By Nancy Sanchez-Diaz
FDU mainstream Greek organizations are taking a stand against racism following civil unrest in the nation this summer.
Nationally, the campus Greek movement is seeing a pushback not seen since the anti-establishment days of the 1960s. According to The New York Times, there is a “War on Frats” emerging at some universities.
In August, The Times reported that “hundreds of students” dropped out of fraternities and sororities at Vanderbilt University this summer and are working to kick those organizations off campus after “a handful” of racist incidents and the brutal killing of George Floyd was dismissed by some in Greek life.
Students spoke out and said “Greek life is resistant to reform because of the hierarchical nature of the national Greek organizations, which control local chapters,” according to The Times report.
Of eight sororities and six fraternities on the metropolitan campus, only four organizations are under national organizations that are considered mainstream. Alpha Sigma Tau and Alpha Epsilon Phi are under The National Panhellenic Council which includes26 sororities and women’s fraternities. Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Pi are under the North American Interfraternity Council which includes 64 fraternities.
“We want the FDU community to know that we are aware of the current issues that surround us, so one of our major goals is to use our voice to raise awareness and speak out against racial injustice.” Gabby Sesin, president of Alpha Sigma Tau, said via email to The Equinox.
For ZBT, having people with shared values is crucial in combating racism.
“To combat systemic racism in our chapter, we ensure before admitting any person to become a brother that their morals and standards correlate with what we stand for, which is love, integrity, social responsibility and intellectual awareness,” Franklin Rosario, vice president of ZBT, said via email to The Equinox.
AST and ZBT are national organizations that representatives say understand the importance of speaking out and have pledged more diversity-inclusion events as a way to stand with students of color.
“We are working on a philanthropic event on the history and purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement, along with its growing importance in our society. With this event, we are hoping to aid in breaking down any stigmas about the Black Lives Matter protests and the movement as a whole,” Gina Cucciniello, Sigma Tau’s vice president of growth, said via email to The Equinox.
With 10 multicultural Greek organizations on campus, FDU’s Greek life may be different than that of Vanderbilt and other large universities.
At FDU, the sororities Lambda Pi Upsilon and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin focus on the Latinx community; Mu Sigma Upsilon and Omega Phi Chi focus on empowering all women of color, according to FDU’s Greek Life page.
On the fraternal side, Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi and sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha and Sigma Gamma Rho are rooted in Black tradition, part of the “Divine Nine.”Alpha Phi Alpha was the first intercollegiate Greek-letter Black fraternity, while Omega Psi Phi was the first Black national fraternal organization founded at a historically black college.
The fraternities Lambda Theta Phi and Lambda Sigma Upsilon have Latinx roots.
The Metropolitan campus is diverse, as well as attracting students from 63 countries. Greek life is an important part of some students’ college experience, uniting people from different backgrounds and adding to the enriching experience.
The last time that FDU Greek life faced controversy was last year, when strolling, a dance tradition historically performed by black fraternities, was banned for non-multicultural organizations. The story can be found here.
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Art by Nancy Sanchez-Diaz.
FDU Greeks take a stand.