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

by Kemi Giwa, Contributor

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.