The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Letter to the Editor: Greek life is misrepresented, underappreciated at ULM

Last week, the Hawkeye published an opinion piece on Greek life and how it shouldn’t be idolized by students. Not only is the subject matter within the article wrong, but it also completely misrepresents the state of Greek life on the ULM campus.

You don’t have to look very far to run into the first problem. The article states that Greek life is a “staple of college campuses.” Even in the headline, it read that it shouldn’t be “idolized by students.” While this might be applicable for LSU or Alabama, it is not for ULM.

To call Greek life a staple at ULM is like saying ULM is a big campus. According to the reports made by ULM Greek Life itself, only 11.7 percent of all ULM students are in Greek life. This means that students at ULM don’t really have an interest in Greek life in the first place.

For reference, Alabama has around 36 percent of undergraduate students involved. Wake Forest, which has around as many students as ULM does, has around 50% of its students in Greek life, according to Collegexpress.

With Greek life being an afterthought, the article only re-enforces the narrative of it at ULM. It’s like kicking a dead horse and claiming it to be alive and well.

We then dive into the financial burdens of joining Greek life. While this is a popular reason not to join, the article portrays it poorly. One of the sources used in the article was a report from US News using the Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Phi organizations. Guess what these two have in common: they don’t have chapters at ULM, so this example is unjustified. This is yet another example of ignoring the state of Greek life at ULM.

The article then mentions the cost of clothing for formal events. It’s conveniently forgotten that ULM has the Warhawk Wardrobe, where anyone can walk in and pick out any outfit for free and keep it. Social themes are encouraged but not required, which means clothing for those doesn’t even have to be bought.

The “significant time commitments” are overexaggerated too. Most events members attend are meant to be fun and social. The article uses the Kappa Beta Gamma example of requiring members to attend two-thirds of chapter meetings. This is stated as if two-thirds is asking too much.

Chapter meetings, along with dues that active members pay, are things that members know about before joining any Greek organization. People make a commitment to join these organizations and everything that comes along with it.

What makes the article bad to letter-to-the-editor worthy is when it says you can find friends “instead of paying to be in an overcomplicated club.”

As a member of Greek life in Delta Sigma Phi, this overused statement plays into a completely unjustified stereotype.

When I first came to ULM during my freshman year, I was lost and couldn’t find my footing. I was able to make friends, but I didn’t find a place where I felt like I belonged. When I rushed in the Fall semester of my sophomore year, my college experience changed for the better.

Has it been perfect? Of course not. I’ve had my frustrations with dues and time management. But that’s with any organization. I know I had trouble with this newspaper when I worked for it as a writer and a staff member. Do I regret any of it? Hell no.

The article talks about how members, even after getting in, can be put on probation or removed from the chapter. It’s in a tone that having the possibility of probation or removal is a bad thing. In order to be put on disciplinary status, a member has to act out of line of the chapter’s rules and regulations. Are we encouraging breaking the law?

The point of this is to say that the article is only spreading a national stereotype that is out of line with ULM and is only hurting an already injured Greek life. No one is forced to join, but people wanting to join shouldn’t be told not to.

Signed off by: Jonah Bostick, Drake Prunty, Levan Barlow, Colby Jett, Kam Thirkles, Derrick Austin, Alec Pitney, Zaylen Daniels, Logan Bertrand, Noah Polland, and Nolan Parrott.

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