January 28, 2010

Do MC Greeks Have a PR Problem?

While roaming the internet, I came across this article in ChickSpeak that spoke about Multicultural Greeks. It was written by a member of a NPC sorority (it seems), and seemed to be full of misconceptions. To be fair, she is probably writing from her own experience. Who are any of us to refute that? However the picture painted of Multicultural Greeks had so little to do with what we actually are. Take a gander at the following quotes:

There are several large differences between multicultural Greek organizations and regular ones. While Greek organizations have chapters that collect members from one college campus, multicultural Greek organizations tend to be in a city with members from several colleges.

This may be true, but is not the norm. In fact, this is more common among the NPHC groups more so than MC Greeks.

These multicultural organizations seem to have evolved by minorities that had minimal or no appearance in the regular Greek councils. Specifically, they aspire to increase awareness about their respective minority’s presence in the community.

It seems here that the author is apply the MC Greek label to any Greek organization with an ethnic focus outside of the NPHC (Latino, Asian, etc.). To be fair I can understand this confusion. Many times when you see that a college has a "Multicultural Greek Council", that council is made up of these types of groups; and not necessarily MC Greek organizations (although many of these groups that focused on a particular culture in the past have added a multicultural focus). However if these organizations are branded "Multicultural Greeks", then it glosses over the uniqueness of Greek organizations that were founded to not focus on any particular culture at all.

While multicultural Greeks share many of the same interests as the typical sorority, the multicultural Greeks may promote specific values that resonate from their common background.

Here is where the misunderstanding is confirmed. To the author a "Multicultural Greek" is not an organization whose goal is to unite those from diverse cultures, but rather an organization that unites a specific culture. While this may seem like nitpicking, it is really a point to be concerned about because we still have work to do apparently in educating the public (and the university community) about who and what Multicultural Greeks are. It is difficult to recruit and work with school administrators when the definition of what a Multicultural Greek organization is remains so undefined.

I tried to leave a comment at the article itself, but the registration mechanism did not work for me.

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