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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Real Greek Life hardly imitates chaos of “Animal House”

    Recently, the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was permanently removed from campus due to repeated violations of the university’s Student Code of Conduct. These violations included alleged hazing of fraternity members and illegal alcohol consumption and distribution.

    In the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years, four Interfraternity Council fraternities have lost recognition on the UA campus, and seven are currently under sanctions. With such a sudden decrease in active chapters on campus, greeks at the UA are all asking the same question: What is the deal?

    It can seem as though the only people who do not hate Greek Life are those in a greek organization. But the absurd assumption that all of these organizations are on campus to raise hell and breed reckless behavior is not only false, but offensive.

    While the increasing number of disbanded fraternities may prove the negative reputation to be partly true, it is not all-encompassing.

    “More often than not, the greek GPA is higher than the non-greek average,” said IFC president Layton Cox, “and fraternity and sororities’ contribution to philanthropic causes is astounding. For the 2011-2012 school year [greek organizations contributed] 22,837 hours of community service and raised $253,649 for various charities.”

    In the case of the most recently removed chapter, what seems to be ignored is its overwhelming annual contribution to the chapter’s charity, Push America, which serves individuals living with disabilities. Fraternity members raise money for Push America through the weeklong competition War of Roses, a national philanthropy event for all chapters of Pi Kappa Phi. The Arizona chapter is one of the top-fundraising chapters in the country with a grand total of $18,612.02 raised in 2012.

    Members of Pi Kappa Phi and all other greek organizations on campus can’t help but feel cheated when hard work and charity like War of Roses seems to go unnoticed.

    While it is true that some houses have chosen to put members’ safety at risk, the actual investigations that led to sanctions and suspensions have been kept almost entirely under wraps. With the University of Arizona Police Department and administration giving vague media responses, it is hard for greek men and women to blindly accept the accusations that their fellow greeks have acted in a way negative enough to get their chapter removed from campus.

    For the members of these removed chapters, this change is devastating. The members of Pi Kappa Phi, and many others on campus, have had their home and their brotherhood pulled out from under them.

    However, Arizona greeks should be reassured that the greek community is far from being dismantled.

    “We remain a strong institution, where International headquarters want to expand,” Cox said. “The past year we have already gained two more chapters and will have another one coming on in the fall.”

    Although the greek community has mourned the loss of the four fraternities recently kicked off campus, Cox said, “Greek Life is really too big to feel the effect of a few chapters leaving campus. Newer chapters will readily take old chapters’ places and strengthen our community.”

    For members of fraternities and sororities, it is easy to become frustrated with the university when it seems a chapter is kicked off campus or put on social probation every other week.

    Greek organizations have always felt the critical judgment of the public, and their reputations have been far from flawless. But regardless of what critics say about Greek Life, those who are on the inside know that the good far outweighs the bad. At the core of every sorority and fraternity lie common values and a bond that can never be broken, regardless of sanctions, probations or suspensions.

    —Erin Desoto is a creative writing major. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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