Greek life not promoted to prospective students

By Ben Brown & Brad Bormann

As Greek life goes under the microscope these next three years, the school’s marketing of a once-large system comes to a halt. When the Board of Trustees voted to adopt 23 of the 31 recommendations provided by the Working Group on Greek Life and Campus Community, it did not adopt 8 recommendations.

One of these, recommendation two, reads that Greek life “should become fully represented throughout the College’s public relations efforts.”

An example of the school’s lukewarm stance toward Greek life can be seen in the newest Launch your Life at Lafayette publication for prospective students, which includes only a brief paragraph on the system which encompasses nearly 40 percent of the eligible student population, according to the Working Group Report.

Vice President for Campus Life and Senior Diversity Officer Celestino Limas works with the Lafayette Ambassadors, a group that provides tours to prospective students. Limas counsels his guides to provide a frank, yet positive, image of Greek life to potential applicants.

“If you’ve got prospective students that want a strong Greek experience that’s built on the leadership and principles and values that are set forth in the mission statements of all of our Greek organizations, then have them take a look at us,” Limas said. “Also, be honest with them and let them know we’ve had some issues.”

Lafayette Ambassador Charles Azuelos ’14 is following Limas’s directive. “I do try and lead with the benefits. They hold a number of charity events, and they raise all kinds of money,” Azuelos said.

Azuelos does not shy away from the awkward topic; on the contrary, he is the first to broach the subject of Greek life to his tour groups. “I always pass by March field and talk about it then,” he said.

Other tour guides are more ambivalent about the issue.

“I explain that Greek life is there for those who want it, but that there are lots of other ways to get involved on campus, including clubs and sports,” said another Ambassador, who wished to remain anonymous due to his affiliation with a Greek organization.

Administrators, though ostensibly more hesitant to mention the beleaguered Greek system, maintain that fraternities and sororities will be given equal opportunities for growth as long as they show they are committed to changing their image.

“[We need to] make sure [the Greeks] serve the purposes they were meant,” Vice President for Communications Robert Massa said, citing service, networking and leadership as characteristics for a model Greek system.

If they can embody those values, Massa said, “God bless, we welcome them.”