This issue of the Trinitonian is dated for Friday: Bid Day. You’ll probably notice the line of people in Coates as they anxiously await their bid cards. If you don’t see them, you’ll almost certainly hear the screaming, multicolored horde around Miller Fountain, excited to welcome home their brand-new members.
Greek life is a huge part of the Trinity community; it encompasses about a quarter of our student body. Whether we like it or not, our seven sororities and six fraternities are prominent parts of campus life.
Greeks play on sports teams, make it to the Dean’s List and are involved in many other on campus clubs. Greeks on Trinitonian staff represent a total of six different freaternities and sororities. Two of them lead the paper.
If you aren’t involved in extracurricular campus life, you’ll still see Greek life in the classroom when members wear their jerseys every Monday. (And, like any other student group, sometimes you’ll see them in Conduct Board or Honor Council hearings.)
At the same time as Trinity Greeks welcome their New Active Classes, chapters of Greek organizations across the nation face increased scrutiny, suspensions, and outright disbandments. After several Greeks died at universities in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas and Florida as a result of alcohol abuse and hazing rituals last year, USA Today began updating a list of disciplinary actions against Greek life.
Trinity’s Greek life contains those same built-in tendencies and structural features that can lead irresponsible students to make harmful, even fatal, decisions. They’re social clubs intended to facilitate partying culture, instill deep bonds and protect secretive traditions. It practically comes with the territory.
But Trinity’s Greek life is unique, too. We’re composed entirely of locally founded fraternities and sororities, each with a rich history and unique character. Jeremy Allen, who served as a tax attorney and Teach for America instructor before returning to his alma mater to supervise its Greek system, has introduced a number of valuable procedures and standards for Trinity Greeks, keeping a close eye on what the organizations are up to.
Since it’s almost impossible to ignore Greek life, it’s probably not the best idea to try. Instead, talk to someone involved. Find out what their organization stands for and what they hold dear. Keep up your connections with friends who rush and pledge Greek, and celebrate with them as they run to the fountain to greet their new sisters and brothers.
We won’t ignore them, either. The last few Trinitonian issues have featured coverage on Greek goings-on, and with the onset of the Greek “Orientation” process, we look forward to working together with Allen and Greek Council representatives to cover Greek life, from executive decisions and recruitment data to service events and disciplinary actions.
Last year’s upset over SGA’s rolled-back refusal to fund Greek Council proved more than anything that the Greek community is a powerful force on campus. So don’t avoid the chaos by the fountain. Instead, revel with Greeks as fellow members of our campus community. It’s not hard — their joy is contagious. Just remember to keep an eye out for sorority girls on rollerblades.