10 Things I Hate About Black Greek Life

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By Guest Writer Tameka Floetic Prodigy Dean

I’m writing this for anyone who is considering Greek Life as a warning to not conform to the foolishness that has managed to seep into Historically Black Greek-Lettered Organizations. I respect all the organizations for their initial purpose and I by no means ever regret being apart of what I think is one of the greatest influences in my life, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. However, please know these views I’m about to express have been on my mind since before I became Greek and explains why many are turned off from Greek Life or fail to respect those who become apart of these organizations.

With that said, I encourage people who join to be INDIVIDUALS who are apart of what they believe to be something greater or in alignment with GOALS you already had in place for yourself. A wise friend once told me, become a part of something because it brings out more of who YOU ALREADY ARE NOT WHAT YOU HOPE TO BECOME.

With that said……

10 Things I Hate About Greek Life

1. THE BATTLE OF PAPER VERSUS REAL

First off, let me say, YOU ARE PAPER if you don’t do anything for your organization, its goals, and its objectives. I don’t care how hard your process was, because guess what…when you finish, your work is not done! Greeks, please stop acting like your process was the completion of your duties. It wasn’t. You have a lot more to do. I don’t know about your other organizations, but being apart of Zeta is a lifelong commitment. Its not 4 years of undergrad fun and then you are done, not financially supportive, and all we can do is find you at the step show or stroll off but not at the March of Dimes Walk or at a Storks Nest Session.

And if you didn’t have a “process” or whatever, but you are dedicated to the mission and you follow through on everything you are supposed to do (I’m not sure if this is the case or not), then your other sorors or frat brothers need to acknowledge that….even if they think they are realer than you. At the end of the day, you are now apart of the SAME organization. Sorry folks, they paid their money and in most cases they actually statistically stay financial and active for longer periods of time than those who went through a process. Either way, if you aren’t doing anything, YOU ARE PAPER, Your leadership position looks good only on paper. The organization looks good, on paper. The number of members you may have in your chapter, looks good on paper. But what are you actually doing that people can visibly see for the community? why should anyone be motivated to be apart of much less acknowledge an organization they feel is completely useless……you are just hurting the cause.

2. GREEK SOCIAL LIFE IS FUN BUT NOT A REASON TO ACT A FOOL

I will admit, the social aspect of sorority or fraternity life is fun. You get to meet a lot of different people and have fun doing it. However, this is not a reason for you to just cut up, get drunk and sloppy, and act crazy. If anything, you are making your own organization look bad. So please, especially if you are Zeta, take your letters off. Uphold yourself in a respectable manner. If you say that by being apart of your organization, you hold yourself to a higher standard, then do so. I once thought being greek and a Christian was an oxymoron but there are plenty of ways to have fun with your sorors or frat brothers without being drunk, ho’ing your back out, or just not keeping yourself respectable. Do better.

3. NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE YOUR CHAPTER’S DRAMA
Whatever happens in your chapter, needs to stay in your chapter. Other Chapters don’t need to be involved in yours nor do non-greeks need the ammo to say” Oh that organization is a mess..they don’t even like each other.” Once again, respect your sisters or brothers enough to not spread rumors about them to other people. One, you make your organization look bad. Two, you make yourself look bad by how triflin’ you are. keep the drama in-house, work through it and get over it. These are people you are going to have to learn to work with. For some people, you can’t be the best of friends with all your sorors or frat brothers, but you came together to get something done. Thats how the real world works…you think you are going to absolutely love all your co-workers? No, but you have to come together to get something done, so do it. No one needs to see your dirty laundry, keep it to yourself.

4. YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

First off, let me say that if no one liked you and you were lame before you had letters, guess what?, still no one will like you and you are still LAME. The only people who will tolerate you are the next group of people who want to be apart of what you are apart of and suck up to you. But that doesn’t mean they will respect you, especially if they actually become apart of your organization. You should be able to say, “My name is…..and I’m a …..” Not, for example “Hey I’m a Zeta and by the way my name is Tameka” What? Why should anyone respect you as an individual when the only memorable thing you can say about yourself is that you are a Delta, an AKA, blah blah blah. People should know who you are and what you are about and see that these qualities are further brought out by you being apart of that organization that you hold with such high esteem. YOU ARE NOT YOUR ORGANIZATION. The organization doesn’t make you. You should have joined because it reflected qualities you already possessed. These are the types of people they need: people of quality and high achievement. These are the types of people who started these organizations. They don’t need drones and tshirt wearers. They need people who are dedicated and carrying out the mission. But time and time again, WEAK, INSECURE, people with nothing else going on for themselves slip in somehow and now we are at a point where being Greek is no longer about being held to another standard. GREEK LIFE IS DEAD AND YOU ARE KILLING IT.

