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COLUMN: A lesson learned?

Family means sticking together, no matter what.

Then again, maybe there is an exception.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Delta Chi, it’s when to exercise that exception. The unbreakable bond of brothers and sisters in the Greek community can also be its Achilles heel.

When the integrity of the entire group is in jeopardy, it’s time to kick the trash to the curb or stink up the entire house – and in this case, the community as well.

Instead, Delta Chi never made the decisions it needed to avoid exile. It didn’t take responsibility for its behavior. It didn’t make a proactive effort to protect the organization.

It still hasn’t – hence the reason for our investigation.

During this week’s coverage, members took to social media to claim innocence and suggest the stories were fabricated. They attempted to hide the coverage by removing stacks of newspapers from newsstands and businesses around Mount Pleasant. Now their actions are receiving national attention.

Even more repulsive are the attempts to joke about a situation that stems from a sexual assault report.

I would like to offer an apology to the women who were negatively affected both by the Delta Chi violations and our continued coverage this week. What happened to you is inexcusable.

As for the “underground fraternity,” society loves a sincere, honest apology. Such acknowledgement shows maturity and a dedication to improvement.

Instead, they continue to play the victim card. Members complain their punishment isn’t fair. They continue to reject the sanctions given to them by the university.

From the beginning, the fraternity has received bad guidance.

Their advisor, Todd Levitt, assured them they were victims in a broken, corrupt system. Their national chapter told them to keep quiet and lay low, avoiding any responsible effort to salvage the fraternity at Central Michigan University.

While members were fending off criticism alone, the opportunity to take responsibility for their violations, own up to their troubled past and offer a public apology came and went.

Although some Greeks stand by members of the exiled fraternity, many have distanced themselves in hope of moving past the negative attention.

Several groups have expressed appreciation for the public separation from those soiling the Greek name. They have requested their organizations be left out of stories involving Delta Chi to avoid affiliation.

So, can Delta Chi be a lesson learned at CMU?

Can it be the last member removed from the Greek family portrait?

The ousted fraternity does not reflect Greek life.

When I look at the Greek community, I see lasting relationships, tireless fundraising and young adults trying to make the most of their college years.

More than anything though, I see the ability to better CMU and the city of Mount Pleasant.

This year’s Greek Week showed the amazing feat fraternities and sororities can accomplish when they work together. In a matter of five days, the group raised more than $30,000 for Special Olympics Michigan.

Meanwhile, Pi Sigma Epsilon was down in Florida claiming first place in a national sales competition for the second consecutive year.

Imagine a future where this is the only kind of news surrounding Greek Life. Where “Animal House” stereotypes take a backseat to professionalism, philanthropy and a fun, yet safe, community.

Take pride in the accomplishments of your brothers and sisters, but also take responsibility when someone steps out of line. Likewise, when you jeopardize your group’s name, both on campus and nationally, take responsibility and any consequences for the sake of your family.

Initiative breeds transparency.

Transparency breeds trust.

Trust breeds community.

5 Comments

  1. Unique Greek says:

    THANK YOU! I have been trying to tell my chapter this for weeks. We would not tolerate sisters acting like Delta Chi’s did, so why are we supporting an organization that does not share Greek values!?

    • Anonymous says:

      No offense, but if you were an ACTUAL classy sorority girl, you would refrain from making asinine comments like this. Didn’t you ever hear the quote “If you don’t have anything nice to say, talk about the weather?”

      I don’t think it really matters if you are “anonymous” or not, you should be holding yourself to higher standards. You commenting on this makes Sorority Life at Central look vapid and useless, as well as set women back 60+ years.

  2. This is the only thing that should’ve been said all week.

  3. Dear Mr. Hicks,

    First of all, are you kidding me? What kind of pretentious prick takes it upon himself to APOLOGIZE for a whole entire fraternity?

    Secondly, I’m pretty sure that you should be apologizing, as an editor-in-chief of this glamorous new source, to the fact that you PUBLICLY took an entire sorority and implicated them in this. I have never been so embarrassed to read anything in my whole entire life. You have set CM Life back 60+ years as you sit there and point out her. Instead of requesting all of the information and causing Phi Mu heartaches, maybe you should have waited to see if the victim was willing to come forward herself to have CM Life publish something that is ABSOLUTELY private. Shame on you.

    Third, by putting Phi Mu in that position AS A CHAPTER, you have implicated slut shaming. Not directly, but in a way that the sisterhood in turn becomes the victims that are being blamed. Are you confused at to how reporting stories such as this goes? Maybe instead of focusing on a situation that terrorized someone, you should be finding something else newsworthy.

    I was a sorority member at Central, and at that time, Phi Sigma Phi had allegations and rumors swirling around them about sexual assault, but there was no report in CM Life. How does is this applicable to all of Central Michigan University? I am confused by your blatant tactics of writing. Were you biased because you didn’t get a bid from them before these articles were written?

    Again, Mr. Hicks, I apologize if I am being ignorant, but instead of CONSTANTLY reporting on this, I suggest you possibly use different topics. Interview SAPA and ask them to help with raising MORE awareness, talk about the weather, talk about what will happen in the fall, but talking about this EVERY DAY is not getting you any brownie points from the Greek community.

    Also, to Unique Greek from above; shouldn’t you NOT be posting on this website at all? I’m pretty sure the President of Panhellenic Council said that the sororities are not getting involved; or did she not speak clearly enough the first time. And to address your question about “Greek Values,” your username says the word “Unique.” If you take a minute to find your brain, I’m pretty sure you would be able to comprehend the ACTUAL definition to that word. Stay classy Unique Greek, you really seem to be here for your MRS degree.

    I would just like to ask one more question, Mr. Hicks, are you even Greek? Do you understand what it means to be Greek? Obviously your lack of enthusiasm in this article tells me that Delta Chi may not be your favorite band of brotherhood, but you’re adding to the drama.

    I would also like to remind you that even though you seem to deem Mr. Todd Levitt as a slimy scumbag of a lawyer, he’s been a practicing attorney for more than 20 years. You haven’t even received your undergraduate degree yet. Unless you’re interested in the legal world, stick to what you do best – which is writing biased columns about controversial situations. Save the courtroom attitude for the real world.

    • Greek Alumna says:

      I agree with your comment (and from the Phi Sigma Phi commment I think we were at CMU around the same time) except for the defense of Todd Levitt. If anyone is guilty of slut shaming, it is Mr. Levitt. From day one he has shamed the survivors on twitter claiming they were “just drunk” and “embarrassed by their poor choices”. He even went so far as to say that they reported the assualt as a way to hide their bad decisions from their parents. I can’t think of a better term other than “scumbag”.

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