Greek affiliation shouldn’t be top concern in yearbook

Greek affiliation shouldnt be top concern in yearbook

I checked my e-mail last Friday, Oct. 30, to find that the 2008-2009 Horned Frog yearbook was ready to be picked up by students who ordered one. Having ordered my yearbook after my picture was taken last year, I was excited to finally see what was bound inside the bright, white cover. As I flipped through the first few pages, I was impressed and a little nostalgic at the thought of freshman year. When I turned to the pages with the names and pictures of the students, however, my awe turned somewhat to astonishment. I was dismayed to see that students involved in fraternities and sororities had their Greek affiliation printed next to their names. My concern was twofold.

First, linking a student immediately and exclusively to his or her sorority or fraternity may well lead others to make assumptions about that person based solely on what they know about that particular group. This being the case, the whole character of the person identified by Greek affiliation is neglected, and only a narrow facet considered. The sum of a person cannot be known by two or three Greek letters that associate a student with a certain sorority or fraternity.

Moreover, there are many other organizations on campus, such as honors societies, student government, special interest groups, sports clubs, and more, in which students, including sorority and fraternity students, hold membership. In fact, there are more than 200 student organizations on campus, only 33 of which are social sororities and fraternities. I believe the non-Greek organizations are equally as important to the campus culture as the Greek social organizations, yet the students affiliated with the non-Greek organizations are not acknowledged for their participation.

This whole approach to yearbook identification is contrary to university officials’ ongoing efforts to encourage students to stay on campus in order to establish a greater sense of community. Students, Greek and non-Greek, should be recognized in the yearbook for their achievements and memberships in student organizations. Sororities and fraternities have entire pages on which they could list the names of their members if they so choose, and membership would be identified this way. Either all organizations with which a student is associated should be listed with his or her individual picture or no organizational affiliations should be listed in this section of the yearbook. If the latter approach is adopted, then the names of students affiliated with particular organizations, both Greek and non-Greek, can be identified on pages specifically dedicated to the university’s organizations.

All organizations are important to help students get involved and find a way to plug themselves into our great university. We should recognize all memberships or no memberships at all in order to create a greater sense of community within the student body.

Jourdan Sullivan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Commerce.