Opinion: Diverse University or Not

Crossposted from RU Uncapped.

By Nadirah Simmons

Photo of Construction Management Association Inc. sign found on College Avenue, taken by Nadirah Simmons

Photo of Construction Management Association Inc. sign found on College Avenue, taken by Nadirah Simmons

For a university that prides itself on the diversity of its students, this diversity does not apply to Greek life. A Construction Management Association Inc. sign found on College Avenue reads, “Raising the Bar for Greek Housing at Rutgers.” On the sign all six students appear to be white, with no students of African-American, Asian, or Indian descent represented. For those who are unfamiliar with Greek life at Rutgers, there are many organizations present, however only a small amount of students are active in Greek life. Several of these fraternities and sororities have houses on College Ave on “Frat Row,” where some sororities and fraternities have their own personal chefs, throw socials, and have in-house events, all while raising money for their respective organizations.

But the sign on College Avenue echoes the reality about Frat Row and Rutgers’ Greek life in general: there is no racial diversity. So my question is, who are these houses really for?

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities. At Rutgers only three NPHC organizations are listed on the website-Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Iota Phi Theta.

Given the diversity exhibited on Rutgers’ campus, it is important that Rutgers has a variety of Greek organizations from the NPHC, the National Multicultural Greek Council, the National Association of Latino Fraternity Organization (NALFO), and the National APIA Pan-Hellenic Association.

But beyond having these organizations, I think Rutgers should do a better job of showing them that they are welcome.

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