Impact 2013: Greek unity and togetherness

When I asked an independent friend of mine what he thought of me joining a sorority, he said something that really stuck with me:

“You’re paying $600 for friends, right?”

What are your opinions of Greek Life? Photo from Erin Clingenpeel.

That’s not why I joined Mu Sigma Upsilon, but it was a misconception I still held about other Greek organizations. I never understood why all of them loved their organizations so much – why they always sung praises for their respective frat or sorority during Club Fair, or why they always wore their letters so proudly. There was something vaguely creepy about it to me. I never understood why an organization that basically existed for parties and “friendships” deserved so much devotion. Mu Sigma Upsilon, in my mind, was different because they encouraged me to fight for what I believed in.

Impact 2013, a retreat organized to train leaders of the Greek community to make well-needed changes, made me rethink my opinions. 47 people from 17 organizations attended the event. Many of us came together out of a sense of obligation and left feeling fired up and ready for change.

The purpose behind Impact 2013 – which was held in the middle of nowhere at a facility called Wilderness Adventure – was to implement change in the Greek community. Though many of us expected it to be an anti-hazing symposium, we were pleasantly surprised when other members of Greek organizations came together and mentioned various problems with the RU community. Low GPAs, a lack of togetherness among Greek organizations as a whole and a lack of clarity about what Greek organizations are about plague our campus’s Greek life. 47 leaders of Greek organizations came to the retreat wondering what it was about and left with a sense of togetherness none of us had ever felt toward other Greek organizations.

The people who attended the retreat really got to know one another during the three days we were there. After the end of the second day, all of us got together and sang pop songs around a campfire; we were silly, we were dorky and we were having fun.

We were human.

And at the end of the day, this is what we got from this: We’re all human. We all have something in common with one another. Our creeds state that we need to provide an example for our fellow man, and while we understand that outsiders don’t necessarily know what goes on within each group, we made a commitment to show fellow students what we’re about and why we decided to join our organizations. Almost every Greek took a vow to make sure their fellow students saw them in the best light.

This weekend will inspire great change and impact the Greek community in ways we haven’t yet seen. We were, and still are, dedicated to our organizations. This weekend brought us together and I hope the effects last.