I was disappointed with an op-ed in the Feb. 14 edition of The Hatchet (“Greek policies split groups”). The op-ed was misleading and poorly researched. There is no “white Greek community.” The members of Interfraternity Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities come from diverse backgrounds. And for the record, the presidents of all of the fraternities and sororities in the National Panhellenic Association, IFC and NPHC do meet together with Greek adviser Sharice Welch once a month to discuss issues impacting us all.
In addition, members from all of these chapters attend the annual Greek Leadership Retreat. I was privileged enough to attend this event last August as my fraternity’s representative to the IFC. It was a great opportunity to learn about the differences and similarities in our organizations.
It is true that all Greek-letter groups do not interact as much as we could, but this stems from differences in the focus of our organizations, not the color of our skin. IFC and NPA chapters combine social activities, academics, athletics and community service with tradition and secrecy.
NPHC chapters focus their energy on mostly service to the community, while incorporating their individual traditions and histories. These differences make joint activities, aside from community service, difficult to organize. I am pleased to learn Delta Gamma continually invites Alpha Phi Alpha to participate in Anchorbowl, and I hope they decide to accept the invitation this year. A difference in focus is the same reason that honors and professional fraternities, which use Greek letters, do not affiliate with the rest of the Greek community.
In response to the opinions expressed in the Feb. 19 Hatchet, I am offended. To suggest that we would take any pledge as an “act of tokenism” is insulting. We accept each individual on their own merit, regardless of their race, creed or color. Sigma Nu does not discriminate using these characteristics when choosing members.
It is true we once flew the Confederate flag on our house, next to and lower than the American flag. It was for a rush event and represented the historical fact that our founders were Civil War veterans, whose families had not owned slaves before the war. This was before I came to GW, but I am told that members of the NAACP protested initially. After being invited inside and discussing the situation and the historical facts, they apologized for causing a disturbance and departed.
While many people disagree with the comments printed in Tuesday’s article, the controversy over them has helped to bring to light the problems the Greek-letter community must strive to overcome.
president, Sigma Nu