By Linnea Cavallo (Whetstone Staff Writer)
The Greeks on Wesley College campus have a lot ofwork to do to turnaround the negative campus-wide perception that they are party animals or even overly promiscuous.
The fight between two fraternities toward the end of last semester that left both Phi Kappa Sigma and Alpha Phi Delta – and several students – on probation, and one student expelled didn’t help.
The vision that some students have of Greeks sprawled on their front porches drunk, or displaying dozens of Facebook pictures of skimpily dressed sorority sisters help to reinforce the image.
Several members of Greek organizations say they are trying to change the way a lot of the student body sees them through community service and fundraisers.
“First off, (our sorority sisters) are hard workers, not only academically but in the community,” said Phi Kappa Sigma brother Jeffrey Martinez. “Why people care about their love lives or who they’re with is beyond me. They should acknowledge what they have accomplished as groups and part of the Wesley family.”
Even so, many students claim that the Greeks are all about partying and getting drunk.
The fight between the two fraternities last semester left a sour view for Matthew Ryan, whose window was broken by a keg, after it was thrown during a fraternity brawl.
“They broke my window, I had to pay for it and the ones that got suspended aren’t even the ones who broke it,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s house is not the only thing left a mess.
While driving past some of the Greeks’ houses on Governors Avenue on Sunday, Jan. 29, anyone could have seen red Solo cups scattered throughout worn lawns in front of scattered fraternity and sorority houses, along with empty cardboard boxes that once held 30-packs of beer.
One neighbor, senior Ashley Richards, said she experiences first hand these weekends.
“Sometimes they get so drunk they pass out on their front porches,” she said.
This is the image Greeks say they are trying to change.
“The Greek community is trying to educate the Wesley community on what they truly do,” says Director of Student Activities Sarah Smith. “All of our organizations’ nationals require its members to complete community service hours anywhere between 15-30 hours per semester.”
Teri Jackson, of Theta Phi Alpha, and Taylor Harvey, of Delta Phi Epsilon, said Greeks are trying to help sway people’s opinions about them by making more widely known their community service and fundraisers.
“We don’t just wear letters,” Harvey said.
For example, the Greeks sponsor the annual Wish Fest Carnival. The carnival is open to the campus. The Greeks also plan on doing a clothing relay to gather old or unwanted clothing, and a canned food drive.
Another large activity the community is trying to do is a mentoring program.
Members take an hour-long seminar to learn how to mentor children from surrounding middle schools.
The Greek community also plans on putting a thermometer up to track how many hours of community service they are accomplishing this semester for the student body to see.
“We aren’t what people stereotype us as,” Martinez said. “We are business before anything.”