An analysis of several Greek life organizations on Main Campus by The Temple News found that the student-run chapters hold most of the oversight on their organizations.
Temple is looking to serve this community by adding an assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, but still only has one coordinator to oversee more than 1,500 members campuswide. International headquarters must oversee hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members, so their oversight is, too, minimal.
This both concerns us and makes us proud. We’re glad so many fraternity and sorority presidents take their positions seriously to foster learning and growth within their communities; that they don’t need close oversight. But we fear that there may be a culture within Greek life to take advantage of the self-governance and avoid reporting misconduct to the university or their headquarters.
One former president of Temple’s chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, which is suspended from Main Campus while under investigation, said he’s experienced this culture firsthand.
“Too many times in these organizations,…we would keep so many things internal, people are afraid to report certain things [to authorities] and I think that’s so wrong,” the former president told The Temple News. “There has to come a point where life takes over and you say, ‘We’re dealing with human beings. We’re dealing with human life.’”
Members of Greek life are more than just human beings, and the bond you have with your brothers and sisters shouldn’t be more important than someone else’s safety.
We recognize that the Greek life community on Main Campus does significant philanthropic and community service work, more than many other student organizations. Presidents of Greek life are recognized and lauded by others, no matter if students have a Greek life affiliation or not.
Presidents should step into these roles ready to lead and foster conversation and learning. And members should not feel discouraged to report when they see wrongdoing in their organizations, because that’s the mark of a good leader.