Is There Diversity in Greek and Social Life?
Junior Georgia Southern student, Eduardo Viada and a member
of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity believes Greek Life could and should be more diverse.
October 20, 2017
STATESBORO—Home to 40 Greek life organizations, six predominately student bars, and a racial tension you can cut with a butter knife, Statesboro Georgia is a quiet town with a loud issue.
On paper, the Georgia Southern University student body is fairly diverse. According the Georgia Southern University 2016 Fall Enrollment Summary, there were 12, 876 white students, 5,375 African American Students, 1,109 Hispanic students, 497 Asians, 429 students with two or more races, 293 students with unknown races, 77 American Indian/Alaska Native students, and 17 Native Hawaiian/South Islander Pacific students enrolled in Fall of 2016.
With the data provided, one can see there are more than twice as many white than African American students and 5, 079 more white students than all other races combined. There are abundant of racial categories that students fall into, but the amount of white students completely eclipses any other race.
“I feel like we are a pretty diverse campus from like a black and white standpoint, but I don’t see a lot of other races,” said senior finance major, Power.
Greek life is an aspect of college in which some incoming freshmen look forward to becoming apart of, but not as many freshmen coming into Georgia Southern join the Greek community. According to the Georgia Southern University Strategic Research and Analysis page, in 2016 only 14 percent of the total student population was apart of the Greek community. As compared to Auburn University, whose student population is roughly 5,000 more than Georgia Southern has about 34 percent of its students involved in Greek Life, as stated by bestreviewedcolleges.org.
A small fraction of the student population at Georgia Southern is apart of the Greek Life community. There are four Greek councils at Georgia Southern, Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Panhellenic Association (PHA).
Although there are no statistics concerning a number of diverse races on Georgia Southern University’s Greek Life page, our team took to Twitter to ask the student body if they feel Greek Life here is diverse. Our non-scientific poll found 54 percent of the poll takers feel Greek Life, in its entirety, is not adequately diverse.
When asked if Greek Life at Georgia Southern University is more diverse than segregated Power replied, “They’re more segregated, have you walked down row? [referring to Greek Row] It’s nothing but white people.”
Another GSU student, Eduardo Viada, who is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity said, “I think Greek life always could and should be more diverse. I'm a member of Pike, and we managed an enormous pledge class without a house mainly because of how diverse and accepting we are of people in general. I don't know how other fraternities are run, but we actually do not care about race at all I swear, I think and hope this is the direction Greek life is headed, and right now I have no reason to believe it's not.”
Senior Georgia Southern student,
Michael Power describes Greek Life as more segregated than diverse.
"Have you walked down row? It's nothing but white people," said Power.
Two students, one a member of Greek Life and one not, have two different views on the amount of diversity in Greek Life at Georgia Southern University.
The social scene at Georgia Southern University took a major hit following the death of freshman, Michael Gatto. Ever since then, local bars, as well as the Statesboro Police Department, has cracked down on underage drinking. Despite the crackdown on underage drinking, students find their way into bars no matter the age, but not the race.
Statesboro, GA is home to four bars students predominately go to Dingus Magee’s, Shenanigans, the Rusty Tavern, and Gnats Landing. Unable to find accurate statistics pertaining to the diversity of races in attendance on these bars on a given night, we took to students to get their thoughts about the diversity in the social scene.
“I wouldn’t say that the social scene is segregated, but there are ‘White and Black bars’ here at Southern. Any race can go to either one but certain races go to one particular establishment,” said GSU student, Michael Hudson.
Students believe there is a loud unspoken problem with diversity in races in both the Greek and Social life. So, what could be done to rid Georgia Southern of this issue?
“Throw a big party,” said Power. By getting people together, Power believes people would be bound to click and gradually the problem would take care of itself in both the Greek and social life.