America’s conspiracy theorists claim that secret societies are trying to take control of the world. As unlikely as that sounds, if we consider it from a collegiate perspective, this prophecy has been oddly fulfilled.
Our student government is dominated by Greek Life. Although fraternities and sororities account for less than a fourth of the campus, over half of the seats of SGA are occupied by brothers and sisters.
Admittedly, fraternities and sororities have a much more transparent role than the Freemasons or the Illuminati. They are some of the most involved, visible members on campus, and perform tremendous philanthropic work for various charities.
They also attract personalities who feel drawn to leadership roles, or who want to make a difference in society. The Greek System has had a hand in forming some of the most influential figures in American history, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Naturally, student government, whose primary intention is to serve, provides a good venue to exercise these ideals. It is commendable that so many members of Greek Life wish to get involved with the politics of the campus. However, with such a concentrated, singular presence in government, there is potential for some serious problems.
A great deal of secrecy sill surrounds fraternities and sororities. Though they host campus-wide fundraisers and events, they remain otherwise walled off from the general public. You would probably find more success sneaking a peek at the Ark of the Covenant than you would a fraternity’s ritual book.
Fraternities and sororities, like all organizations, have their own interests distinct from the remainder of the student body. When those interests take a seat in government, you have a lobby. By no means are we suggesting that SGA representatives are lobbying, or will ever lobby, but the potential is there. Regardless of how good your intentions are, that is a dangerous possibility.
SGA controls the distribution of money to non-budgeted organizations, such as the Quidditch team, which may pass in and out of existence throughout the years depending on student interest.
Unlike budgeted organizations who receive their funding from student activity fees, non-budgeted organizations are required to fill out a form to petition for their funds.
Hypothetically, if the Greek majority had some sort of bias against one of these organizations, they could severely damage that organization’s prospects for the future.
Granted, SGA has funding bylaws that it must follow which are designed to put a damper on this sort of thing. However, if lobbying and corruption can exist at the federal level, it certainly seems plausible that it could exist here.
This year, SGA only filled 16 of the 17 seats available to students, which means that there is a seat for representation that is currently collecting cobwebs. If you are part of a non-budgeted organization, there is literally nothing stopping you from getting involved.
In all honesty, it’s irresponsible not to get involved. SGA handled $90,000 dollars to distribute this year, a substantial amount by any means. Your organization will have an infinitely better chance of receiving the desired the funds if you have some control over the legislation.
SGA has too much power for it to remain monopolized by Greek Life. This is not to say that the monopoly is Greek Life’s fault. They just happen to be the some of the few taking the initiative.
Even though we are moments away from ending this year, it is never too early to begin planning for the next. Once elections roll around in the fall, The Leader urges every student organization to participate and every student to vote.
In our effort to diversify the campus, we should strive for similar changes in the government that represents us.