Opinion: ‘Tis the season to be rushing…

As fall semester started for colleges and universities and most Greek organizations have finished their rush week(s), I thought it was only fitting to share my opinion again about the oppressive situation at Baruch College, especially during this week. While my fellow Greeks in other schools are allowed to hold events on campus to recruit new members for their organizations, Baruch has conveniently issued a three-year ban on any form of recruitment for “Greek” organizations. I put the G-word in quotation marks, because other organizations that have Greek letters are still allowed to rush and recruit new members on Baruch’s campus (think: service fraternities and business fraternities).

Why are organizations like Kappa Phi Lambda, Lambda Phi Epsilon, alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Sigma Psi Zeta, and our other multi-cultural fellow Greeks not permitted to recruit? Because we are unfairly being punished as a group of “social” Greeks under the Inter-Greek Council body and because one of our fellow organizations dealt with an extremely unfortunate tragedy two years ago. It’s funny because I learned after I graduated that one of our “service” fraternities got suspended for “hazing” in Fall 2014 and was able to recruit and cross a class in Spring 2015… Is it just me, or is that a double standard right there when you want to set an example by punishing organizations that “haze” and yet you let them come back on campus AND let them cross a class, when all of us other “social” Greeks have not broken the rules and yet WE can’t rush and recruit new members? Why is it okay to send an email to the entire Baruch student body bashing Greek life and calling us basically an irrelevant, insignificant group of students? Yes, we may not make up a huge percentage of the Baruch student population, but we do so much on campus and outside that reaches out to the rest of the student body and the NYC community.

For those who are unaware of the situation at Baruch College, undergraduate students in Greek organizations were put on a recruitment moratorium starting Fall 2014 until summer 2015 (meaning Baruch College allowed an entire semester in Spring 2014 to recruit instead of address the Fall 2013 situation immediately if they intended on punishing all of us). “Social” Greeks were forbidden from recruiting or holding rush events of any kind for fear of getting dealt with some unfair punishment because the school holds “authority” over us. They informed us that we would be informed by the end of Spring 2015 regarding the lift of the ban.

While I am now an alum, this affects my organization as well as countless other Greeks on campus. Our actives created a Greek Action Committee to prove to the school why us Greeks deserve to recruit and have new members to continue our legacies, and had prepared a portfolio with proof and legitimate reasons as to why we are beneficial to the school. We used to show school pride by representing our chapters from Baruch, we would raise thousands of dollars for worthy causes such as Relay for Life (we were the top fundraisers for the school for the past five years) and other nonprofit organizations, we would raise awareness about social issues that need a voice, among other reasons. But obviously to the school, all of that does not matter because when one organization screws up, we all get the blame, just like how media outlets like to cast a negative, dark light on Greek organizations as an entire body. We are a misrepresented body and someone needs to speak up.

ON THE DAY our actives tried to present our case to the Dean of Students at our school (this is before the end of Spring 2015, before the school was supposed to decide the future of Greek life on campus, by the way), the school’s administration cowardly sent an email blast to the student body informing us of this 3-year ban until Fall 2018. They conveniently chose this 3-year ban because they were well aware that the chapters that had crossed freshmen would graduate by that time, and that we would surely die out and there would be no one to revive Greek life. What do you all think? It’s kind of unfair, right? Our active Greeks protested and rallied faculty members to defend us, but to no avail because we are the “subordinates” while the school holds all the power. Our actives have to abide by this unfair punishment, not because of their own actions, but because of someone else’s. Someone informed me that Baruch College is literally going against our First Amendment that states that everyone has the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Do you agree?

If you are a fellow Greek, I ask you to spread awareness about this situation and continue to fight for all the Greeks that are unfairly being punished at Baruch. We deserve to at least defend ourselves and show them our side of the story. We were never allowed to even state our case to the Dean of Students, as they shut the doors in our faces before we could try to convince them that we are not all bad. #saveBaruchGreekLife