The topic of university life has become a staple of everyday conversations in America, and many of these discussions express concerns over issues such as student debt, campus safety, and the prevalence of sexual assault. Despite these aspects of university life, none have arguably encountered as much negativity as the existence of Greek life on campuses in both national headlines and colloquial dialogue.
Though fraternities and sororities have been present for decades, they have recently gained infamy on campuses across the country for a variety of incidents (i.e. the Rolling Stone debacle at the University of Virginia). To many members of Greek life, it can feel like battle lines have been drawn to pit fraternity and sorority members against the rest of the country. Regardless of one’s personal views towards Greek life, it is impossible to deny that these organizations continue to perform beneficial acts everyday at universities everywhere. In the hopes of reaffirming public faith in these organizations, below are ten positive contributions from Greek Life in 2015:
1) Mizzou AEPi set the record for largest donation from an individual fraternity.
The Mizzou chapter of AEPi raised $132,000 for the American Cancer Society through their Rock-a-Thon philanthropy event. This donation broke the previous record for the largest donation from a single fraternity or sorority of $123,000, which also has been held by the same AEPi chapter at Mizzou since 2013.
2) UNC’s IFC and Panhellenic Council are developing a system of free Uber rides to minimize drunk driving accidents.
In the aftermath of an accident in July 2015 where a UNC student driving under the influence killed three people and injured a fourth, many student organizations on campus began coming up with solutions to minimize future accidents. Executive members within UNC’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council have begun an initiative to partner with Uber to provide free rides to students every Thursday-Saturday between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am. The project is still being developed but will hopefully be open to access by the entire student body in coming months.
3) University of Arkansas’s Tri-Delt donated winnings from the SEC Nation Gameday Sign Contest to St. Jude’s.
Arkansas’s Delta Delta Delta sorority won $1,000 from the SEC Nation Gameday Sign contest and donated everything to their national charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
4) Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Arizona raised over $13,000 during their fifth annual Firefighter’s challenge.
The donations went to the Tuscan Fire Department’s Embers of Hope Fund to support firefighters and members of the local community during crises.
5) Delta Zeta at Kent State raised $77,000 from their annual Lip Sync event.
The sorority sold over 900 tickets to their event and recruited the participation of six sororities and 16 fraternities. Donations from the event went to organizations to support the speech and hearing impaired, such as the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Gallaudet University, and The Painted Turtle Cam.
6) Iota Phi Theta at Kean University donated a house to a family living at the Sierra House Homeless Shelter in New Jersey.
On February 14, the city of Newark ran a promotion to sell reduced plots of land for five-year periods. The Beta Xi chapter of Iota Theta Phi bought one of the $1,000 plots and started a GoFundMe to raise funds for the house.
7) Maryland’s Alpha Sigma Phi became the first fraternity to have members trained in taking a stance against human trafficking through the Safe Haven Campaign.
Four of the fraternity’s members completed four-hour training programs through the organization. The house was officially named a “Safe Haven” by the organization.
8) Pi Kappa Alpha partnered with Labs for Liberty to put on a 5K in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Labs for Liberty is an organization that provides support for veterans suffering from PTSD. The fraternity raised over $5,000 for the organization to fund the training of 25 dogs that will be assigned to help veterans.
9) Kappa Kappa Gamma at Mizzou began their “Breaking Barriers” project to dispel stereotypes that women and sorority women face.
The project allowed sorority members to post pictures like the one above that help reinforce the uniqueness and strength of women and sorority women.
10) Alpha Tau Omega at Bowling Green University went “homeless” to support the St. Thomas More Food Pantry.
As part of their annual philanthropy event, ATO members spend a week in boxes at the union to raise awareness and collect money for a local food pantry.