Barriers

“We definitely need to work on meeting somewhere in the middle.”

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Transcript for Barriers

We have foreign exchange students who have the opportunity to take part in this fraternity or sorority experience while they are here on campus, and I know that many of these fraternity or sorority women and men have been very blessed by meeting those people and keeping in contact with them today.

Actually we had a individual from Pakistan just finish his term on the interfraternity council, and during his time he did work to extend the word of Greek life and the opportunity to those individuals who might be looking for an organization to be a part of.

A challenge that the sorority and fraternity community face in reaching out to individual with an ethnic background or who may not be from America or like I said are studying here from China or the Middle East I think that it’s definitely a challenge in familiarizing those individuals with our ritual and with our traditions and why those are important. And I also think um, a barrier to that is that so many of our rituals in the fraternity and sorority community are based off of the Christian faith and I know that it’s not necessarily something we say that you have to believe, but it is also something many of these individuals with an ethnic background don’t take part in.

I think that there’s not more outward diversity in Greek life partially because we as an organization are not reaching out to those students and because it’s not something that they’re looking for in their collegiate experience. So I would say we definitely need to work on meeting somewhere in the middle. It’s not something that they can’t participate in. It is something that we are looking to reach out to and get involved with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the student orgs and the Latino students and BSO.

And like I said, we are reaching out and there has been interest on campus to found a sorority or fraternity that is historically African-American or historically ethnic and those groups have been around forever and they’re on campuses real close to here actually. Purdue has historically African-American fraternity and they participate in some really neat things such as like Step Shows, um, and some things that I’ve seen from these groups of people with that ethnic background that have so many unique experiences that they can offer in their sisterhood or brotherhood.

  • Ashley Hornung

    Stories like this are really inspiring. I wish that my sisters and I had the experience of calling an international student a sister and could learn about her and her traditions while teaching her about American ways of life. There have been increases in diversity within the sorority community and we should continue to make gains because I believe that the more unique perspectives within a sisterhood/brotherhood at this time in our lives can only benefit college students, helping us foster friendships that lead to openness and respect for the differences of others.

  • A.J. Selig

    One of my sorority sisters is from China, and I have learned so much about Chinese culture from her. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to learn so much about a culture that I otherwise wouldn’t know about. If more international students were apart of Greek Life, I think it would be a positive experience for both current members and international students because we can learn so much from each other, not just about different cultures, but also respect and understanding for other cultures.