5. GREEK DIVISION

We are different organizations. I get it. Enough said. We have our own traditions, histories, and distinctive values. I may not think your organization was the right one for me because of my personal values, but I still respect your organization for what it is. When I came to Georgia, AKA’s and Delta’s were some of the most influential people in my life. To be honest, if some organizations were missing, it would be noticed somewhere IF in fact your organization, at least on a national or international level if not on community or local chapter level was actually doing something. So as much as I hear other organizations diss Zetas or any other sororities….if we were missing, even being one of the smallest, you would notice. I don’t see Deltas or AKAs holding Storks Nest sessions to helping underprivileged pregnant women and educating them about their pregnancy to prevent premature births, giving them essential baby items and support. Our agendas are DIFFERENT. We employ DIFFERENT MEANS to contribute to the betterment of the black community. So how can you even possible say things like “Our sorority is the only sorority and the best” WHAT? THE BEST AT WHAT? We don’t even focus on the same aspects? I don’t need your stamp of approval from your organization in order to go hard for my own. I didn’t join for that. So as I tell haters alike (you don’t need to be Greek to be a hater..thats universal), please stay in your designated hating areas. We don’t need to choke from your second-hand hate. Kill your own happiness, not everyone else’s.

6. GREEKS NEED TO COMPETE ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER

Ok so let say I even tolerate your claim that you are THE BEST. Then be the best…..at THINGS THAT MATTER. No one cares how good you are at strolling, stepping, or party hopping….and some of you can’t even do that and just rely on the fact that you feel you look good in your letters. Please Grow Up. Welcome to the real world, outside of your college bubble. In the real world, these skills are not transferable to anything important. You will find yourself graduating years late, GPA low, and still can’t get a job even if you do network with your sorors. Do better. So if we are going to compete and you want to assert some sense of elitism, lets compete on things that matter like PROGRAMMING, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, YOUTH ENRICHMENT, etc. The other aspects of Greek Life ARE FOR FUN. Keep it that way. We may make fun of each other for fun but its not that serious to the point where you feel like you have to put someone else down to make you feel like you or your organization is a threat. People who are actually doing something, don’t need to chant the loudest, make appearances, and do all this talking, etc. People notice them for what they do and respect them for it. YOU EARN RESPECT NOT CONVINCE PEOPLE TO RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU MAKE AN APPEARANCE. So do better…if not for yourself according to your own standards because they aren’t high enough, at least for your organization since you may seem to think that makes you who you are. DO BETTER.

7.NPHC IS A JOKE

When I was a naive neo coupled with my “save the world” mentality by wanting to be a doctor, I thought all the Greeks came together to impact the black community as a whole. I was sooo wrong. Historically Black Greek Lettered Organizations are more worried about tooting their own horn, outshining others, and being individual organizations. So..at this point… I quit. It’s sad to think that even until this day, black people still CANNOT work together….still crabs in a bucket. Keep your attitudes, judgments, whatever..people should not have to convince you to go hard for your organization’s agenda…which is holding yourself to a higher standard and doing effective programming. The social aspect is fun but once again, that is not the only thing that Greek Life is about. Its a balance and sometimes its good to work with other organizations and combine resources to make a bigger impact, especially if you DO NOT…I repeat..DO NOT go to an HBCU, which leads me to my next point.

8. HBCU’s VS PWI’s

Moment of clarification HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges & Universities. PWI is a term used to describe Predominately White Institutions and that is precisely what Georgia College & State University is. The Greek organizations here may go from 2 – 8 members per each organization if we are lucky. The division is not necessary, neither is individualistic elitism..we get it…your organization is DIFFERENT. So in terms of our chapter, we find more alliances with non-black greeks for program support and collaboration and even non-greek organizations. Black Greek organizations at PWI’s need to realize that we already come from a small pot, so further division only hurts the cause and then you wonder why no one is interested in Greek Life. If we only have like a handful of black people from the start, most of us should be Greek anyway because the movers and shakers and people getting things done will most likely have to rely on the efforts of minority activism and participation as a whole. When I first came to this campus, most of the people were Greek and yet I could relate to them on other levels beyond being Greek because those same people were in the organizations like Black Student Alliance, NAACP, etc. Now what I see is people who are just Greek and only stick with their Greek people to do social Greek things. There is no reason why you should walk into a room, not speak to anybody but still want to be recognized because you are wearing your letters with your sorors or frat….sitting in the corner like LAMES talking about other people. Please GROW UP! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I barely see those same people being apart of their campus community except when it comes to parties. Then you have the nerve to talk about other people and say you are better? Better according to what standard? Because, last time I checked, there are plenty of other people on a PWI campus who are doing things for the campus community and local community and ARE NOT GREEK. Yet you don’t make attempts to work with these people and band together because collectively you are a black minority. And given the circumstances, some of you WOULD NOT…repeat…WOULD NOT even have survived on an HBCU campus, much less even been able to withstand crossing at an HBCU campus. So I wish the nonsense would stop. Collaborate and work together….IT IS NOT THAT SERIOUS!

