EDITORIAL: No-frat policy should not prevent Greek-life club
The Editorial Board supports the Student Union's decision to recognize the Inter-Greek Council. Regardless of the status of off-campus fraternities and sororities, these Brandeis students, who followed the appropriate guidelines, should have the right for their organization to be recognized.It is important to note that the students petitioning for the Inter-Greek Council are not looking to become a chartered club, but instead only ask for recognition. A chartered club is allowed to request money from the Union Allocations Board, while a recognized club, although awarded the use of university facilities and Union resources, must provide their own funding. In order to be recognized as a club, students must obtain at least five signatures of prospective club members, and draft a constitution outlining the club's purpose, the titles and roles of officers, and the definition of members.
In the past, the Student Union has refused to recognize any organizations associated with Greek life. This has been done to uphold the principle that exclusionary clubs cannot be permitted on campus. Therefore, Greek organizations will not be recognized on campus. However, recognizing an Inter-Greek Council is not the same as acknowledging these groups at Brandeis. The Council will address the need for communication between proponents of Greek life and the rest of the university community. Fraternity and sorority members and people with an interest in Greek life are also students of Brandeis University, and should be awarded the same opportunities.
According to the petitioners for the Inter-Greek Council, this club will serve to dispel any preconceived notions regarding Greek life. By becoming recognized, the Council will educate the campus about the purposes of Greek organizations. They want to stress that fraternities and sororities are not only about drinking and partying, but are also about learning how to be an individual within a group, social networking and philanthropy.
Currently, a clear divide exists between members of Greek organizations and the rest of the student body. Many students see only the surface characteristics of fraternities and sororities - such as the parties and the Greek letters. Upon gaining recognition, the Inter-Greek Council plans to educate the community about aspects of Greek life that, in their opinion, are often overlooked. If more people were aware of the positive features of these organizations, perhaps they would be more likely to accept them. Either way, the organization should have the right to publicize their views and to express their opinions.
With over 150 clubs on campus, the majority of Brandeis students are given an opportunity to find their niche. With a such a wide array of recognized clubs -- the Juggling Society, the Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club and the Left-Handers Association to name a few -- it is clear that student interests are taken seriously on campus. But the students whose interest happens to be Greek life must seek out information that's not readily available. It is particularly important for incoming first-years that lines of communication be open about Greek life so they too can find their niche upon entry into a new community, if that is the niche they so choose.
The Inter-Greek Council should not be a vehicle for the formal recognition of Greek life at our university, but rather an organization that fosters communication among students and affirms the Union's commitment to student interest groups.