Greeks need appreciation, homes

Caleb Primm - Director of Photography

Caleb Primm – Director of Photography

Greek rush week has ended and pledges have been accepted. There are several Greek affiliated groups on our campus. As I put in my hand in the rush week activities, I began to think about everything the Greeks do for the University, the students and the city of Joplin. I also think about how under appreciated the Greeks really are.

I am a second-semester freshman criminal justice major. I turned toward the Greek life as I began to meet a lot of the Greeks on campus. I realized quickly that these are awesome people.

I was quick to discover how under-appreciated and stereotyped the Greek community is. People have the wrong idea of what a fraternity or sorority is about. People should get a grip on the subject before assuming that these are party-affiliated groups. Going Greek is about much more. It is not about the partying, it’s about building leaders, making friends, and gaining the responsibility needed in everyday life.

Here at Missouri Southern, the Greek community is undermined. Students and faculty around campus do not seem to see the hard work that the Greeks do in order to help the organizations grow. I believe they deserve, and should be treated with more respect and responsibility than what is given. In Southern’s recent past, Greek housing has been nothing but a dream. With all the hard work put forth by the Greeks, they deserve to have more than just a title slapped onto their group. Greek housing costs money of course. However, it costs Greeks time to help out around campus, to congregate for fun activities, to clean Hughes Stadium at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings after football games and to get students involved. It also takes time for the Greeks to take on other tasks that are asked of them. The budgets of these organizations could soon be able to support the housing lifestyles, but it will only be possible with the support of the University.

I said ‘to get students involved’ for a reason. My motive for that goes with a statement that Acting President Terri Agee made in her welcome note on the University Web site. Agee said: “We strongly encourage our students to become involved in all aspects of campus life, including the more than 80 student organizations.”

Those 80 student organizations include five Greek organizations: fraternities Sigma Pi, Kappa Alpha and Kappa Sigma and sororities Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Sigma Alpha. Students need to get involved, right? So why not allow Greek housing for those who choose to live the Greek life? In order to experience what real Greek life is about, Greek housing should be a priority. For all that the Greeks do for Southern, and all the expectations that they fulfill, we should strive to give a little something back to the Greeks.

Daily, more universities are becoming appreciative of the Greek lifestyle. Housing exists in most places. Of course, it is largely due to the popularity and the morale that the organizations bring to the universities. All I ask is that students begin to get involved. It doesn’t matter what organization you may choose to join, just get out, make friends, and enjoy the college life.