9. GREEK PERSONAL ISSUES GOING TOO FAR

Lets see..hmm..should I even bother with this one? So, basically this describes people who have personal vendettas against people and then transfer that to Greek Division. Time and time again, I hate when I speak to people and they are nice as individuals but because one of their sorors doesn’t like me or someone in my organization, they act different around their sorors or frat collectively. Make up your mind…either you like people or you don’t like people. Who cares? I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who knows there is a world outside this campus…and if anything I network with other people who are in other Greek organizations because I know people in general in different arenas from educators to doctors to scientist to nurses and it goes on. It would be completely ignorant for them to be like…oh Tameka, you are a Zeta now so now I can’t help you…what? It doesn’t work like that, so stop making it seem like it works like that on this campus. We all work with each other in one from or another, so stop letting personal issues be masked in your Greek letters. If you don’t like someone it’s because you don’t like someone…keep it yourself. You don’t need to start GANG MENTALITY and get the rest of your crew to not like someone or treat them differently when you are around each other. Very ignorant. I hope you finally climb out the box you jumped so deep into.

10. BREEDING CARBON COPIES

I will say it over and over again..be an individual. Be a person of quality. Stop trying to mold yourself into what that particular chapter wants you to be so that you can feel some sense of belonging. That shows weakness in character. And unfortunately people who aren’t about anything usually are the ones that breed more weak-minded individuals…and the cycle continues…I don’t understand that by even slightly mentioning you are interested in a particular organization to a person who is in the organization means you should automatically be kicked down, humiliated and pre-hazed. What? Just because an aspirant admires your organization (that’s a compliment by the way) and wants to know what they must do to join (and this before an interest meeting or anything is being done for a process), that does not give you a reason to put them through all this drama only to tell them that they can’t join because you don’t like them. Why would you waste an individual’s time like that…is it some deceitful revenge you must do because it makes you feel better about yourself? But now I understand the tactic…you actually WANT to find weak individuals..that is your goal…to see who will bend and fear you right off the back. Trust, if I had experienced anything like that, I would have  to politely take off my Christian and say some things to you. First off, I don’t come from a sheltered background..don’t let my proper annunciation and command of the English language fool you (You wouldn’t last 5 minutes outside your suburban bubble). I know what real GANGS are…I don’t fear you. I fear no man. You can’t do anything to me but say no…oh wow..the end of the world..I don’t get to wear your letters…faint*. Whatever..STILL going to med school..STILL going to succeed…STILL going to make a difference in my community…I joined Zeta because I wanted to surround myself with people who shared my vision and would be my backbone for success.. these other individuals (found in all organizations) only breed other weak minded individuals. Once again, I am glad I had the experience to join Zeta. When I was interested, I respected them and kept my place but not once was I belittled into some little minion. Of course I had to work for it and to this day I am still working for it and I appreciate the experience. But not once was I made to feel like less of a person. If I don’t have to try that hard for Jesus…I’m definitely not about to feel like scum of the Earth because you had letters on and thought you were better…because at the end of this life..AKA land, Delta Land, Zeta Land ..whatever..must be in HELL because I don’t see it in the Bible…so yea…whatever (that’s for another rant).

So I wrote this because I’m continually saddened about the state of black people. That perpetuated sense of slave mentality. It had nothing to do with how these organizations got started, yet the foolishness seeped back in. Perhaps its because these individuals..looking for someone to own them…looking for a reason to feel important…infiltrated and corrupted the entire vision.

SO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED…GOOD…YOU SHOULD BE..BECAUSE IT MUST MEAN THAT THIS APPLIES TO YOU AND YOU NEED TO DO BETTER. If it doesn’t apply to you, you wouldn’t have a reason to be upset. I’m just summarizing my experience with people as a whole since before I became Greek up until now..where I see even more of it. STOP THE FOOLISHNESS…PLEASE.

Thanks. I’m outie. One Love..and Deuces..Cuz good things come in Threes. Over and Out. 

Tameka Floetic Prodigy Dean

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52 thoughts on “10 Things I Hate About Black Greek Life

  1. The ten points you made about greek life is exactly the reason I didn’t pledge. I really wanted to go undercover and investigate the pledging process for the schoool newspaper . I thought it would have made an interesting and informative article but unfortunately I didn’t get the chance. The entire scope of greek life has changed drastically since the years in which the Divine 9 were founded. Many young black men and and women go greek for the wrong reasons. Here are a few of the reasons why most people are drawn to the greek lifestyle….

