Members of the Greek community are making an effort to nurture diversity in their community and are continuing to add improvements, Caroline Gambill, junior in secondary education and director of community and internal relations on the Panhellenic Council, said.
“In the last calendar year, we shifted our community’s efforts around … the Black Lives Matter movement,” Gambill said. “We saw all of the things lacking in our community and places we needed to do better. Last fall, the person who was in my position before created a workgroup toward DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion), that was composed of members of all of our sororities, and they started to identify everywhere that we need to be making changes.”
Gambill said during the workshop, a Google form was sent out that asked questions regarding diversity to all sorority chapters. They then dispersed into smaller groups to tackle issues like racism, religion and sex.
“We are adding a statement into our bylaws that are non-discriminatory … having it written explicitly in our bylaws allows us to take action if we do see anything that is not aligning with our values,” Gambill said.
Additionally, Alpha Chi Omega introduced a diversity chair this year to improve representation within the Greek community.
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Junior in criminology and Spanish, Sydney Besa, will fill the new diversity chair position. She is currently working on a plan to fulfill it.
“I’m hoping to connect with HALO [Hispanic American Leadership Organization] as well as the Black Student Union, and other multi-cultural organizations to do philanthropy events … and events to help the greek community be more educated because … some of us are not affected by day-to-day racism … we often neglect that thought and that we need to be better allies,” Besa said.
Gambill’s sorority eliminated the legacy system, which created barriers for women who haven’t had a relative in a sorority.
Gambill also said chapters are changing GPA requirements to fight discrimination against students who have not had access to a higher quality education because of their financial status.
“I think we absolutely have a community for everyone that wants to be a part of one, it’s just a matter of reaching out to people and letting them find that community.” Matthew Kuckelman, junior in political science and Interfraternity council president said. “Areas for improvement in diversity is marketing … to reach out to other people on campus that may not otherwise seek out greek life,” Kuckelman said.