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

Hold a Conversation

Can you imagine leading a conversation about this story? Where? With whom? What kinds of questions would you pose? (See How to use the questions for reflection for one approach.) Please email your questions to us or post them in the comment box for our consideration. If you use them in an actual discussion, let us know how the conversation went.

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.