    1. The women in this organization are so gorgeous and beautiful and if I become one of THEM I can be BEAUTIFUL too ! If a woman is not aware of her beauty and self-worth before joining a greek organization she will surely get lost in the sauce like so many others who have traveled this path. The samescenario with the guys : Dang the men in this organziation get so many woman maybe if i become one of them i can get women too!

    2. I like the colors , and their sign !
    Colors are a way of expressing ourselves or maybe a certain vibe or mood, but if everyone is wearing the same colors ,throwing up signs and acting a fool isn’t that sort like being in a gang?

    3. I like the way they step!
    The incorportaion of african dance and rhythms into (greek) organizations is interesting but it shouldn’t be the only reason why a person should go greek. Actually the juxtapositioning of greeks letters and symbols with african dance moves is kind of like conformity vs nonconformity!

    I think members of the greek organizations of yesteryear need to have a conversation with the greeks of this generation because from what I observed during my collegiate matriculation is there is no sense of unity and the orginal focus of each organization has shifted to a popularity contest (who can step the best and who’s paper and who’s real when ALL of them PAID to join !

    I think greek organizations of today is a form of social segregation because once he/ she gets their letters they become totally different people and this transformation is often socially prejudice and corrupt.

    Once again JAM great topic ! Until greeks begin to have these dialogues, the problems within each organization will persist and never be mended !

    • lol!!! Thanks Danielle! You are so right. So many people join for superficial reasons, to be seen and look important. The writer of this article is Tameka Dean. She is a proud Zeta. But she is just fed up with foolishness amongst the NPHC. However, I do think it is important to note that all greek organization members are not superficial. Tameka is the perfect of example of someone who joined for all the right reasons. She’s a scholar, poet, and community activist. More people in general should be like her. If more members of the Black community would worry about important issues and getting serious work done, our lives would be so much better. We have to get rid of this pompous gang mentality. Thanks again Danielle! We gotta get you on here as a Guest Writer. 🙂

      • After reading this, along with all the black greek books–“Captain of My Soul,” “Black Greek 101” etc, I am no longer interested in joining a black sorority. I am my own individual and I know that I would continue to do great things if I were a member but…..there’s too much hypocrisy and dare I say…stupidity… surrounding the issue and I can put my money AND time to better use.

      • @ Debbie, I’m glad that you made a decision based on your individuality and self confidence. Everything is not for everybody. Still, there are so many issues in any type of organization these days, not just Black Greek orgs. We just have to pick what we will tolerate and what we won’t.

  2. I’m in a fraternity and these are some of the very things that erk me about my fellow frat brothas. They think because they have on letters that now they can disrespect people, be uppity, act important, and get ass because they have on their colors. We shouldn’t join for these reasons. We should join because we love the organization and want to work for our communities.

    Great Article!!!

  3. These comments about Greek Life reflect your own personal drama. I think the question you need to ask yourself is why do young black females bring so much drama to the table? Airing your dirty laundry about your particular experience does not reflect real black Greek Letter Organizations. I’m glad men don’t act like this!

  4. From a Delta: Thank you! We are organizations built on uplifting the community but unfortunately there are those individuals that make us appear to be like any other gang and we are not. I love my chapter because I am surrounded by some amazing women that WORK! Sometimes I have to tell myself I need to step it up. We have a legacy to uphold and we may fall short sometimes but we have to do better with each other so that we can be beneficial to the community.

    • I agree. I appreciate everyone who sees their organizations in that light. Overall, looking back at this, I think undergrads need more mentorship and we have to acknowledge the background of the students coming in. People bring what they know. However, I regret that undergraduate chapters are so transient, that certain negative aspects persist and propagate.

  5. If you were really about the cause you would immediately follow it with 10 things you love……..unless you don’t love anything which means either your experience was messed up or Zeta or greek life in general was not for you. I work on plenty of campaigns and community programs across the nation that are predominantly ran by greeks. I mean all orgs not just one have been involved. Sounds to me like you are venting undergrad experiences and most definitely from a female/regional point of view(not all). It’s definitely personal and from younger experiences because you actually talked about “if you were lame before” blah blah blah. What adult who’s problem with the lack of service in the NPHC would even entertain that sort of point–www. growup.com.org Nobodies founders would concern themselves with shallow social perceptions—www.getselfesteem.com.

