As students, we have a right to have a voice when it comes to what goes in our bylaws, and changing bylaws just to suit the wants of the administration seems a bit counter to those rights.
And when the process to changing those bylaws includes votes via text and email and a meeting on the second day of school with no notification, well, things start to get a little dodgy.
One student has been pushing for a sorority on campus, but our administration thinks that’s a bad idea. Rather than consulting the rest of the student body and getting additional input, the executive council chose instead to run through the process of changing the school’s bylaws as soon as it could. The final meeting to decide the fate of Greek life at Dixie State University was held yesterday, without so much as a Dmail to the student body.
This is not how things should be done at our school, and it’s not how things have been done. Did the administration clandestinely decide “Dixie” should remain in the title without much fanfare? No. Was DSU declared a smoke-free campus without the input of the students? No. And deciding that Greek life is not, and will not, be a part of our campus should be up to the student body to decide.
The Greek Life, like Dixie State University, has a reputation of being all about partying.
But as anyone who actually attends DSU can say, stigma can hardly be taken as proof positive of anything. It’s true that our institution is known to throw wild parties, but then again, so does every other university pretty much anywhere. We are not a party school, despite what rumors would have anyone believe.
Likewise, fraternities and sororities do so much to further a student’s college experience, but our administration seems caught up in the stigma of the movie version of Greek life.
What’s worse is that instead of allowing perhaps one or two chapters of national fraternities or sororities on campus, our administration has changed the rules on Greek life — as quickly as possible.
For every negative headline a sorority or fraternity makes, there are probably countless positive things happening that media don’t bring to the public’s attention because, frankly, it’s just not newsworthy.
Our university’s administration should know exactly how that feels. For everything our school does for the community and vice versa, it was interesting when all that was good about our school was suddenly overcast with a single word: Dixie.
Our 100 years of collegiate excellence were simply ignored in the face of a single word. But we knew the truth. The word does not define who we are as a student body and what our values are as an institution.
If anyone should be empathetic about what it’s like to get a bad rap, it should be our president, our trustees and our administration, but instead they’re choosing to forget what it was like to be labeled and continue the same practice of judging on a name alone.
Why would we put a label on organizations that promote friendship, academics, social activities, leadership, community service, athletics and career networking? And why would we choose to not take advantage of nationally recognized organizations that not only promote all those things, but also entice students to come to a university in the first place?
And all because of a label.
We strongly encourage those who are poo-pooing the Greek life to give it a second look. Organizations that, according to the “7 advantages of Greek Life,” contributed to 85 percent of Fortune 500 executives, 80 percent of the U.S. presidents since 1900 and, yes, 100 percent of the Apollo 11 astronauts can’t be all that bad for business.
And who knows? Perhaps the student body at Dixie State University will ultimately decide that Greek life just isn’t right for our campus. But let the student body decide. Don’t hold votes via text just for the sake of stopping one student from trying to start a sorority. Don’t hold meetings that are nearly impossible to attend. Don’t hold a student’s right to have a say in his or her college experience. DSU has had enough bad press already.