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The Antelope

The Antelope

Stereotypes reflect community opinion

Greek Life looks to refocus attention on positive aspects

Cody Moslander Antelope Staff
Cody Moslander
Antelope Staff

What is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of a fraternity? What about a sorority? Often times the public bases opinion on negative experiences.

While members may talk of lifelong friendships, nonmembers may talk of their experiences with specific people or events. Often people don’t have any first- hand experience and form opinions based off of media portrayal as both entertainment and news.

It is no stretch to say that Greek Life around the country has had its share of recent bad press, despite efforts inside the Greek community to highlight the positive things that go on in those houses.

It would seem that stories of philanthropy and community service are not as exciting as scandal. Past and continual to be changes to the Greek system do not erase negative images. This is unfortunate. Greek Life is a part of the university system and puts that university under the scrutiny of the public eye.

Public perception is a powerful force. Ask any of the fraternity or sororities, all the way from the houses themselves, to the Greek university staff, all the way up to Chapters’ national headquarters.

The movement towards changing public image is a big one. The attempts to educate members on things such as responsible drinking, sexual assault and anti-hazing have been extensive.

And yet, some still choose the wrong decision, unfortunately. These things are not specific to schools outside of the community. They do indeed touch UNK as well.

To list these things would be arbitrary. One bad story could be met with another of someone doing great things. But they are still there.

Let it not be said that UNK Greeks have sat on their hands. They have been active in the prevention of bad occurrences, both on the university and Greek level.

Recently, the university has sponsored a bystander intervention event. At this event, Greek members were schooled on how to act when they see a suspect situation as well as how to avoid one themselves.

An all-Greek organization, Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol (GAMMA), was there helping at the event. This organization was not present when I first began attending UNK.

The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council have themselves cracked down on incidents placing the Greek system on probation.

Full disclosure, I am a member of the Greek System. One person’s particular opinions only go so far, but I would caution the public to be so quick to judge. Assumptions and accusations are easy to make, but without a sure footing, could collapse very easily.

And to those in the Greek system and those soon to join, recognize the position you are in and the opportunity you have. You have the power to reinforce stereotypes; to add to the list of scandal. You also have the opportunity to show a different side and be an example.

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