    The proof is everywhere the impact we have on society—-see Alpha Phi Alpha costly Arizona Boycott. And if you are in Georgia how bout you stop by Atlanta city hall and see what black greeks do. Mayor Kasim(nupe) Reed is shimmying to get every recreational center re opened in a historic act to save all the youths of Atlanta from bad choices. He’s backed up by Alpha’s, Omega’s Deltas, K’s etc. In conclusion if you haven’t seen what we do then its more than certain you are not doing enough because it’s not hidden.

    Hannibal
    #4

    • Thank you for my comment. That is exactly my point. Our organizations serve a purpose and someone would notice if we were missing. Please allow to clarify that I was speaking on my undergraduate experience and NPHC is only as developed as older mentors who put in the time to demonstrate its purpose. In undergrad, for my particular institution only (as I mentioned that I was writing according to my experiences), the model was very ineffective.

      • Sorry, I meant thank you for “your” comment. Sleep deprivation does not allow me to type correctly some days.

    • Well said Brother…Well said. Kappas and Omegas ran a strong Obama campaign together. All sorts of fraternities has come together for charitable events across the country. Like I said, these are sorority issues that she’s facing. However, as black men, how can we help them form a union or foundation where they aren’t compelled to write a “10 things I hate about black Greeks” is the question.

  6. This was a very well put set of grievences with Black Greek life. As a neo, I have seen each and every one of these scenarios and I can concur and probably add to this list. As Black Greeks, simply put, we have to do better. I’m pretty sure every chapter of every organization can take something from this and apply it to whatever problems they may have (and EVERY chapter is NOT perfect). So shooting shots at her for opinions is doing nothing but proving her right.
    And to the author, I thank you! I could not have said this better myself. It honestly hurts that the reasons that people are turned off by Black Greek organizations are how some individuals do not know how to conduct themselves as their founders would have expected them to. Prospective and capable candidates lose interest because of these reasons and examples of how some Greeks are. We have to do better.

    • Thank you for commenting. Now that we have shined light on the flaws, we must do our part to correct it and encourage positive behavior that is uplifting and inspirational.

  7. Real talk, I’m feeling it. We are all in orgs to better the community and we can’t do that by working against each other!

    We need to get back to loving ourselves and each other.

  8. Kudos to the writer. Emberrassed for those who have negative comments to make about this well thoughtout essay.
    I’m a motivational speaker who does lectures across the country and although I saw this as an undegrad, I’m dissapointed to continue to see the same things as a professional speaker. I have often challanged Minority Greeks (I’m Latino and Latin Sororities and Frats are no different from what you have mentioned) to mentor students and teach them about the opportunities of higher education. Very few Greeks participated in my mentoring program (2) and I was dissapointed. Civis who cared about their community and giving back were more active. I found it ironic, that the main reason for not participating was lack of time. Funny though that on many occassions I ran into these individuals at parties, stroll competitions and step-shows.

    On many occassions I’ve had to remind Greeks not to talk bad about others around me; because to me it doesn’t matter how long you pledged, how hard you pledge or who does this and that.

    Tameka, God Bless you! And thank you.

  9. I agree with” PHROZE”…The fact that the author goes ON and ON about how black Greeks need to do better tells me that she is no better than the members she is talking about. You’re a grown woman, get real…a lot of people go Greek in college for all of those reasons listed, not b/c they’re superficial or insecure, but b/c they’re YOUNG, you’re not the same at 35 as you were at 20…with careers, family, and adult life in general, not everyone has the time to be active, some simply grow out of Greek life…The point is, who cares?

    You’re going to deal with all types of people, some are inactive but they’re frat/sor made them the man/woman they are today,while some are active and are just as ignorant as ever.

    Posting your rant only tells me you are only talking about YOURSELF, and members like you, simple,bourgeois trying to be down for the cause and feel important.

    • You are right about one thing. It was very personal and it was a rant. A rant I posted on facebook actually. I think I described it as such. Also, I am commented very late. I was definitely younger then. Where I disagree is that I was in the top 15% of my class, pre-med major, and held several officer positions in my student-led organizations. Whenever I would do programming to get everyone together (especially for minority retention programs- one of my jobs at the school), I got tired of the drama disrupting what we were trying to accomplish on campus. Although people join for the fun when they are young, I don’t feel as though that gives them a reason to be mean to each other and do whatever they want without accountability. The “paper” versus “real” comment had to do with people who considered themselves “real” but did nothing of importance other than belittling others. I do wish people remained active, even if it is in a limited role. The organization would not continue to progress otherwise if there weren’t members who took it seriously beyond college. It serves different functions for different people, but at no point in time do I agree that the negative things I saw were acceptable at any point in time. That is just my opinion.

  10. I agree with the above post, it seems as if you’re caught up in all the non-sense you’re preaching about, your argument is juvenile and irrelevant, you’re letting ZETA define you.

