Greek life ban not the solution
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 14:02
It was decided by UCF officials Wednesday that a suspension of all Greek life activity would be an appropriate response to sorority and fraternity ethics following the suspension of Sigma Chi. This decision sparked outrage, divided the UCF community and leaves the future uncertain for both current and prospective members of the Greek community.
While it is easy to see why this decision was made, it was rash nonetheless. Supposedly in response to the indiscretion of Sigma Chi — a single fraternity — thousands of students involved in Greek organizations are being punished, and it doesn’t send an adequate message.
Hazing on college campuses is not a new phenomenon, although it has recently gained more attention following the death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion after a hazing incident. The action of hazing may be a prevalent issue as of late, and there isn’t conclusive evidence supporting either side necessarily. However, halting the social system of Greek involvement for the entire university is a little drastic.
This is a bandage. A blanket punishment the administration hopes will send an adequate message. But the message is far from adequate, and it sets a very poor example for current and future students. UCF has a very black and white mentality when it comes to Greek life. That’s what the message says. After the suspension of one fraternity, the entire Greek community is punished. How is that remotely fair? Regardless if the issue is hazing, ethics violations or simply underage drinking, these intense measures do nothing for the university’s credibility and character.
As a student who pursues brotherhood or sisterhood in a Greek organization, do you think UCF will be the place to go after this punishment? The decision has made headlines, and it’s not all under wraps. People know about it. For a university so concentrated on being the biggest and the best, segmenting a whole community for the mistake of one seems more irresponsible than anything else.
Not only does this decision halt students from coming in, but it halts money as well. Greek alumni and parents pay a large amount of money to the university. As a result of the not-so-Greek, unfriendly decision, it’s almost a guarantee the money won’t be pouring in quite as heavily.
Yes, hazing is an issue. Yes, underage drinking is an issue. And yes, it’s also understandable the university does not want to become another FAMU, with an obituary published in local newspapers about a deceased UCF student. But segmenting off the majority just because a minuscule part of the minority screwed up is hasty, foolish and irresponsible. Greek life isn’t only about parties, getting the drunkest or sleeping with the most. Greek life is about brotherhood. It’s about sisterhood. It’s about family that can transcend age, demographics and locale. With Greek organizations prevalent globally, what message does UCF send out to other institutions about this?
While many of the social activities for UCF Greeks aren’t an option right now, that doesn’t take away from the important fact these sororities and fraternities are still family. They can still go out and party and have fun together. They can still live in their houses and continue with philanthropies. Even though students can still be in Greek organizations, cutting off many of the quintessential activities — such as social or sweetheart competitions — is not fair, especially considering the monetary stake these organizations have in all these events.
Greek life as a whole for UCF is crippled. Brothers and sisters are outraged, some rightly so. Many Greeks are ethical, well-intentioned individuals. But to segment them, subject them to unfair sanctions and send a negative message does nothing for UCF. By ultimately choosing this alternative, UCF administration doesn’t seem stronger, more efficient or more concerned for students. Quite the opposite, however. The administration couldn’t have picked a worse decision to make.