Sororities are divided into two councils- National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC). Twenty six sorority organizations make up the NPC and are the most common ones to be found at Univerisities across America. The Divine Nine, which make up the NPHC, are historically Black Greek letter organizations and they are also found on many University Campuses. All fraternal organizations have their own goals, foundations, philanthropies and beliefs, and these two councils have their own similar sets as well. One thing these two groups differ in is their recruitment times and process. A lot of organizations have personal procedures and then follow National procedures, and are also responsible for following the procedures of the Universities where they are hosted.
Sounds like a lot of rules right? Well, these rules are in place for a reason– to prevent incidents like the one that recently occurred at Rutgers. Type in a Google news search and you will come back with hundreds of links to information about the alleged hazing incident at Rutgers University by 6 sisters of Sigma Gamma Rho. These sisters alleged beat their “pledges” in such a way that they were unable to sit and required extensive medical attention. According to this CNN article and Rutgers University, these pledges were “unofficial pledges” as the “alleged hazing did not occur during the university’s recognized pledge period.” Regardless of whether or not this occurred during a ”
recognized pledge period,” the fact this alleged incident occurred calls into question Rutgers’ ability to keep their students safe.
The Huffington Post states the the 6 women arrested–ages ranging from 20-21– will be charged with felony aggravated hazing. Rutgers’ student newspaper, The Daily Targum, recently covered an article raising awareness for hazing, however, have yet to cover the most recent alleged incident of such events. The environment at Rutgers has not only allowed alleged incidents of hazing, but also incidents of rape, such as the 2004 incident covered by the New York Times among others. These incidents lead one to wonder about the quality of student life at this University. What do you think? Are you a Rutger’s student? If so, do you feel safe on the campus? Have you thought about transferring? Are you a member of Greek Life? If any of these apply, leave a comment below or email me at vreitano (at) gmail (dot) com.
My thoughts are with the Greek community and the victims of these alleged attacks as this is hard thing for any community to deal with, particularly one that enhances the lives of so many at so many Universities across America. Do not let this discourage you from going Greek, it can still be a rewarding experience as long as respect for oneself, others and common human kindness is observed at all times.