    My father to this day , is still a die-hard omega, still proudly sporting his para. from time-time.Growing up he worked 2 jobs until both me and my sister graduated college. He did attend Alumni/Grad chapter meetings when he could, but clearly couldn’t be as active as he was when he pledged almost 40 yrs ago.Omega, in some ways molded him into the awesome man he is today. He was active in his community and a great husband, father, and friend. All the things his org was founded on.

    Does he not have the same right as everyone else in his org? Of course he does, and everyone else who crossed active or not.

    • I never knew people posted comments on this until many years later. So, my response is very very late. I think I have an idea of what you are saying. My notion was that going through a process does not define you (i.e. the physical/mental tasks, beatings for some people and acts of humiliation). I am saying that everyone in the organization plays apart and you should not discriminate among them members by calling them “real” versus “paper” because you had a difficult process. I worked two jobs while in college and pledged as well. I am sure your father was a commendable person, given the examples you provided. He does have the same right. That was exactly my point. My comment was directed towards someone who has discriminated against a fellow member because they felt as though their process wasn’t hard enough. Some of those same people do nothing, but continue to belittle others. I doubt your father falls into that category. He sounds like a great man.

    • Rooooo to your father. Omega’s have NO IDEA of what this lady is talking about. But it does sound interesting.

  11. I LOVED this article for many reason said and unsaid here in the comments. Especially crabs in a bucket. So much for saving the world?

    Alpha Beta Sigma Sorority, Inc.
    Gamma Alpha

    Entregada
    #1
    Fuerte
    Spring 2010

  12. I Hate the fact that so many people missed the point of this essay. I understand your dissappointment. And for those neg comments I would like for you to remember that this same type essay can be found hundreds of times written by all members of the divine nine, so this means that this is not just a personal problem but a problem that’s plagues all greeks. Instead of being offended and closed minded let’s take into consideration that with these issues many valuable ppl in undergrad or grad chapters are discouraged to join (that should worry us all). To realize that we are missing out on valuable and influential people because of our own stupidity should be taken more seriously.Don’t get me wrong there are hundreds of greeks from the past and in the present making history. But imagine How many more there could be if we changed our ways. Just something to think about.

  13. I find your article is very insightful, I have a particular unanswered question that I would like your perspective on. Since your email is not provided I would greatly appreciate it if you sent me an email. Once again thank you for addressing some of the same very concerns I’ve had with Black Greek Life.

    Alex

  14. This is amazing. I still want to be Greek even though everything you listed in the article is true. I want to be the start of the change of Black Greek organizations so that they remember why they were actually made. I was talking to an AKA and she was so upset that Black Greek orgs don’t have the same meaning as they used to. I want to pledge DST even though the girls pledging me are the worst representation of DST’s I’ve ever seen. I don’t let them hold me back from what the ORIGINAL founders of the organization wanted it to represent. I told the AKA I was speaking to that I wanted to be the start of the change for the organization. And I still do. Every org should be proud that we all want to help Black people become unionized. I love them all and would never bash anyone because they are an SGRho, Zeta, or an AKA. The fact that they joined it is amazing if they joined for the right reasons. I love Black Greek organizations and the founders deserve only for people that truly understand why they made the organizations and are passionate about it to join it. I believe…

  15. I agree some what with the article in many aspects but i also agree with the others. I dont think they missed the point of the article ,its just if you talk about the bad, make sure you talk about the good as well. Its offensive because there are alot of greeks like myself that are doing alot of activism, good work in the community, but unfortunately when articles like this surface, it over shadows what we have done. People thrive on the negative and pay lil attsntion to the positive. Whether the writer is a Zeta etc she should not be disrespected because of her point of view but what makes me sad, this article has detered a young lady that was prob doing her research from pursuing a greek organization. Any org has its pros and cons but we have to do better showing both. We as people complain so much and dont realize how it can effect. Amost all of the orgs have or are going to hit 100 years old. Somebody is doing something right….

    • I wrote this originally as an angry facebook post in response to some very personal situations that occurred. I was approached to have it featured and I thought nothing of it. Had it been the original intention to publish, I perhaps would have considered a more balanced view. There are many other stories such as these, that I also have read. I do believe a lot of people are doing something write. I am more so discouraging the persistent wrongdoings of hatred and just plain meanness of some people. I wrote it originally out of anger, which probably overshadows my intent to let people know that this is not ok. Also, not only is it not ok….there are Greeks that do not accept this as well. Like I repeated several times, people should join because they observed how being apart of whatever organization brings out who they are that can be contributed to something collectively greater. If there is a wide-spread complain of negative stories, it highlights the fallacy of the undergraduate experience and it’s implementation. Something needs to be done because it has been getting out of control. I am tired of seeing stories of bullying and people dying. I feel it needs to be called out, discouraged, and belittled so that such behavior is not assumed to accepted. Could I have said it with more tact? Perhaps. However, the context of this article I wrote in my very early 20’s came from a personal rant on facebook. I had no idea it would have such an impact. Now that I know, I will consider requesting to write a follow-up article. Thank you again for your insight.

