The idea of Greek life at Fairfield is extremely disconcerting to me. However, a group of students have recently pushed for fraternities and sororities to be included and recognized on campus. As far as I’m concerned, introducing this lifestyle to the Fairfield community is an unnecessary move that would negatively impact our community.
As a senior, I have taken advantage of everything I possibly could have during my time at the University. I have worked extensively with Campus Ministry to lead and travel on immersion trips to Quito, Ecuador. I took advantage of studying abroad in Managua, Nicaragua. I became a Eucharistic Minister, worked with orientation, and was a Service Learning Associate with the office of service learning, among many other things. All of these organizations have played a role in my personal growth and also provided me with bonds of friendship that will last me a lifetime.
Fairfield has more than 90 clubs and organizations and doesn’t leave much to be wanted. Adding Greek Life to our campus community would be a detriment to what the University stands for. Fraternities and sororities historically conjure images of excessive drinking and partying, hazing and even social exclusion. These are all features that add nothing positive to a university, especially one that already deals with a drinking culture.
I do appreciate the desire to develop brotherly and sisterly bonds, but our community is small and welcoming enough where that can happen anyway. This leads to my next point. Fairfield only has about 3,300 undergraduates and the introduction of Greek life would only exacerbate any polarizations that already exist. It will give men and women the right to judge and exclude whoever they feel doesn’t fit into the value set and criteria of their organization. As a community devoted to being men and women for others, do exclusionary principles make sense?
Another opinion in favor of Greek life is that it would actively seek to promote higher participation in community service. If you are looking to get involved with community service, Campus Ministry already offers programs on local, domestic and international levels. Some might argue that those programs are too faith-based and that they would prefer a more secular organization to volunteer with. If that’s the case, you can get involved by taking the initiative to volunteer on your own. Another option would be to take a service learning course that gives you the opportunity to not only volunteer, but also to apply skills you’ve learned in the classroom.
Allow me to make myself clear: I do feel that Greek life can be beneficial at larger schools, but Fairfield is obviously not one of them. The University has been extremely successful at fostering community and spirit in more ways than one. Based on my experiences and the opportunities I’ve had, I see no need for Greek life. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken?