Tag Archives: Greek Life

Sororities miss out on greek living

Housing options at Linfield College are not represented equally among both genders.

Linfield College has many opportunities for students when it comes to academics, athletics and study abroad options.

The college in almost all ways fulfills its motto, “The power of a small college.” However, it may not be as liberating as it portrays to the community and students, females especially, because of the unequal housing opportunities for Greek students.

The Greek system at Linfield has a lot of pros, but it’s hard to get the positives out because of the infrequent negatives.

However females going through sorority recruitment have unequal housing options compared to the males going through rush week.

Currently there are four fraternity houses and no sorority houses.

There isn’t one specific reason as to why sororities on campus don’t have the same housing options available to them as the fraternities.

After asking a handful of students on the McMinnville campus, both in Greek Life and not, it was clear few people knew why sororities don’t have houses.

The most common misconception was McMinnville has a law that prevents sororities from having houses because they would be considered a brothel.

Sororities wouldn’t be considered a brothel if they got a house. Currently, there is no law in McMinnville that prevents sororities having a house like fraternities.

Other misconceptions revolved around Linfield’s policies.

Sorority girls mentioned that Sigma Kappa Phi, a local sorority, can’t have a house off campus. Despite the fact that the local fraternity, Delta Psi Delta, has a house off campus.

Jeff Mackay, Director of Residence Life at Linfield, gave insight about the reason behind sororities not having housing. Mackay narrowed it down to one thing, the cost factor.

“Sororities could do it if they had the funding…. at this point they choose not to, or financially can’t,” Mackay said.

Expenses for purchasing a house or property and making it livable for at least 20 people, is estimated at $400,000-$600,000 for each sorority.

This isn’t completely accurate. Even if the sororities on campus have enough money to purchase a house, they wouldn’t be allowed to because of a Linfield College rule.  

According to senior, Brita Gaeddert, prior president of panhellenic council, Linfield has a rule that requires all sororities to have a house if one has a house.

One sorority that has a bylaw in their governing rules that says they can’t have a sorority house.  Since one sorority, Sigma Kappa Phi, is legally bound by their bylaws at the moment to not have a house, all of the sororities are unable to pursue housing.

When asking Dan Fergueson, director of activities, about the situation, Fergueson said there are no rules by the college that’s preventing them.

Later Fergueson said there was a rule, it is unclear whether it is written or spoken, that said all of the sororities would need to get a house.

Fergueson said that the local sorority could get rid of the bylaw, in their governing documents, that prevent them from having a house, if they were to fight for it. Fergueson admitted it wouldn’t be an easy process.

Females want the off campus housing, at least the option available to them. The demand is there.

The first steps that need to be taken are to remove the bylaws from the local sorority. Without removing those laws, Linfield’s policy on equal housing will keep sororities from moving forward.

There are advantages to living off campus for sorority girls. The sisters would be able to self-govern because they wouldn’t have Residence Advisers.

In addition, fraternities don’t have the same tuition for housing as Linfield College housing; it is a set price that can be more or less than what students on campus have to pay.

If sororities had a house they could potentially make attending Linfield more affordable by keeping payments lower than what on campus housing requires.

Money is a huge issue, but even Shannon Doering, president of Phi Sigma Sigma, said that if they took this project on and reached out to alumni that they could accomplish it. So far no one has looked into it.

Not only could housing benefit sororities’ family lifestyle and foster a community, it is beneficial for your first welcoming experience to Linfield, to get to know your sisters extremely well earlier on.

“It would be extremely different to live with them, than to see them once a week at chapter meetings,” Doering said.

Chapter rooms in Miller Hall are dwindling in space. Gaeddert even expressed concerned if fire codes are being met.

“At 6:30 p.m., we aren’t all going to get out with 88 girls in that room,” Gaeddert said.

A small change could be asking the school to set aside a sorority dorm building; each floor is a sorority.

That way there is a transition, to allow girls start learning how to self govern and be in charge of their own living area.

Rachael Gernhart / For the Review

Rachael Gernhart can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Greek life gives back to community

The Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Phi sororities showed off to parents how Linfield Greek life gives back to the community.

Each sorority organized a charity event for family weekend.

Zeta Tau Alpha continued its tradition of organizing a haunted house with the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity. The decorated Delta Psi Delta fraternity house was open on Oct. 25 from 7 to 11 p.m.

“Delta Psi Delta [assisted] the Zeta gals with the set up and take down of the haunted house. We [dug] graves in the back yard, [had] supplies from previous years and [hosted] the event in our house,” said senior Alex Lazar, Delta Psi Delta president, in an email.

“It [was] a collaborative event, the Deltas and Zetas [worked] together on everything, no one party [was] directed to do one responsibility over the other,” Lazar said in an email.

