OPINION | Butler and Greek system grow stronger together

When the spirit of competition overwhelms Butler University during recruitment week, it is easy for  individual Greek organizations to forget that they are part of one Greek community.

Chapter members are busy thinking of the upcoming semester and what can be done to improve each of their own organizations.

Butler has a thriving, strong Greek system due to energetic student leaders, active alumni support and an institution that helps the organizations excel.

I raise for your consideration a bold statement to reflect upon: Without a university that encourages Greek organizations to succeed, our outlook on the Greek community today would be severely altered.

For the past 18 months, I have had the opportunity to serve on my fraternity’s national board of directors.

I have had to sit at the table voting to rescind charters across the country due to violations against laws, university policies or our own fraternity risk procedures.

While this is a process an organization uses as a last option, occasionally charters need to be suspended for one reason or another.

But at some point in the conversation leading up to the vote, it is usually asked, “Is this campus worth revisiting at a later date?” Meaning, does the university allow Greeks to thrive and view the organizations through a positive lens, and will we return here to recolonize?

Sadly, the answer is usually “no.” Some administrations are forcefully pushing away Greek life.

In other cases, a university’s chapter constantly struggles to fill its own recruitment numbers, a sign that the chapter would not succeed at the university.

It would be easy to think negatively of the university when it applies punishments to Greek houses.

“In most cases, I can understand the university is viewed in a negative light, but at the end of the day, we walk away with a positive experience,” senior Laura Urrutia, vice president of recruitment at Alpha Chi Omega, said.

See, view trends from the 30,000 foot level, and the picture suddenly looks different.

I sincerely believe that if I was at the table and  someone asked if Butler’s campus was one to revisit, my answer would be a resounding, “Yes.”

Butler stands out. The institution is filling its freshman class quota, and so are the 14 organizations.

Because of our university’s successes in accepting high-caliber students, developing them academically and supporting them in the organizations they join, Greek life has been able to achieve success as well.

“I believe Butler has an extremely strong system,” said senior Josh Ruff, past president of the Interfraternity Council Chapters on campus. “This was a great year just based on the numbers.”

“I would be run over if we said Butler is open for expansion,” Becky Druetzler, director of Greek life, said.

Not a bad position to be in if Butler ever decided it wanted to expand.

However, it is not only about the numbers.

Our campus has dedicated student leaders, and this is shown through the annual program  for new officers and leaders, called “Greeks Leading Greeks,” which is hosted by the Order of Omega. This event took place on Jan. 29.

The agenda featured a guest to speak about how the already existing Greek culture on campus can improve and then a roundtable discussion in which members of different Greek organizations on campus helped one another’s chapter.

“Our community has a high sense of character,” said senior Alex Snyder, president of the Order of Omega chapter. “We hold everyone to high standards.”

Butler helps college students enrich their Greek life experience, advances the growth of the Greek community and provides an atmosphere that allows Greek members to progress on their own academic missions.

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