Unifying campus through Greek life

The University of Kentucky student body is on edge. The announcement of Donald Trump as president-elect sent many students into shock and a state of fear. However, it brought a breath of relief to others on campus.

Regardless of which group you fall into, the decision should have no effect on how you treat your peers. According to UK spokesman Jay Blanton, at least nine reports of derogatory language or assaults of students of different racial and ethnic groups have already been reported to the university’s Bias Incident Support Services since the announcement of the future leader of our country.

The university is working hard to try and create a campus of inclusion, where students of every demographic feel welcome, but it is not only the university that needs to put effort in to creating change.

It is time for UK’s Greek life to come together and set an example for the rest of campus. It is time for the National Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council organizations to create a true, genuine relationship with each other. 

There are events where IFC and NPHC organizations collaborate on campus, such as Stomp-A-Palooza, a step competition hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Kappa Alpha Theta. However the events come and go every year, without ever having an effect on the student body at large.

On Monday, Nov. 14, the brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. took a step toward creating that relationship when they took note from IFC fraternities and serenaded the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. They chose to sing a rendition of Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love,” and offered a single yellow rose to Presley Rutherford, the President of AOII.

The serenade was nothing big, it was not broadcasted to the entire campus and it was not for profit. It was a simple extending of the hand, a reintroduction and an invitation for a relationship to grow.

President Capilouto sent an e-mail out to campus on Monday with the subject “Building Bridges of Understanding,” and in it he spoke words of encouragement and unity.

“We must strive to be a family that welcomes all and fosters a sense of belonging. Ensuring this requires continued dialogue and ongoing support,” Capilouto wrote.

And that is what Iota Phi Theta hopes to create, bridging a gap between two sides of campus where unity could greatly change the climate of the university.

However, both sides must be committed to taking steps toward making this change. Whoever we call President does not have an effect on the type of people we are. Both sides should reach out to each other, sincerely and with intentions of creating unity.

Presidents cannot change the content of one’s heart, and it is time to show where our hearts truly lie. 

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