Editorial: Greek life accountability starts with us

This week, The Bucknellian spoke to President Bravman about the status of Greek life on campus this semester and the fate of Greek life at the University moving forward. Bravman dispelled all rumors that the University is pursuing an anti-Greek agenda and reiterated that the sanctions (and in one case dissolvement) of an individual fraternity or sorority should be viewed as isolated incidents that are not part of a larger “push” to attack the Greek community. He said that although gossip, such as the rumors that have swirled about Greek life, may be based in some truth, it is “almost always at least grossly inflated and often dead wrong.”

As student journalists, we come up against these kinds of inflations all the time. Therefore, we take seriously our responsibility to seek out the right sources, ask hard questions, and provide answers and insight to topics that may otherwise seem “off-limits.”

Our mission statement emphasizes that we report on what our student body cares about, no matter how controversial or challenging the subject matter. We don’t shy away from covering what students are talking about and what they take issue with. This week’s interview with President Bravman on the state of Greek life reiterates our commitment to keeping otherwise “off-limits” or “taboo” topics on the table and open for facilitated and productive discussion.

The Bucknellian would like to take a more proactive role in highlighting the non-social aspects of Greek life on campus. We pledge to cover a more inclusive, representative, and supportive Greek community. As representing both Greek and non-Greek participants on our editorial board, we acknowledge that it can be challenging to envision Greek organizations outside of the context of mixers, alcohol, and the party culture. As students many of us already engage with and question the arbitrariness of how the outside community views the University, particularly the Greek community.

The Bucknellian investigated the campus’s perception of Princeton Review rankings, which categorized the University as #3 Party School #1 Lots of Greek life. If these rankings primarily (or at least solely) do not define how we view the University, we should continually challenge these same perceptions within the same institutions and organizations that these arbitrary conceptions and stereotypes exist.

As a community, then, we might not do enough to give other aspects of Greek life the attention they deserve. In this week’s issue, you’ll see our editorial board’s conscious effort to make a small stride towards redefining the perception of Greek life on campus with our focus on Greek organizations’ giving back. For example, we covered Alpha Delta Pi’s and Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s partnership with LACOS to raise funds for Puerto Rico. We also previewed Tau Kappa Epsilon’s annual Ronald Reagan Run, which is a 180-mile relay race from the TKE chapter house to the White House in Washington D.C. that benefits the Alzheimer’s Association.

There are stories, articles, and topics of conversation that run parallel, and maybe even contrary, to the Greek community’s dominant social scene. We pledge to foster a more inclusive, self-reflecting, and open dialogue to uncover these perspectives and empower a more accountable Greek and non-Greek community. We encourage you to read our coverage of the Greek community in this issue and engage with us on this topic.

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