UWO Greek Life community honors outstanding members, good deeds

The Greek Life awards ceremony on Sunday was an opportunity for the UW Oshkosh Greek community to look back on their accomplishments over the last year and come together to work on fostering brotherhood and sisterhood across the different chapters on campus.

This event focused on betterment of chapters within the Greek Life community and encouraged coming together by focusing on the good that comes from Greek Life.

Speakers discussed how the local chapters are going to start holding themselves accountable for the actions of their chapters nationwide. With the thought process being even though they may not be the ones perpetrating these incidents, they still reflect on Greek Life as a whole.

UWO junior and Interfraternity Council President Shane Thomas said his role is to make sure the entire community is working toward these goals of betterment.

“My main focus as IFC President is to make sure that our entire community is striving to be better than we were before,” Thomas said. “That means I oversee the rest of the IFC individuals that look to promote programming, education, accountability and leadership for the greater Greek Life as a whole and not just for individual chapters.”

This is in reference to issues Greek Life has been dealing with for years; among them are incidents involving hazing, which have resulted in over 20 deaths in the last decade across the country.

“Multiple campuses have shut down Greek Life due to national incidents with hazing, which Oshkosh has a zero-tolerance policy for,” Zeta Tau Alpha’s member Eve Jewson said.

Among the campuses that have suspended Greek Life activities are Penn State, Louisiana State, Texas State and Florida State; all of which had fraternity pledges die due to alcohol abuse during hazing in 2017.

In many cases the presidents of these Universities have been the ones to suspend Greek Life activities on campus, but in some instances the Interfraternity Councils have been making the choice to suspend activities themselves.

However, Jewson believes awards ceremonies, such as these, are crucial in showing that Greek Life is still making important contributions to the community.

“I think it’s very important that we highlight the positive and show that Greeks are still doing good,” Jewson said. “And that there are a lot of people who put a lot of time and effort into a lot of events all year round.”

Delta Chi fraternity member Quinterio Wright said Greek Life’s importance extends beyond the projects they do for the community by providing students a place that allows them to express themselves.

“Greek Life is a way for people to just communicate, hang out, chill with, just be you with whoever you want to be with,” Wright said.
President of Gamma Phi Beta Emily Brooke said Greek Life has not only been a place for her to be herself, but it has allowed her to grow as a person.

“Greek Life has benefitted me, and I can’t even begin to describe it,” Brooke said. “I came into college super shy, extremely socially awkward. I had no friends and that sounds really depressing, but it has really helped me blossom into the strong independent person I am today. It gives you numerous leadership opportunities, personal development opportunities, social opportunities. It’s just a great way to get out there and really get involved.”

This event served to show that while there are many trials that Greek Life has to overcome on the national level, the chapters at UWO are still doing good for the community. This ceremony was a way to reward and encourage upstanding behavior.

“During the semester, a lot of things seem to be really strenuous,” Thomas said. “We try to focus on academics or push our GPA to be that much higher or try to be there for our brothers and sisters when they’re down. I think this is a really good opportunity to acknowledge that we see what you do, and we not only want to congratulate you for it, but we want to thank you for it in front of everyone because you deserve the recognition for all you’ve done.”