On Monday, the View…

On Monday, the Viewpoint section presented an evaluation of the greek community at the University (“Does the greek system belong at U?”). Emmanuel Ortiz presented an articulate column addressing many weaknesses in our organizations (“Without reform, the greek system should go”). He wrote of alcohol problems, citing some shocking but true statistics, and also discussed the link between fraternities and sexual violence.
Fraternal organizations claim to be value-based groups that are supportive of the constructive growth of their members, yet Ortiz accurately identified many of our weaknesses that fly in the face of our values of brotherhood, scholarship, friendship, leadership and integrity.
The greek community often has trouble linking its core values to its outward behavior. We do have an environment that can promote behaviors that are unacceptable. Some of these instances are exceptions to the rule and some of these are the norm. However, they are not issues that we, as members of the greek community, have not identified. The greek community at the University, which is what the Viewpoint section addressed, has been actively seeking out solutions to many of the problems addressed by Ortiz.
No, we have not gone far enough. No, we have not reached a critical success of which we are satisfied. But we have made efforts — diligent efforts.
The bigger question is the process and evaluation of this change that Ortiz needs to see to support the continuation of our community. At what point will our efforts to combat these problems be recognized? Who makes that evaluation possible and who sets the parameters of our success?
Ortiz understands a solution that the greek community has been working for since I became a member in 1993. Change must be a collaborative effort between the greek community and other entities both in and out of the University.
We are a community that enhances the University environment when we are at our best. We actively promote academic excellence and community service, provide leadership opportunities for our members, believe in personal development and support other members of the University community.
We should not be categorically condemned for our weaknesses while our strengths are overlooked.
In the end, we are all a part of the University and our development must be supported by each other. Does being a member of the greek community exclude us of that privilege and responsibility?

Jim Hilt is a senior majoring in political science and a Sigma Chi member.