GUIDE begins process of assessing Greek life

Photo by Sara Schmitt

Greeks United for Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity (GUIDE), is a new student organization formed by the President’s Council after reviewing the findings and recommendations of the Black Student Experience Task Force.

GUIDE is part of the Greek Life Task Force, a panel that will present findings about the theoretical purpose and empirical experience of Greek life to Bud Peterson and other campus leaders. They will meet each Friday until April to work on this research.

Anna Malcom, fourth-year NRE, and Muswele Lundy, fourth-year AE, are the co-chairs of the organization.

The four Greek Councils — Interfraternity, Collegiate Panhellenic, National Panhellenic, and Multicultural Greek Councils — each send three delegates to the organization.“Guiding to a better Greek experience” is the motto of the organization, and they are trying to implement this by broadcasting the benefits that each of the disparate cultures of Greek life at Tech add to the whole.

“When I was on the executive committee of my sorority”, Malcom said, “a FASET leader related how a mother approached her and asked if her daughter could rush a CPC sorority since she isn’t white. That really hit me as a perception that needed to be addressed from within the Greek community.”

GUIDE will be planning events for students from all walks of college life, aimed at increasing the interactions and opportunities for engagement across the divides between the Greek councils as well as between the Greek councils and the student body.

Early in the spring, for instance, they will be hosting a basketball tailgate for all four councils at one of the Tech home games. They are also working to change the way that Greek Week is planned and implemented so that it is a more rewarding and inclusive experience for Greeks of all councils.

“I rushed IFC my first semester and made a lot of friends,” Lundy said, “but I decided to hold off pledging until the spring, and at that time, I joined an NPHC fraternity. Seeing both sides of that really opened my eyes to the depth of the divide in Greek life, and I want to be part of changing that.”

The group is working with other student groups as well as Greek organizations to address concerns, and in the future they would like to help Greek and non-Greek organizations host events together.

GUIDE stands for increased inclusivity, diversity and equity of student experience for all students, and a huge part of this is educating those already involved in Greek life of what other students go through and how they can help them.

“We really want to provide resources for everyone,” Lundy said, “so that anyone in Greek life or considering Greek life feels more engaged, regardless of where they come from. Education is really important in improving long term inclusion.”

GUIDE is considering publishing a monthly spotlight on the history of the various councils to increase the general knowledge of some of these groups that students may not hear of often.

“Think about GUIDE as a group of dedicated and passionate people working to make the Greek student experience better for everyone,” Lundy said. “We’re working to address long-standing issues and break down the walls between the Greek councils.”

“GUIDE has three goals that I hope we can make progress towards,” Malcom said, “educating Greek students to be more inclusive, increasing the interactions among the four councils and addressing the perception that Greek life faces externally.”

Tech’s GUIDE organization is modeled after the GUIDE program at the University of California at San Diego. That program, which launched in April 2015, aims to foster collaboration between the university’s 44 social Greek organizations and its Community Centers.

Three key focus areas are stressed in UCSD’s GUIDE program: an education summit in which historical issues like racism will be discussed during formal presentations, guidelines for inclusive events and closer analysis of exclusive recruitment processes.

Each chapter at UC San Diego participating in their Multicultural Greek Council, Panhellenic Council or Interfraternity Council will participate in the organization’s activities.

GUIDE at Tech is currently looking for new members, who can apply to chair GUIDE committees or become members of said committees. Furthermore, student organizations can sign up to be an official partner of GUIDE  and send a representative.