“I hope it ruins Greek Life for them.”

“I hope it ruins Greek Life for them.” Out of context, that sounds like a terrible thing to say. Let me give you some perspective.

I love this program called UIFI. It’s a fraternity and sorority program for college students who want to make a difference. Alumni from various affiliations attend the program as facilitators and small group leaders to help guide these students. This summer, I had a few students attend as participants, and a few friends who served as facilitators. Someone asked me what I want UIFI to do for the students that attended. My answer was simple. “I want it to ruin Greek life for them.”

Why would I want to ruin Greek Life for someone? It’s not really Greek Life I want to be ruined, it’s their perception of what Greek life should be. So often, our fraternity and sorority members have strayed from living our values. Instead of living lives of character and service, we live for substance abuse, hazing, and a three letter acronym (that isn’t even worth mentioning by name) that glorifies the stereotypes some people live. We care about our Lilly& Sperry’s, but not the people of our community. We value our weekend social calendar, but not the policies and procedures of our organization. We have given society the ammunition for the scrutiny. I know that there are many fraternity and sorority members who are phenomenal examples of character. However, the negative image above is still a reality for many Greek communities on our campuses today.

By some chance, these chapters end up sending students to UIFI. More than I want them to have fun, more than I want them to build that network, I want one thing. I hope that their time at UIFI ruins everything they know about Greek life. I hope it interferes completely with how they live and what they do. I want UIFI to shift their priorities and cause them to put the meaningless garbage behind them. I hope that because of UIFI, they cannot go home and resume life as if nothing has changed.

I’m thankful for the people who serve as facilitators. The people who help “ruin” Greek life for students, the ones who encourage them that there’s a better way for our fraternities and sororities to live.¬† I can’t wait for these students to return to campus and disrupt the norm. I can’t wait to see the shift in culture from where they are to where they’re going. I’m eager to see these students face the challenges ahead of them. I know that UIFI has fully prepared them to face every circumstance with courage and character. It’s going to be a struggle, but Fredrick Douglas was completely right when he said “without struggle, there is no progress.”

So, yes, I hope that UIFI has ruined Greek Life for my students.

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