(Note: I’m saying this as a Greek. Not as someone on the outside looking in so save the excuses & if you can’t, should have paid more attention on-line.)
God-willing I will be celebrating 10 years in the Bond of Kappa Alpha Psi, initiated through the Kaotik Kappa Phi, on October 20th of this year. In my years in the Bond, I have been not only blessed to meet great and influential brothers in my organization but I have been also privileged to create other lasting relationships with men & women of all of the organizations of the Divine Nine that I would not have otherwise had if not for my Greek ties. While all of us thought our organizations was the best that created a level of competitiveness between us, there was still a level of respect we had for each other. In a short time, I have witnessed not only an increase in the amount of disrespect organizations have for each other but also an increase in the level of betrayal & backstabbing that individuals have for their OWN organizations.
There was just an unspoken code for things you did or didn’t do:
Respect a org on their Founders as you would like them to do on yours. I don’t care how competitive you are, there is NO excuse to disrespect on their Founders. That’s showing disrespect for the legacy of BGLO’s.
Fraternities NEVER disrespected sororities. They’re still women and a dude dissing a female was never cool.
Folks showed DEFERENCE!!! Even if you didn’t agree, you swallowed that s*** and respected those that came before you.
DROPPING YOUR LETTERS. If you paid for your letters with blood, sweat, and tears why would you easily just give up and rescind your membership? Never understood that one.
That’s just to name a few…
Somewhere, that got thrown out the window. When I look at those who have the torch now, our organizations look more like gangs than what our founders had in mind. It’s bad enough that those don’t know what we stand for already think we are gangs but we’re playing into the stereotype. Simple examples include openly drinking in your letters, fighting at every event, carrying yourself unbecoming of a member of your organization, etc. That s*** has GOT to stop!!! You represent your organization with your letters on or off, while you are in college and after your student days are done. Hell, to some people you represent Black Greeks as a whole because you are Black. They don’t know the difference between an A-Phi-A and an AKA. It’s a lot of responsibility but that’s what you signed up for when you turned in your application. It’s bigger than you & as an old head, I take responsibility in not letting you know that. The fact of the matter remains that we are at this dire situation in our histories and what do we do now?
What’s the problem?
Is is the quality of initiates that we let into our organizations nowadays? When we take that person with that reputation on campus, they now become a reflection of us. It’s harder to remove the stain from one’s past than it is to create it. Also folks are creating this facade in their own heads that because they were “made hard” they can disrespect you. You are no better than the next man because you “think” you took more wood than them or was “made harder”. Any dummy can take an ass-whooping.
Lack of an established and mentored membership intake process? I, for one, believe that there needs to be some sort of supervised membership intake process with EVERY organization. By driving hazing underground, you are creating a recipe for disaster.When unsupervised teenagers and immature adults are without supervision, chaos happens. Plus I laugh at the hypocrisy that hazing is allowed, publicized, and gratified in other professional organizations (i.e. NBA, NFL) but outlawed in fraternal organizations but that’s for another blogging day.
Old heads leaving without properly transitioning newer members? You can’t expect someone to keep up standards if they aren’t taught how. In the end, I don’t blame you…I blame myself and those before me for not teaching you better and properly preparing you.
I don’t have the end-all solution but I do know that I have a responsibility to make right the wrongs that we face today and it starts with looking in the mirror and asking ourselves, “Am I’m being the best member that I can be for my organization and my community?”
Follow me on Twitter @DariusSaysdtcom
(Dedicated to the brothers I have lost my years in my 10 years in the Bond: My football coach & one of my first mentors Byron “Steady B” Ricks, Corey from Kappa Phi, Funmi from Theta Zeta, & Steve from Epsilon Omicron)