  16. I’m 4 years behind on this post but I found this article & was quite intrigued. As for myself who has an interest in these historic sororities I don’t allow these immature things to get the best of me. It doesn’t discourage me from joining. Now what I don’t like & won’t tolerate is the politics, the secret agenda seeking & personal vendetta bullshit that some members like to use as a way to scare people into not joining. Might I add the mind fucking. I don’t think it’s fair that you have people being chosen due to superficial qualities over someone’s strong academic capabilities. Or you might have someone that slides by without having to meet the full requirements while others who meet everything barely make it due to minor things. I’m sorry. That shouldn’t occur. Yet it happens. Now with that type of Tom foolery that can be a bit discouraging in that sense. The reality is there’s dysfunction in every family. You just have some families that are better at hiding it than others. Now yes I believe there needs to be change. Yet if there’s no one willing to stand for change or be the one to begin the journey to change how can these groups do so. I believe your views are sincere & who would know better than the experience you’ve seen. Yet it does come across as if it’s been more hell for you than it has been good. Now while I’m not saying nor agreeing with others who feel you sound negative yet it can likely scare potential aspirants away. Of course I like to hear stories like this because it’s necessary to know. But being that I attend Kennesaw State University I truly understood the likelihood of the highly selective mindset of choosing members for a black sorority. It seems hard to be picked. While I’ve never gone out to make my presence known it seems like it’s tough. I know that with most things it’s not going to come easy. But I don’t understand if you only have such a small sum of black people & an even smaller sum of black women why would an organization not be willing to deal with what’s available. Knowing their choices aren’t as high as it would be at an HBCU? It’s so backwards.

    • Small group mentality allows the actions and beliefs of individuals to overshadow the overreaching values of the bigger organization. It explains why there is much more corruption on a local government level that on a broader scale. When power is concentrated and you can do whatever you want without accountability, such unfortunate events occur. I do not intend to scare aspirants away. I want them to know what they are up against and decide if they want to deal with it. They can also consider graduate chapter, depending on their mindset about what they wanted Greek life to mean for them. This should be apart of their research. They should know they have rights and that they under no circumstances need to tolerate or endure such abuse and meanness to get into an organization. IF this is prevalent on their campus, I feel they should not join unless they are strong enough to handle it or determined enough to reveal the positive. Also, they should approach a graduate chapter member who is mentoring the undergraduate chapter if it is possible. This protects their rights and safety if they decide to pledge, so that nothing is done outside of protocol and is carried out with professionalism. We must be critical of ourselves to reveal solutions. These behaviors I saw, were demeaning and harmful to the individuals involved. It should not be tolerated.

  17. Thanks for everyone’s comments, positive and negative. For clarification, I was an undergraduate and now I am graduate school. Greek life outside of undergrad is very different and I knew that at the time. My article was actually a Facebook post in response to some issues that were occurring on my campus (which explains my angry typos). I was later approached to have it featured and I thought nothing of it. Please understand that I do recognize the positive aspects of Greek life , however, my particular focus was the negative aspect. If people were deterred from Greek life, it could be because they see some of the things I mentioned. I only warn that you should get a feel for the chapter that is present and see if it fits you as a person. Yes, I am a grown woman and I still feel the freedom to use whichever terminology I choose to use. For the time it was used, I was an undergraduate and people still used such terms. Furthermore, I think these topics need to be talked about. Until we are critical about our own condition, we will not see the need to change it. That is my opinion on he matter. Thank you for your thoughts.

  18. Hey soror! As a Zeta who also went to a PWI, I had a lot of these grievances too, and sometimes wondered if I was just crazy. Unfortunately, it seems that those same destructively competitive attitudes and behaviors are prevalent. I’m with you– I was interested in Greek life because I thought they were the campus leaders for positive change. That was true for a few Greek individuals, but not for the NPHC as a whole and it was very disappointing. My chapter was actually somewhat ostracized by the rest of the organizations precisely because we wanted to focus more on service and academic enrichment than parties and step shows. I don’t have any doubts that Zeta is the sorority for me, but if I knew then what I know now, I might have put off pledging in undergrad. There were some highlights but at times, the negativity from other organizations overshadowed them.

