Mesa State College looks at going Greek

Sororities and fraternities are all Greek to Mesa State College students. But a committee forming this spring may change that.

A group of students, staff and faculty members is being assembled to examine whether the college should create fraternal social organizations. Many students have asked about bringing Greek life to campus for years, Mesa State Vice President of Student Services John Marshall said, but interest often waned for those students as they got closer to graduation.

“We’d like to give it a serious look,” Marshall said. “If it is a way we can fill a niche, maybe it’s time. It may not be.”

Marshall attended a faculty senate meeting Thursday afternoon during which he asked professors to see whether anyone in their departments would be interested in serving on the committee. He said he spoke with some students who may be interested in serving on the committee, including some seniors and a transfer student with some Greek experience.

Associate kinesiology professor Keith Fritz said during the meeting that fraternities and sororities get a bad reputation, but he attended Oregon State University specifically for its Greek system. Fritz said being in a fraternity taught him responsibility and helped him bond with classmates.

“There are a lot of positives that can come with it,” he said.

Julie Barak, an English professor who serves on the faculty senate, said she initially hesitated to support her daughter joining a sorority at Creighton University. Instead, she said, “It’s been the best thing for her.”

Barak said a system similar to Creighton’s, which bans sororities and fraternities from living off-campus and instead has them live in residence halls, could work at Mesa State and offer “closer supervision.”

“I think it would fit in here and be a great retention tool,” Barak said.


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