Letter to the Editor: Greek values
As the outgoing President and Vice President of Standards of Panhellenic Council, we were profoundly disturbed by the Editor’s Corner published in last week’s Denisonian. Your accusations exhibited a classic misunderstanding of fraternity and sorority life on Denison’s campus, and we are disappointed that the Denisonian would publish such a piece.Let us first start with your question: “If our brothers and sisters are truly committed to service, why has Denison resorted to a party registration service?” Here you are integrating two very different aspects of Fraternity and Sorority life. Our commitment to service has nothing to do with
the party culture here on campus. By joining Greek organizations, we are not committing to hosting parties for the entire campus. Party Registration is in no way connected to the philanthropic nature of all of our organizations. We take pride in our philanthropic accomplishments. For instance, the president of DCA is affiliated and the Panhellenic sorority Delta Delta Delta has raised over $100,000 for Saint Jude’s in the past five years. Non-affiliated members of our community who are committed to service also host unsafe parties, why are they not falling under the same fire?
This year the Fraternity and Sorority Life (IFC, MGC, NPHC, and PHC) community has collaboratively facilitated change in our practices. We altered the traditional event of “Greek Week” to “Campus Kickoff Week” which included 3 days of service at the Garden of Hope
and brought State Radio to campus, filling the Roost to capacity with Greeks and non-Greeks. Later in the fall semester we brought Marc Elliot to campus, who was voted “College Speaker of the Year”. Marc spoke on self-acceptance, how to “live and let live,” and how to create a culture of tolerance on campus. All of these events were highly publicized and open to the entire campus. Further, Panhellenic has reached beyond the Greek community and has co-hosted multiple events with campus organizations, such as the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week with EDIT and The Center For Women and Gender Action.
You ended your editorial with the charge for Greek men and women to “encourage a socially sustainable party culture, should they choose to do so.” We have already made that choice. Rob Moore, a member of Beta Theta Pi, first heralded party Registration. Of the seven student representatives on the Ad Hoc Committee on Alcohol and Its Effects, four are affiliated (including one of the authors of this letter). Additionally, many of the policies of Party Registration are simply the codified version of Greek practices. Before this policy took effect, Greek organizations already had sober students at every event with alcohol. Of course, the entire Denison community needs to transform our relationship with alcohol, but the Greek track record with the implementation of Party Registration is pretty good thus far. As the past year as shown, we will answer any legitimate charge the University serves us.
We are always seeking to become more transparent in our actions and encourage students who are curious about Fraternity and Sorority Life to ask, rather than assume the negative stereotypes associated with our community to be true. Please know that we recognize the need for improvement and are working everyday to better ourselves: we are committed to standard of excellence that is upheld at a national level. We are proud of our community; please do not try to shame us about our accomplishments and our personal choice to join Greek organizations. We do not level similar accusations at non-affiliated students, why do you feel the need to target us?
All the best,
Callie McKeon and Emily Sferra