    • Thank you for sharing. I agree. I think I would have waited as well. However, despite the drama on campus, I loved my chapter. We were ostracized as well, simply because we did not carry ourselves that way. We accomplished a lot as a group and I definitely don’t regret that experience. I think if we bring attention to these issues and bring intense shame to them, we can discourage it from persisting. Like I said before, it is ok to have fun, but there is so much more to it that people don’t see.

  19. Very interesting read… During my first year at UCD I was very impressed by the black women in leadership roles that I wanted to follow in their footsteps by making an impact & creating a legacy. I latter found out that these women were Greek so naturally I wanted to be Greek too but unfortunately the women they left in charge after they graduated was more about creating the things listed in the article versus fulfilling the mission of their organization. Needless to say most of the orgs became inactive before I graduated.

    I had the opportunity to go back to campus last weekend and it was so rewarding to see all the changes I helped fight for and to hear students I have never met tell me about the stories they’ve heard about me as leader on campus. It was through my services that I accomplished my goals of making and impact and leaving a legacy not to mention my service gave me the opportunity to work with the strongest women ever…my Diva’s, my sisters for life and they are all non-greek.

    I guess what I am saying is you don’t have to be “Made” to be great, I “Made” myself and I “Made an impact on my Campus” not those who wore letters. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying greek life is bad. Just recently I have met some great women from various organizations who have taken me in as family…despite me not being an “interest”. And the one thing I noticed about these women is they are individuals first. Yes they are in an organization but it’s their skills, dedication, hard work, and love for the communities they serve that makes the organization…Not the letters on their back that “saves” them from being a GDI.

  20. I never pledged a frat while in college, however I was active in the Greek community. I worked with members of all the frats and was well know to everyone of all the organizations. I went to park clean ups with the Sigma’s and helped them to pick up trash, I went to help serve food with the Alpha’s, I helped the Omega’s with their work with the homeless and helped the Kappas (well I didn’t really work with the Kappas on much of anything, but got along with them all). With that being said, I wish I had pledged at times and was happy I didn’t at others. Not pledging gave me the ability to work with many people, and yes they would all try to recruit me due to my contacts and the sway my name carried on campus, however with an uncle in athletic administration, he warned me not to tie myself to any group so as not to tie him to any group. I was already a member of a brotherhood as it were, I am a Mims and my family carries a lot of weight and provides you the same sort of contacts and respect that one of these organizations carries.

  21. This is very interesting post. However, as I read it, I must admit this sounds more like sorority issues. Just being honest. I crossed Omega at a PWI and I saw all the issues you spoke mostly in sorority. Both in HBCU and PWI all across the south. Hell, if I was a female I wouldn’t pledge. You say what you may, but it’s the truth. Only thing I can agree on is that some members do let the letter speak for them, however in omega, those kind of guys only last so long before they decide to vanish. Which is alright. And lastly, anyone that’s not Greek giving an opinion is just as credible as a white tellin me he knows and understand the “black man struggle.” Nevertheless, interesting writing.

  22. OK Tameka – you can throw down the mike and step away! I agree with what you have written, and I will share this with my son who is a high school senior and his friends. My husband pledged Kappa. I did not choose to pledge (my father always said the only organization worth pledging was Phi Beta Kappa!), but your article outlined the pertinent issues/ideas that I have been considering. I have observed and supported many African American Greek organizations in my years during and after college, and was not able to put my ideas together like you just did. Thank you for your words!

  23. People calm down. As she has stated many times this was a vent on Facebook. If it doesn’t apply to you then why on earth are you mad? I am apart of Alpha Kappa Alpha and I find much leaning towards all of these things to be quite true. I graduated from a PWI and these things happened a lot. People let their letters define them and they lose themselves along the journey. If you say you are a proud member then by all mean be that, but dont you ever belittle somebody because they have different views than yourself. You should go as hard for Jesus as you do for this letter organization, but I guess even that is too much to ask for now a day. You can name all the founders but not 3 disciples.

  24. Asserting a “sense of elitism” is exactly why I had absolutely no interest in greek life.

  25. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as
    long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
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    • That is fine. Again, I was much younger then and had some bad experiences specific to my campus that I wanted to vent about. As long as my words are used in a way to address issues. I am not saying that is all Greek Life is about, but negatives are definitely real on undergraduate campuses.

  26. Ei ca tine afla mintea mea ! Ai par să înțeleagă o mulțime de
    aproximativ despre asta , ca tine a scris carte în el sau ceva .
    Cred că pur și simplu putea unele % la putere mesajul casa un pic ,
    dar în loc de care , că este minunat blog . Un excelent citit .
    voi cu siguranță intoarce .

  27. Pingback: 10 Thing I Hate About Black Greek Life | GreekTV

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