Ever since the first social fraternity was founded in 1825, every president and vice president, except two in each office, have been members of a fraternity. Of the nation’s 50 largest corporations, 43 are headed by fraternity men. According to Greek Speak, a George Washington University Web site, more than 85 percent of the student leaders on some 730 campuses are involved in the Greek community. It seems this trend of leadership is apparent in Rider’s Greek community as well.
Last week, it was announced that Brian Guzman, a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon (SPE), was elected SGA president for next year. What most people don’t realize is that, counting Guzman, four of the last five presidents have been members of Greek Life. Also, three of those four previous presidents were brothers of SPE. For the 2010-2011 SGA Officers board, three of the four positions will be held by members of Greek Life.
People tend to have a negative image of Greeks stuck in their minds. Everyone thinks that sorority and fraternity members just party all the time, that they “pay for their friends” and that all Greek members only associate with other Greeks. In reality, Greeks are often prestigious figures on this campus, holding various leadership positions and doing an immense amount of community service. The current and future SGA presidents, the executive editor of The Rider News, the radio station manager of 107.7 The Bronc, the current senior class president, the current secretary of SEC — all are members of Greek Life.
Granted, Rider has had serious issues with Greek Life in the past few years, but Greeks do more good than harm for the university. Even members who are not leaders in other organizations on campus tend to be extremely involved in extracurricular activities. Greek Life members participate in honor societies, varsity and intramural athletics, Go Green initiatives and community service associations. The members of Alpha Xi Delta are required to be involved in at least one club or organization on campus outside of the sorority. Members of Greek Life have even started their own clubs and organizations here. One started up the field hockey club while another began the TOMS Shoes club at Rider.
Although going Greek is not for everyone, Rider’s Greek Life deserves recognition for the leadership it brings to the university. Rather than seeing a group of cliquey party-goers, people should begin to recognize the various leaders on campus who are a proud representation of Greek Life. In their time here, Greek members have left, and will leave, a lasting, positive mark on Rider.
This editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and was written by the Executive Editor, Kristie Kahl.