Greek organizations; an essential role in campus life

Over the past three years, Dillard University has experienced a slight shortage in greek life around campus. However, during the 2004-2005 Pan Hellenic probate show, five greek organizations introduced their new members to the DU community. This is an increase from last year when only three organizations were introduced. With an increase in organizations introducing new members this year, inquiring minds want to know whether greek life is progressing on campus. The 2004-2005 probate show was a very exciting event this year due to more organizations bringing about new members. Edgar Williams, an engineering major, expressed his delight toward the probate. "I really liked the probate show because of the fact that five lines came out this year and it really made Dillard fun," Williams said. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sororitiy, Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sororitiy, Inc. were the organizations that most students were excited to see. These organizations were last seen in a probate two years ago, so some students think that this accomplishment will make greek life prosper. "I feel that greek life is expanding because each line is getting bigger at every probate show each year," said Joseph Godeau, a new member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Other students agree that greek life is improving at Dillard."I feel that greek life is prospering in a way because more people are joining greek organizations and seeing what everything is about. Five lines came out this year compared to the three that came out last year which makes that a great improvement," said an anonymous student. "There are also many rumors spreading about [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.], Inc. and [Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.] coming back. That is going to be great, because in my opinion a lot of people who pledged Delta wanted to pledge AKA. I feel next year will be better because, hopefully, the Kappas and AKAs will be active and people will see that our campus is not all about the Deltas, but other greek organizations," the anonymous student added.The Pan-Hellenic Council, which consists of the nine black greek lettered organizations, is making sure that greek life will progress here at Dillard. Aginique Wroten, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., said that the Pan-Hellenic Council is making progress as a unit. "We are progressing real well and becoming stronger than ever, but we still have a long way to go," Wroten said. Wroten also gave feedback on the assumption students make saying that sororities have to have a large membership intake. "These speculations are not true. We just see that a lot of females are qualified to become members of these prestigious sororities, which is why we have large membership intakes. It’s not because we have to have it, it’s because we want to have it," Wroten said. Gabriel Johnson, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. said, "I feel that we build a bridge for others to show students that greek life is a wonderful thing and with that I do feel greek life will progress."Since greek life is getting bigger at Dillard, students hope to see greek organizations attempt more community service projects on campus. "After the probate bringing out more members, I can see that greek life is growing and I hope that it stays that way and we see more community service projects offered by greek organizations," said Morgan Williams, a junior accounting major. Joshua Lowe, a new member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., said Alpha Phi Alpha will bring about more community service around campus. "We as an organization are going to try and implement more community service projects and get more participation from the students," Lowe said. "The more programs the better. Every week we are going to try to do a community service project to make sure we are making the best effort," Lowe added.Even though greek life this year has become a great commodity, some students feel that greek life is still dull and should not be the main focus on our campus. Meagan Williams, a sophomore international business major, said greek life is not coming back on our campus because it seems that it is just all show. "The only organizations I see doing anything on campus are the Sigmas. Everyone else just wants to do their calls and wear their colors and look nice. I don’t see much community service. When I see these things done I’ll believe that greek life is prospering. They will have to prove it to me," Williams said. Williams added that it is also not good for any university to rely on greek life to make one’s college experience worth while. "I feel that if it takes greek life to make Dillard alive then Dillard is dead in its heart," Williams said. "A school should not depend on its greek life for there to be a party on campus or for people’s mind to be focused. Students’ minds should already be focused. Dillard provides seminars and many other things. If you want to do community service, go to career services. If you want to have fun, go to Bourbon Street. It shouldn’t take greek life to bring this campus alive and if it does that is sad," Williams added. Mauhauganee Shaw, assistant dean of the Office of Student Leadership and Development said, "I don’t feel that greek life is bad on this campus, I feel that the greek organizations are very unified compared to other campuses." Overall the students at Dillard University feel that greek life is prospering. Greek life is known to actually have a huge role in a student’s college life at an HBCU. According to Shayla Perkins, a public health/community health education major, at historically black universities, greek life is a major part of a student’s college experience. "Most students are familiar with greek life and admire greeks. The portrayal of greek life in movies is always exciting and adventurous, which helps appeal students to feel that greek life should be a major contribution," Perkins said.