As Greek organizations at colleges around the country face mounting scrutiny, Colorado College’s fraternity and sorority leadership aims to set a bold example of what Greek life can be. A new generation of leaders in CC’s fraternities and sororities met with the outgoing leaders and college administrators at the Greek Leadership Summit in late January to discuss their visions for their organizations and CC’s Greek culture at large.
In email correspondence, the Greek leaders explained their views of the summit and the conclusions they had reached from participation. According to Kappa Kappa Gamma President Emily Kressley ’20, many participants at the summit recognized the negative imagery that surrounds Greek life on a national scale.
“Many of the leaders in the room recognized that Greek Life has had or still has sexist, racist, classist, and otherwise exclusionary undertones,” said Kressley. “This is a reality that needs to be continuously problematized and critically examined.”
Many members conveyed their opinion that Greek life at CC is not the same as Greek life elsewhere. “CC Greek life is very different in that while we hold our individual organization’s traditions as incredibly valuable, we are working to transcend typical stereotypes of Greek organizations,” said Phi Gamma Delta President Sam Pfeifer ’21.
“CC Greek Life must step up and provide a model for other schools to learn from,” said Kappa Kappa Gamma Vice President of Finance, Isabella Mcshea ’20. “In the 21st century, there is no excuse to not be brave and bold in our goals.”
The leaders shared their valuation of Greek life as being a supportive and welcoming environment for them at school. “To me, the most beneficial aspect of Greek life is the consistent support system it provides members,” said Sigma Chi President Mitchell Ukropina ’20. “Given how stressful the block plan can be, having a group of people checking up on you is invaluable.” Ukropina hoped that moving forward, the Greek community could provide this same kind of support to non-members and spread its benefit.
A unifying sentiment through each leader’s statement was a desire for their organization to exemplify the best of what Greek life can be, in part by establishing stronger and more meaningful ties with the larger CC community.