For cohesive campus, look no further than the Greeks

Published: Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Jeffrey Marzello got it half right in his commentary ("Seven steps to cohesive campus," Feb. 11). But he ignores the largest existing community at NU. We are the Greek community, the 11 fraternities and six sororities that call Northeastern home. Most of the action items on Mr. Marzullo's community building agenda are things that the Greeks at NU are already doing.

1. Although we do not have the Husky Key Society, we do actively participate in and run a number of events that build school spirit. The annual homecoming parade and king and queen contest are the most recognizable. It is an event where Greek life thrives.

2. The idea of student proctors is not so different from what fraternities and sororities have in alumni and faculty advisors. These are people who have been out of college for some time and offer us advice and guidance for any number of situations.

3. Most, if not all, Greek organizations have some form of judicial committee where they are able to "police themselves." The Greek community as a whole also has these organizations (Greek Executive Council, Pan-Hellenic Council, and Inter-fraternity Council).

4. If you want to commune in an alcohol-free environment, you need to look no further then the yearly Greek Week. For the most part these events are alcohol free and none of them requires a student to get drunk in order to enjoy himself. Greek Week is in the spring where the Greek community is on display; it is unfortunate so few students take the opportunity to see it.

5. The response to the fifth recommendation could almost go without saying. Divide the student population into "houses?" Mr. Marzullo, I could not agree with you more, your step five is the Greek community in a nutshell. It is almost ironic that you could replace the word "house" in that paragraph with the word "fraternity" or "sorority."

6. This "think tank" for the Greek community is the yearly Greek Summit in which leaders from each chapter come together to think of ideas that will strengthen Greek life.

You may think this is some shameless plug for the fraternities and sororities at Northeastern. It is. All most people ever see is the negative side of Greek organizations, whether it is a shameless expos on sorority rush or if it is a poorly researched news story about fraternity housing. Nobody sees the thousands of hours of community service provided, the thousands of dollars provided to local and national philanthropies, the academic excellence, or the immeasurable friendships, all of which come from these organizations.

So, the next time you say that there is nothing to do on campus, maybe you should ask yourself what you can do to change this. Our doors are always open.

-- James Turner is a junior political science major, a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the treasurer of the Greek Executive Council.

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