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What’s causing the lack of diversity in SDSU Greek life?

by Kemi Giwa, Contributor

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San Diego State Greek life organizations are a part of campus life and everyone should feel welcomed, no matter what their background is.

“I don’t think I would be what the majority of SDSU’s Greek life clubs are looking for,” freshman Yaa Mensah said. “There’s absolutely no one I can physically identify with in many of them, very little diversity. What does that say to me as a black girl who is already underrepresented on campus? I’m not going to feel comfortable.”

This seems to be the white elephant in the room for many students on campus.

Why aren’t there more minorities involved with Greek life? Are fraternities and sororities not pushing for diversity? Or are minorities simply not rushing?

Because joining Greek life is optional, it is common to brush off the lack of minority students as merely self-segregation.

But when one takes an in-depth look at fraternity and sorority numbers, the lack of minorities is striking.

“At first I was a little skeptical about joining a sorority, especially being originally from a racially segregated area, but I love my sorority,” said Hunter Midgett, freshman and member of Alpha Chi Omega at SDSU. “I feel like me being one of the very few black members can hopefully spur the diversity that is much needed and allow me to educate my sorority about issues that plague the black community.”

Others, however, hold very different views.

“When I first got to SDSU I thought about joining a fraternity,” freshman Jean Trevion said. “Then I looked at the fraternities and just did not think I would fit in. There is just a different culture. I act and speak differently than them and I do not want to be marginalized because of that.”

Some base their opinions on personal experiences.

“Why would I want to be a part of Greek life?” freshman Najja Wilson said. “Not only did I watch a fraternity invite a group of girls into their house with open arms right after they turned my friends and I away, but I was told that large groups of minorities were not typically welcomed into frat parties because it attracted police quicker. I know not all of Greek is like this, but I would rather not take a chance with organizations like that.”

It is unclear whether the lack of representation in Greek life is a result of fraternities’ and sororities’ failures to seek diversity and inclusion, or whether it is a result of minorities solely not wanting to join.

But the two are likely connected.

Now, ethnic groups are not formally discouraged to rush.  Why are the numbers of minority memberships still so low then?

What must happen to increase diversity in Greek life?

For starters, sororities and fraternities need to make a stronger, more blatant effort to promote and celebrate diversity among the Greek life clubs.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “What’s causing the lack of diversity in SDSU Greek life?”

  1. Chase on December 9th, 2015 2:29 pm

    I’m tired of this politically correct bullshit on every campus. Not only do schools have quotas for accepting minorities, but sororities and fraternities are encouraged to give bids to minorities as well. There are also fraternities and sororities on campus who are cultural and only accept minorities while rejecting White people. Double standard is a horrible and extremely hypocritical thing. Stop blaming the system if you aren’t offered entrance into an organization. Maybe you don’t fit the bill simply because of your personality. Liberals make me sick.

  2. Madison on December 9th, 2015 5:00 pm

    Please check your back pocket for your privilege and think about your response one more time.

  3. Roberto on December 10th, 2015 10:45 am

    If you’re going to write about “Greek life” actually do a FULL look into Greek life at sdsu and know what you’re talking about. There was blatant disregard for 2 councils within Greek life that are being ignored here. There are 2 culturally based councils of Greek life that strive on diversity. Don’t generalize Greek life when you really don’t know about it.

  4. Christopher on December 11th, 2015 5:33 pm

    To be honest, this article sounds like a joke. Going off the previous comments, if you’re going to write about “Greek Life” do some research on the Greek Life on campus. There is more to Greek Life than the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and College Panhellenic Association (CPA). A quick search would reveal to you the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) for historically African-American fraternities and sororities, as well as the United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC) for CULTURALLY-based Fraternities and Sororities. And let’s not forget the former Professional and Service Student Council who’s numbers aren’t reported. I understand this is an opinion article but an opinion has to have a basis of fact in order to even sound persuasive, this article just sounds condescending about a system you do not understand. The quotes in this article sound moreso preconceived notions of greek life, in fact, they can very well be self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, a student doesn’t feel that they fit in? Then maybe they very well psyching themselves out from looking like someone who is interested in Greek Life because they carry the notion that they don’t fit in or aren’t wanted. In fact, if you want something changed about the system, then do something about it.

    Sincerely,

    A Minority in Greek Life

  5. Leonna on December 14th, 2015 10:46 pm

    I think you people miss the point of the article. CLEARLY AND VERY obviously, the author is discussing the MOST prominent Greek life on campus. Yes there are minority ones, but those aren’t the most popular ones. The most popular ones are the predominantly white ones, you can’t deny that. So why are the most popular ones so lacking in diversity is the implication?

    Sincerely,

    A minority in a sorority.

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