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COLUMN: Silence of Greek leaders speaks louder than words


emmadalemug

Something most students probably don’t know a lot about is what Central Michigan Life is and who the people are behind the name.

You may see our social media posts, read stories on our website and read our print edition twice a week. But do you know who we really are?

We are your friends, the students sitting with you in your classes, the people you see around campus. We aren’t some far-off entity that has no connection with the student body or campus.  

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we care about the things you care about — the students, faculty, alumni, parents and community members reading this.

Our main goal is to report the news accurately. To tell you know what you need to know about what is happening at Central Michigan University.

Following the publication of our special investigation into the Phi Sigma Phi fraternity, and what led to the fraternity’s forever dismissal, I’m anticipating a lot of feedback from people, especially in Greek Life. They probably think we have it out for them.

That’s not the case. 

I’m a student, just like you. I’m a young woman in college. I go out on the weekends. I’ve been to fraternity parties. I have friends involved in Greek Life.

We as the student newspaper at CMU have a duty to provide the campus and community with the truth.

Working for CM Life for almost four years now, I care about this campus with a deep passion. I care about what the culture is, and what it will be after I leave. I care about the safety of my fellow students and friends. I want CMU to be a university I am proud to have attended.

So these tough stories we report, these tough questions we ask, these investigations we perform, are essential. 

If I was not studying journalism, and had never worked at CM Life, I would still hope there was someone looking out for me. I would want there to some campus watchdog.

This year, CM Life scaled back our coverage of Greek Life – that was a decision I made as this year’s editor-in-chief. Last year we tried to expand our coverage of Greek Life; to make it more than Greek Week coverage or Greeks cleaning the streets. 

Yet, reporters and photographers were still given a hard time. A reporter who attempted to cover Interfraternity Council meetings was kicked out, and treated with disrespect. A photographer taking photos of students out during St. Patrick's Day last year was harassed by fraternity members and bullied into deleting his photos.

I want nothing but a good relationship between the voice of the students — CM Life — and Greek Life. But it takes two to tango, and people in Greek Life need to be willing to do this.

At no time this year, has CM Life received any sort of press release about a Greek event, or just someone reaching out in hopes we can do a story on something their chapter is doing. I think that's because these organizations have closed themselves off from the rest of campus.

In today’s edition, the voices of the president of the Interfraternity Council and the president of the Panhellenic Council are absent. They both declined to be interviewed or offer comment for these stories. 

Being editor-in-chief, I receive a lot of scrutiny, since part of my role is a spokesperson of our organization. So when we, or someone within our publication screws up, I have to say something about that. Leaders of Greek Life: You should do the same. 

I don’t want CM Life to only cover Greek Life when something bad happens. But the people involved have to be open and willing to cooperate. Coverage of your organizations can't just happen on your terms.

I hope this edition detailing the allegations and incidents about PSP throughout the years, shed light to an issue we, and other fraternity and sorority leaders, knew was happening. I hope this gives people in the Greek community courage to use their voices – individually or unified – to stand up and help make our community better, and safer.

Use your voices in a powerful and positive way and make the changes you know are necessary. Because when you do, that is a story I definitely want to report in CM Life.

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