Efforts for racial unity in Greek community showing promise

The Greek community deserves commendation for its efforts to overcome historical racial divisions, though there is still much progress to be made.

Over the weekend, the Interfraternity Council, the National Panhellenic Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council met to discuss the racial divide in the Greek campus as well as at UK in general.

Spurred by the reaction to the Kernel editorial cartoon depicting white fraternity members auctioning off a black fraternity member, the IFC and NPC — organizations encompassing historically white organizations — assembled with the NPHC — representing traditionally black organizations — on a retreat designed to improve communication and teambuilding.

This retreat is a positive step forward for the Greek community in working on the historical racial segregation that remains a prominent aspect of many Greek organizations. However, as one participant in the retreat pointed out in a Feb. 11 Kernel article, there is a long road ahead before a significant change in cross-cultural relationships will be achieved.

The Greek community should be commended for recognizing the problem within its own structure and trying to mend those problems in ways that appeal to all parties. Other organizations and individuals across campus should take a cue from the Greek councils by engaging in dialogues on racial, cultural and ethnic diversity, in addition to branching out to others with whom they might not normally interact.

It is a good sign that campus and now Greek leaders have taken some preliminary steps toward bridging the racial divide, but the real change must occur on an individual basis. Everyone has to take the initiative in trying to form lines of communication with others around them that are both serious and open to change.

Students cannot rely on their leaders to heal wounds hundreds of years in the making. Change can only happen if we are all on board together.

Looking at the bigger picture, mending the racial divide in the Greek community, on campus and in the outside world, is far from complete, but these meetings are a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the Greek councils will follow up on their plans and continue working toward the goal of ending racial division.