Communication issues are to blame for Greek life social probation

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For members of the Loyola community who participate in Greek life, the past week has been tumultuous. With these organizations placed on social probation, members cannot participate in social activities they value.

The presiding bodies’ decision to restrict fraternities and sororities, both social and professional, from hosting social events for the foreseeable future left members feeling understandably confused and angry. And, still understandably, in the wake of confusion, this anger has been directed in a variety of places.

Individuals, organizations as a whole, authority members and the standards of excellence have been blamed for the fact that almost all of Loyola’s Greek life is on social probation. However, the probation and its decision are multifaceted in nature, resulting from a cascading series of events that unfolded into one another rather than an individual problem.

What is really to blame here is not these organizations, nor their members, nor their directors or faculty advisors it’s miscommunication.

The failure of miscommunication falls upon these structures as a whole. Each one is hierarchical: they have a governing body elected by student members, a governing body of faculty and staff at the university and a national governing body presiding over the entire group. When changes are made to organizations set up like this, proper communication must be enacted in order to achieve understanding and success.

This was not done in the recent case of Loyola’s Greek life.

Changes made to the enforced Standards of Excellence at Loyola that Greek life adhered to were not properly understood, discussed or distributed throughout all affected members and parties.

The absolute, one-sided views to each side of the issue are understandable.

On the one hand, if the Standards of Excellence had changed and organizations were given ample notice to adapt, these requirements should have been met on time rather than being ignored or kept secret.

On the other hand, if almost all members of a system fail at the requirements, it can be argued that the fault lies within those who established the system.

Neither of these absolutes is entirely correct. Like most dichotomies, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Both Loyola’s Greek life and their governing bodies had communication issues surrounding the new required standards of excellence and all that they entailed.

Loyola’s Greek life is atypical due to the small size of the university. Sororities and fraternities here are closely knit and make up a large portion of the events that go on, many of which are accessible to the entire student body. The “Animal House” stereotypes that exist of fraternities and sororities at big schools have no place at Loyola.

These groups are about empowerment and uplifting, both within their own community and outside it. In order to maintain this influence on campus, constant evolution and dialogue must be addressed.

It is essential for hierarchical organizations on campus to recognize the need to communicate effectively, both within their community and with their higher-ups. If certain requirements are desired from Greek life, those enforcing these requirements must make them clear. If certain actions must be taken within a Greek life organization, those in charge of taking such action must make it clear.

As the appeal process moves forward and these organizations regain their traditions, we hope to have learned the importance of relaying information from the entire situation.

What is at fault for the social probation of Loyola’s Greek life is not any individual, but rather, an issue or lack of communication.

 

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