The entrance fee to the house was either three dollars or two cans of food.

“Every year, we give the food donations to the [Yamhill Community Action Partnership] and all the [monetary] donations are given to the Henderson House, a shelter for battered women and their families,” sophomore Julia Nguyen said.

“We choose to donate to YCAP because we like to have a strong presence in our community and give back to local foundations,” junior Lauren Sherrard said by email.

Nguyen and Sherrard are co-service chair member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority.

The haunted house is an annual event. It is organized the final weekend of October, which generally coincides with family weekend.

“[It’s] nice because it gives us a chance show the families some of the ways Greek life gives back to our community,” Sherrard said in an email.

Phi Sigma Sigma organized its annual Rock-a-Thon fundraiser, which took place on both Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.

“In previous years we have raised money for the national kidney foundation, however this year our philanthropy has changed. We currently raise money for The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation,” sophomore Sara Scott said by email.

Scott is the special events committee chair for Phi Sigma Sigma.

The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation delegates its funds to benefit school and college readiness across the United States, Scott said.

The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation also supports the National Kidney Foundation and the Twin Ideals Fund, which was created in the wake of Sept.

11, 2001 to help disaster victims, according to the Phi Sigma Sigma Greek Life web page.

Booths were set up to accept donations on Third Street on Oct. 25 and 26 as well as outside of Maxwell Stadium for the football game on Oct. 26.

Alpha Phi held its annual student talent show, Star Search, on Oct. 25.

The event began at 8 p.m. in Ice Auditorium. The event was open for all students, whether part of Greek life or not, to show off their talent.

The cost of attendance was three dollars for one person or five dollars for two.

Proceeds from the event were donated to Cardiac Care.

Ryan Morgan / Senior reporter

Ryan Morgan can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Guest presents on being gay, Greek

Though being in a fraternity and being gay may seem to be polar opposites, both lifestyles helped Thomas Durein become the person he is today.

Durein is a graduate of Oregon State University and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.

He worked as a Greek life student advisor at the University of California-Berkeley from 1997 to 2003 and is a supporter of the values of Greek life.

Durein shared his life story with audience members on Oct. 10 as one of the two events the gay-straight alliance group FUSION hosted at Linfield. These events were a part of national coming out day, a day celebrating the choice of members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) to share with their family and friends that they are not heterosexual.

In his experience as a gay man and member of a fraternity, Durein has learned how to incorporate all parts of his personality in a unique way.

This is a main point in the guest lectures he gives at college campuses, which focus on how Greek life can provide a safe and open environment for members of the LGBT community.

“We have a lot of similarities,” Durein said, regarding the Greek and LGBT communities. “We’ll all be a lot better when we can figure out how to support each other.”

After a troubling attempt to come out to his family, Durein left for college in 1984, a time when the AIDS epidemic was synonymous with the gay community.

In this climate Durein felt it was impossible to make friendships if people knew his sexual preference.

“Going to school meant stepping right back in the closet,” Durein said. “And although it was difficult, it worked for me in the end.

“I made friends with 90 guys in my fraternity who liked me for nothing that had to do with my sexuality and that felt good.”

After college Durein felt it was necessary to come out to his five closest friends in his fraternity.

With each acceptance it became clear that his brothers didn’t care if he was gay because they cared about him.

He recalled a time when one of his brothers told him he loved him on the phone right before hanging up.

“I called that sucker right back and said ‘I love you too,’”Durein said, with emphasis on the word “love.” “Love is about respecting the dignity of every individual.”

Social media and the internet have allowed for more transparency in the lives of young people today.

Durein explained how social media can be both empowering and terrifying for a person struggling with how to define their sexuality.

“So much is happening in the lives of young people before they even get to high school these days,” Durein said. “There can be so much bullying and questioning, and this can lead to worse things, like attempted suicide. It’s important that people feel supported by their peers.”

Linfield has four sororities and four fraternities on campus, many of which had a presence in the audience at the lecture.

There is support for FUSION in Greek life, especially in the Sigma Kappa Phi sorority.

Both FUSION presidents are member of the sorority. There is, however, a history of Greek life for being predominately heterosexual-focused.

“I think Greek life has always been an organization built on traditional male and female gender roles,” said senior Margo Ackerson, a member of Alpha Phi sorority.

Durein believes that there is a great potential in the Greek community to be leaders on campus to support the LGBT community.

But first they need to acknowledge the issue and educate themselves.

He urged the audience to attend an upcoming Safe Space training on Oct. 14 to learn more about how to help support an open environment.

“Greek communities have the potential to be the most important student groups on campus, but they need to open themselves up and realize the wide variety of life choices that are here at Linfield and any college campus,” Durein said.

The Safe Space training will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 14 in Riley 201.

