Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 12, 2024

Greek Week treats certain groups unfairly

By JESSICA NOVIELLO | October 23, 2014

I would like to respond to the article published online on September 25, 2014 titled “Greek Week meets mixed student reviews.” I am most concerned about the way that the article portrayed the multicultural Greek (MG) groups on campus; with no other information beyond what is presented by the author, a reader will draw the conclusion that MG groups willingly ignore emails from other Greek groups and then complain that they had no power to participate in any events. This could not be farther from the truth.

Before I graduated last May, I had the honor of serving as the treasurer of the Delta Xi Phi (DXP) Multicultural Sorority in addition to serving as the vice-president of the re-established Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). MGC worked with all MG groups, including but not limited to Iota Nu Delta and alpha Kappa Delta Phi, to bring events like the Study-a-thon and the Greek Olympics to campus. Within MGC, we were not individual sororities because we all shared the common goal of increasing diversity and cultural awareness at Hopkins. MGC members also worked closely with Rachel Drennen to integrate with other Greek communities, and attended meetings to discuss the future of Greek Life at Hopkins. Erika Ruiz, a former president of DXP, personally attended meetings with other Greek presidents every week to share information. This year none of the names of MG organizations were listed anywhere on Greek Week advertising, indicating that none of them had input on events or dates. It is suspicious to me that Greek Week planning emails escaped the notice of every single MG group on campus. Although there was a Facebook event about Greek Week, no one in an MG organization was invited to it. Finally, nowhere in the article is there any mention of the MGC and the work they have done only in the past year, or anything positive at all. This shocks me.

I am equally incredulous to see my sorority portrayed as aloof, and my sisters portrayed as clueless girls who foolishly neglected their emails. The current president of DXP was quick to inform me that only after directly contacting him did Rob Turning send out exactly two emails about Greek Week to DXP, both of which arrived less than 24 hours in advance of an event. There is not one email from any other Greek organization in any of the inboxes of any of the officers (or former officers) mentioning anything about Greek Week this year. Our sisters cannot attend events they did not know about, so of course our group was not represented during Greek Week this year, very unlike its role in previous years. Penny Wars is—sorry, was—our biggest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and last year alone it raised $2,919.76. Delta Xi Phi would never have refused an opportunity to participate, and it is only because there was insufficient notice given that DXP was underrepresented this year. DXP also suffered from the timing of Greek Week this year; unlike the PanHel and IFC groups, DXP runs both fall and spring recruitments. Moving Greek Week to September put DXP recruitment events directly in conflict with Greek Week, so it is no wonder why DXP sisters chose not to attend the Greek Week events that were made known to them. Again, there is no mention of these facts or any attempt at defending DXP in the article as it was originally posted.

As to the claim that we have not participated in much in the past, I simply would like to point out that last year Delta Xi Phi was the winner of the JHU Greek Life Outstanding Greek Spirit Award, the Highest GPA Award in Fall 2013, and Most Improved GPA Award. We also worked with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to run the Culture Show, celebrated our 20th Anniversary with free food and cultural performances with the entire campus, and supplied volunteers for countless service missions on and off campus. The fact that I care enough to write this response is evidence that DXP is not a group of apathetic girls, but a group of strong-minded, empathetic ladies who were very misrepresented in one article.

We may be fewer in number than the PanHellenic groups, but our impact is far-reaching. To continue the mission of a unified Greek Life community, I urge the current officers and Rob Turning to reach out to the MGC and MG groups and ensure they are included in planning events in the future.

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