For a university that prides itself on diversity within its student body and student organizations alike, the existing diversity in Greek life at Temple is surprisingly minimal. New historically diverse Greek organizations are attempting to change that by gaining a following, but some participating students have said they feel threatened by potential changes by administration.
Fraternities and sororities are open to students of any race, ethnicity, religion, and other diverse backgrounds, though some are historically diverse, meaning they originated to provide Greek organizations open to minority students. Greek leaders at Temple want the administration to do more to promote that element of their organizations.
There has been talk of a possible quota system being implemented in the fall that requires Greek organizations to have at least ten members. Members of diverse Greek organizations on campus feel that this is a threat to new fraternities and sororities that are still trying to recruit members.
Administration currently denies what they call “rumors” about such a system.
“We haven’t set a minimum amount of members. That is just a rumor,” Director of Student Affairs Christopher Carey said. “Yet in order for groups to have long term sustainability, they should really consider what their expectations are so they can meet them.”
Greek life leaders are hoping for changes in the way the university’s administration embraces Temple’s diverse population and the communication that goes on between different organizations for this upcoming school year. They believe these alterations are necessary to make Greek life at Temple desirable to more students.
Carey noted that while there are organizations that are diverse in terms of membership, this may not be the number one factor that they are known for at the university.
“I think that there are a lot of offerings in terms of organizations,” Carey said. “There are some organizations within the Pan-Hellenic conference that aren’t necessarily looked at for diversity, yet they do have diverse members. Diversity definitely needs to be considered.”
The National Pan-Hellenic Council Incorporated, also known as the NPHC Inc, is an organization composed of nine historically African American Greek sororities and fraternities. The sororities and fraternities that belong to the NPHC Inc at Temple include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
“One thing I would like to see done differently is for the Temple administration to work to understand, embrace and promote the cultural traditions of the NPHC Inc,” Kufere Laing,President of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, said.
Many members in the different Greek organizations on campus take pride in their roots, culture and community, and hope to keep it that way for years to come.
President of the Multicultural Greek Council Jamie Rodriguez said she would like to see more unity between not only the campus’ Greek organizations, but also between all other student organizations.
“Unity is the biggest thing I would like to see,” Rodriguez said. “I believe that undergraduate [students] who are not in a respective Greek organization would see how much we are alike, yet different. [It] will help everyone build connections, [meet] friends and establish new relationships.”
Rodriguez said she also fears possible administrative changes for this upcoming school year. She said that altering Greek life traditions could negatively affect organizations that are just beginning to attract attention with very few people passionate about their cause and cultural mission. Especially if there’s any substance to the quota system rumor.
“As a Multicultural Greek Council, all of the organizations are all very culturally rooted,” Rodriguez said. “We stick to quality over quantity. If this is to become a new regulation, many of the organizations will be in a tough situation.”
With just a few weeks left till the start of the fall semester, whether or not there will be any changes in the relationship between administration and Greek organizations will be revealed shortly. According to Carey, there are no administrative efforts to introduce a quota system underway, but student concern remains.
Greek life leaders said they will continue to support small organizations that uphold standards of diversity on campus.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article that was published on August 5, 2013 incorrectly identified the gender of Jamie Rodriguez by referring to her as “he.”