By Joe Bravo
The term “fraternity” brings with it a heavy set of stereotypes, images, and assumptions. There are reasons why these stereotypes exist, and I believe that this culture does not represent our collective values as a university. Regardless of their individual beliefs and values, each student made a decision to attend this school, and respect the guidelines within the school covenant upon attending. However, there are those who have a desire to be involved on campus, but struggle to find a clean fit with existing campus groups, and wish to institute Greek life in order to have this community that they are looking for.
For those in this situation, a more holistic approach may be appropriate. A fraternity or sorority provides an excellent model for growth on every level and fits naturally with this university’s mission and vision. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” A group dedicated to living according to the PLNU set of values will model and form character. By giving back to our community through philanthropy, and by holding events for all students and partnering with other campus groups, our service will become an expression of our faith and our values as a brotherhood.
There are concerns that come with the territory, even at PLNU. A common criticism of Greek systems is that they promote exclusivity and elitism. However, I believe that when done correctly, a fraternity should enrich the school as a whole and give back to its community. The organization I am currently working with states it as follows: “Alma Mater first, and Theta Chi for Alma Mater.” We want to grow and include those who share our values and interests. Those who don’t will naturally not have an interest. Any decision made regarding membership is made to protect the fraternity against liabilities. An organization lives or dies by the quality of its members; any fraternity, especially one at PLNU, cannot afford to permit certain behaviors, and the people attached to those behaviors.
The issue of a fraternity at PLNU is ultimately that, an issue of behavior. If done with Christ-like love, and a dedication to service, a fraternity would only benefit our students and our community. It would be a place for those who wish to get involved but simply don’t know how; it would provide fellowship and growth for its members. It would serve the campus as a whole: hosting events, assisting Community and Residential life, and giving back through philanthropy and student ministries. I believe that God has a purpose for each of us in our lives, and no one ends up at PLNU by accident. We all know that this time in college is more difficult for some than others. Greek life could stand to reach students at all levels of PLNU if done with prayerful consideration, and an open heart. This is what we at Theta Chi work for every day, and is the only way that a fraternity or sorority at PLNU should exist.