Opinion

On fraternity suspensions

Within a week, the University of Miami lost not one, but two fraternities that were suspended pending further investigation. While the alleged violations haven’t been made public, there is plenty of speculation as to what led to Pi Kappa Alpha’s and Lambda Chi Alpha’s suspension, and one thing is certain: The University must do something; the root causes of these problems must be addressed.

One possible cause may be that many Greeks-from the suspended fraternities as well as from other chapters-feel that the administration, particularly the Dean of Students’ office, has bred an environment of distrust between Greek leaders and the University. Greeks say they feel like there is no place to turn for support, nowhere to openly discuss issues without fear of what is said being thrown back in their faces. The administration most likely disagrees, but if one of the two parties is so unhappy, it seems that clear miscommunication problems exist.

If a chapter is having problems, the last place that it would go is to the very people that would file charges against them, as the system is set up. Greeks admit that some administrators on campus are willing to help support chapters in need, giving them a more knowledgeable perspective than the chapter president who most likely knows nothing more than what he or she has seen in the two years or so they’ve been here. Yet, these Greeks just don’t feel like they’re being treated fairly by the voices that are supposed to represent them most.

The lack of support Greeks feel they get-whether completely warranted or not-has contributed to Greek life on campus going downhill in the past couple of years. An unhappy chapter is less likely to respect its Code of Conduct and the University system and thus get into more trouble. In fact, it seems as though two types of chapters have emerged: Those that are horrified to do anything because they don’t want to get in trouble, and those that just stopped caring because they continually get in trouble, and are continually on probation, no matter what they do. The former stop themselves from fulfilling their potential, and the latter go overboard and end up under investigation.

This is not saying that Greeks never do anything bad, or that they don’t deserve to be reprimanded when they do. If the investigations do find that the chapters violated policy, as many members of the campus community expect, then the chapters should be held accountable for their actions. Most importantly, these investigations should serve as a wake-up call to the other Greeks and administrators that the system needs to be fixed.

Weak members exist in every organization, and they often ruin it for everyone else. Yet there are also those that recognize their organization’s problems and strive to make their groups better, but they often feel like they don’t have someone to whom they can go to with their problems. Until they do, it is likely that deeper problems will remain within Greek organizations-and so we wouldn’t be surprised to see more suspensions.

April 5, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

If there was one freshman the Miami Hurricanes knew would have to help entering the season, Brevin J ...

Not only has Gerald Willis been one of the best stories of the Miami Hurricanes’ season, he has also ...

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

More than 600 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service ...

Home Truth, the story of Jessica Lenahan’s pursuit of more effective domestic violence laws, screene ...

Members of the UM community who want to donate to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Mi ...

The University of Miami’s Model UN is working to expand its membership and reputation with its first ...

During a keynote address at a conference in Los Angeles, entrepreneurial heavyweight Magic Leap anno ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.