Olivia Marovich / News editor

Olivia Marovich can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Greek life builds community, defies stereotypes

When I first came to Linfield, I had zero intentions to join a sorority.

This seems to be a commonality among students who are affiliated at Linfield. Some students are turned

off by the idea of joining a sorority or fraternity because what they see on television and in the movies.

However, stereotypes can be, and often times are, proven wrong. Students should consider this and not

jump to conclusions based on what they are exposed to by the media.

Most people would say they don’t believe everything they see in the media, yet our expectations about

Greek life are constructed by what movies we see.

To name a few, Animal House, Sydney White, The House Bunny and Greek contribute to stereotypes

constructed about sororities and fraternities.

Let us remember that these movies and television shows are fictitious stories, none of the events are

real.

People also develop Greek life stereotypes based on what sororities and fraternities are like at bigger

state colleges and universities.

As you already know, Linfield is not comparable in many ways to larger schools. Linfield is a small liberal

arts college, so it just makes sense that Greek life would be different.

So, what’s with the strong negative perception about Linfield Greek life?

Naturally, as human beings, we connect the unfamiliar with the familiar. This can also be considered

stereotyping.

One major difference is size. In regards to number of students, Linfield is a lot smaller. This makes our

Greek life more personable and the bonds across each fraternity and sorority are stronger.

“I love Linfield’s Greek life because as a community, we emphasize personal and collective growth to

achieve the highest ideals of sisterhood and brotherhood,” senior Brea Ribeiro said.

A second difference is that the sororities here do not have housing, which can be bittersweet. A lack of

houses for sororities makes membership dues more affordable for girls, and allows you to live with friends

that are not in your sorority.

A third difference is that when competition escalates during Greek-wide events, bashing one another is

not something to expect. Greek life is a community and because of that we support each other.

If you really are interested in what Greek life is truly all about, I suggest talking to any fraternity brother or

sorority sister on campus because they will be sure to set you straight about the stereotypes.

Or perhaps go through recruitment for yourself.

Through joining Greek life, you may discover your home away from home, future best man or

bridesmaids, while making college memories that will last a lifetime.

All I ask is that you ignore the stereotypes and give Greek life a chance, you will be happy that you did.

Special Lovincey / Columnist

Special Lovincey can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

Students push risk management, alcohol policy revisions

Students are pushing for administration to allow hard alcohol back into Greek Life social functions.

The request for an alcohol policy change also emphasizes an increase in campus-wide alcohol education and clear definition of a social function, junior Leanne McCallum, Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity tribune, said.

McCallum said that she collaborated with other Greek life members to compose a formal request to revise policies.

This was spurred by Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students’, earlier mandate that eliminated hard alcohol from Greek social functions and required students to hire security for all parties through College Public Safety.

“We are proposing a new policy because students felt that [Mackay’s] policy was a bit radical,” McCallum said. “But this counter-proposal isn’t a negative one. It’s been positive because we’re working with [Mackay] and he’s given us great feedback.”

But despite students’ efforts to reintroduce hard alcohol into social functions, Mackay said that he isn’t completely sold on the idea yet.

“They’ve been doing a great job of coming up with creative solutions to the issues on an internal level, but we still need to look at the situation externally,” he said. “What are other small, private colleges in the area doing? What organizations have successful risk management programs? We need to get ideas from them.”

Mackay said that he encouraged students to look at existing risk management programs to boost the credibility of their proposal.

He recommended that they research policies by the Fraternal Information and Programing Group (FIPG), an organization that tailors risk management programs to the specific needs of Greek life.

McCallum said that the group looked at FIPG’s website and found the risk management suggestions useful, but that she wanted the revised policy to be more inclusive of Linfield’s entire campus.

Linfield’s Greek life members go through semesterly alcohol information sessions and risk management training programs, McCallum said.

However, she said she doesn’t see as stringent of standards for the rest of Linfield’s students.

McCallum and Mackay agreed that it is important to agree on a definition of what a social function is.

McCallum said that originally, MacKay defined a social function as an instance where five or more people were dancing under a disco ball.

McCallum said her proposal redefines a social function as a pre-planned gathering.

“Sometimes friends get together without planning to, which can look a lot like a party, even if that isn’t what they planned for or intended,” McCallum said.

Mackay said that he defines a social function as an event that a reasonable person could observe and describe as a party or an event.

Both Mackay and McCallum said that the final risk management program will include a set definition of what a social function entails.

Students hope to have the revised policy in effect in time for Spring Semester, McCallum said.

She said they plan to present the latest draft of their policy before Thanksgiving Break.

“The media has created this image of Greek Life being all about partying, but I see Greek Life as a philanthropy and as a group of students with high standards for themselves,” McCallum said. “We want  our revised risk management policy to reflect that.”

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Joanna Peterson/
Managing editor
Joanna Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com.