Class hopes to increase unity within Greek community

Mary Anne Andrews

A small Greek summit met Saturday to discuss diversity within the Greek organizations on campus.

As part of their public achievement class, Louisville sophomore Meredith Smith and Anna Bloomer, a sophomore from Marietta, Ga., chose to hold meetings with Greek organizations on campus to discuss racial and cultural diversity within WKU’s Greek system.

Smith said the class is teaching her how to help others make a change for themselves.

Smith and Bloomer requested the attendance of the Panhellenic Association, along with two representatives from each fraternity and sorority on campus. The only participants were the Alpha Delta Pi’s, who sent Florence sophomore Alicia Beach and Bowling Green junior Faith Edwards.

Despite the small numbers, Smith and Bloomer led discussions on why members joined their organization and how different groups handle the recruitment process.

Beach said she chose to join a sorority in order to meet people and become part of campus life.

While some groups practice formal recruitment, others frown on the idea of “shopping for a group” and practice recruitment quietly and privately.

Graduate student She’Rohn Draper and graduate assistant Lindsey Ardrey lead the public achievement class.

Ardrey, an Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Draper, an Alpha Phi Alpha, gave the group insight into the differences between traditionally black and traditionally white Greek organizations.

“Our colors have a deep significance,” Draper said of the black and gold he wore. He said he only wears his letters in their original colors.

The group candidly discussed stereotypes associated with their organizations.

The final activity of the meeting was called “forced choice.” The group was asked a series of questions about how the different aspects of their identity shape their worldview. They discussed things that made them similar and things that made them different.

“Outward forces cause me to be aware of my race every day,” Ardrey said. “It is a moment of relief when I can just be Lindsey, and I don’t have to be black.”

Edwards said she benefited from the activity.

“It made me think a lot about what I believe in and how to defend it,” she said.

Draper said in their class they focus on privilege. He encouraged the group to think about how their worldview would change if they were in a different location, where they were without certain privileges.