Editorial: New fraternity must serve the community

Maroon Staff

Over the past few years, Greek Life at Loyola has taken a number of hits, sometimes penalized for dirty rushing and sometimes reconstituted due to the national office’s objections to the local branch’s actions. Some have said that Loyola’s lack of support for Greek Life is a sign of their opposition to it, but soon enough Loyola will host a new fraternity. In a year where we face decreasing retention, the possibility of a new fraternity offers us a way to shore up our numbers, and we at The Maroon urge this new fraternity and Greek Life as a whole to do their best to act as responsible members of the community in order to make it so.

As Andre Perry said in his letter to The Maroon last week, the key to keeping and increasing retention is to get students involved in the university’s community. Greek Life is an excellent way to do this, offering students a chance to tighten their bonds with their peers and to serve the community of Loyola and the city at large. In many ways, Greek Life offers an ideal opportunity for students at Loyola to embody the Jesuit values on which the university is founded while at the same time binding them more tightly into the community. A new fraternity will provide more of these opportunities, and so may be just what the school requires.

But because Greek Life can be such a big part of students’ lives, we must urge the sororities and fraternities on campus to live up to their potential. Loyola has not undertaken a campaign against Greek Life: It has abided by its policies and punished those who violate them. And Loyola is not the sole reason for the trouble local fraternities and sororities have faced; Sigma Alpha Kappa, for instance, was reconstituted by their national office due to the way they handled their officer elections. Greek Life should be fun, but these organizations must embody the best values of the community and of the larger houses they represent, and when they fail to do that, they fully deserve the punishment they receive.

For many students, Greek Life can play an important role in getting them involved with their peers and with their community and in keeping them at school. This involvement goes far beyond the individual; as the recent budget cuts have shown, it can have a wider impact in the community at large. Because of this, it is imperative that Greek Life at Loyola lives up to the standards of both the university and their national offices, and not fall apart due to practices at odds with what Loyola and their national office require. Greek Life matters, and it matters beyond the level of the individuals whom it helps. Live up to the standards of the wider organization you represent, and the community of which you are a part.