Closing the divide between the Greek community and multicultural clubs and organizations

Ellie Hislop, Staff Writer

The University’s Panhellenic Council, led by President Amarachi Ekekwe ’18, has made efforts to join the typically separate spheres of cultural and Greek organizations on campus. The goal is to work on the relationships between both Greek-affiliated and non-Greek-affiliated students.

“As someone who is a part of numerous minority clubs and organizations, I found that the people that were in my clubs and organizations, were seldom a part of Greek life,” Ekekwe said.

Ekekwe explained that students may feel that choosing to be a part of one organization can cause them to feel disconnected from having friends or acquaintances in other organizations.

“When I became Panhel president, I wanted to diminish that assumption. So, for my passion project, I chose to focus on closing the divide between the Greek community and the ‘diverse’ clubs and organizations,” Ekekwe said.

The initiative is the first of its kind at the University. Every sorority will be paired with cultural organizations in hopes that by the end of fall 2018, they will have planned an event that is either open to their respective organizations or open to the entire University community.

“This is the first time we’ve tried something like this. In the past we’ve paired sororities with each other to get to know each other better but this is the first time we’ve reached out to groups beyond Greek life,” Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Community Development Mary Klebon said.

Ekekwe explained that because groups work at a different paces, she hopes that the executive boards of Panhellenic groups and cultural groups will reach out to each other and begin speaking in a casual setting.

The hope is for the organizations to come together and “plan programs, extend invites to events that each organization is hosting, and communicate regularly with one another,” Klebon said.

For example, Alpha Chi Omega is partnering with the Black Student Union (BSU). Members from both organizations are reaching out and getting to know one another.

“With Amarachi’s initiative, Alpha Chi and the Black Student Union are supportive of each other in all our endeavors, including events that our respective organizations put on, along with our philanthropic efforts,” Alpha Chi Omega President Hannah Rosen ’18 said.

“By partnering the two, both communities can learn more about their peers, and continue to work to unify the campus. There are all different types of people in both these communities, and really getting to know the other is crucial in order to bring our Bucknell community, as a whole, together,” Rosen said.

“I want people in these ‘diverse’ clubs and organizations to know that being involved in these clubs and being a part of Greek life is not mutually exclusive. You can be a minority in a sorority just like you can be a part of club such as BSU as a white student. It’s important that while we do find time to converse and interact with people who share similar backgrounds and experiences as us, that we also learn to interact and have fun with people who are different from us,” Ekekwe said.

Apart from working with all of the sororities on campus, Ekekwe has reached out to cultural clubs and organizations on campus such as BSU, the Gender & Sexuality Alliance, the Latinx Alliance for Community and Opportunity, the Japan Society, Bucknell’s Africa Student Association, the Chinese Culture & Student Association, the Diversity Outreach Team, Students for Free Tibet, and the Caribbean Students Association.

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