Greek Multicultural Rock serves as outlet for cultural organizations
For 11 cultural Greek organizations at Central Michigan University, there is only one way they are able express their organizations’ letters on campus that is organized by the university.
“All we have is a rock,” said the president of National Pan-Hellenic Council, Jacquelyn Taylor.
Organizations listed on the plaque next to the Greek Multicultural Rock:
- Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity
- Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority
- Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity
- Omega Psi Phi fraternity
- Delta Sigma Theta sorority
- Phi Beta Sigma fraternity
- Zeta Phi Beta sorority
- Sigma Gamma Rho sorority
- Iota Phi Theta fraternity
- Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity
- Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority
The Multicultural Greek Rock resides in between the Charles V. Park Library, Brooks Hall and the Music building next to the sidewalk. The are 11 cultural greek organizations that utilize the rock are listed on the plaque next to it.
These organizations are able to paint it with their letters or colors. Because multicultural fraternities do not have their own houses, this is the only place on campus where they can officially be recognized.
Taylor said the cultural Greek Life organizations want to branch out and wishes they had more representation on campus. Michigan State University also has a rock for all of its cultural organizations, she said, but at historically black universities they have larger monuments or trees for the organizations.
Even though the organizations able to paint the rock are listed on a plaque next to it, Taylor said that it is usually painted over by greek organizations outside of that list, at least two or three times a year. She doesn’t believe these incidents are always done out of spite, but ignorance.
The letters of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity appeared on the rock at the beginning of February. Presidents of both organizations said they didn’t believe anyone in their organization painted the letters on the rock.
"I hope (those responsible) come forward," said Zeta Tau Alpha President Samantha Berryhill. "As a chapter, we know the significance of the multicultural rock and are working on expanding our knowledge even more by having a (National Pan-Hellenic Council) organization presentation come into our chapter and educate us."
Sigma Chi fraternity president Zach Stout said he was very disappointed to see his letters and Zeta’s painted on the rock.
“It just sheds a poor light on us,” Stout said. “I don’t believe anyone is responsible in our chapter, so it is unfortunate that we are associated with that behavior.”
Stout said organizations painting the multicultural rock who aren't supposed to is comparable to when letters on a fraternity or sorority house are defaced.
“I know it’s a problem on campus with a letter here or there getting taken off someone’s house, so I would say they would have to feel the same way as any other group who has had to put up with that kind of stuff.”
After the incident Stout said a member from Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Chi and NPHC met and decided no party involved was responsible for what happened.
“I think there is a bigger problem, too, that not everybody on campus knows what the rock stands for,” Stout said. “Obviously it’s a pretty big insult, if you do know what it stands for but moving forward this could help spread awareness of how important it is to all the (cultural greek organizations).”
He said he believes everyone in Sigma Chi, and most people in Greek Life, are made aware of what the rock stands for either by word of mouth or training sessions new members go through before they become members of a greek organization.