization from all across the country. These are a great way to network with people, travel and to learn how to be a better leader.
Being a member of a Greek organization gives you an amazing brotherhood or sisterhood. It is not about paying for your friends — dues are something that many college organizations require, not just Greek ones. The sisterhood or brotherhood that you gain is simply an added benefit to joining the organization, and it truly does give you friends for the rest of your life.
The media may portray Greek organizations in a negative light. Before stereotyping all of Greek Life as a negative thing just because of something that one chapter did, think about the millions of fraternity and sorority members that are out there doing great things and bettering themselves.
Next time you see a member of a Greek organization, ask them about the things they are doing for their school and their community. You will be surprised at how much we do that the media will never write stories on.