Black Student Union Aims to Break the Stereotypes of Greek Life and Gangs

Students filled Plaza Room Middle as they came to engage in the BSU Real Talk discussion “Gangs vs. Greeks” Tuesday night. Among other topics, students from different organizations came to express their thoughts about gang life and Greek life and whether it was feasible to compare the two. Junior public relations person of BSU, Justin Barker said, “We [members of BSU] wanted to hold this event to clear confusion, because people seem to link Greeks and Gangs together.”

Many compared Greek life with gang life because of the hand signs and the specific colors they all wear to represent their group. NAACP Community Service Chairperson Raina Hodge, a senior, said, “If aliens were to come to Earth and saw two separate groups, one gang and one Greek, they wouldn’t know the difference.” She added, “Both groups would be throwing up hand signs and both groups would be wearing the same color.”

There were others who disagreed with the idea because Greek life at college is meant to better an individual’s future, while gang life is fast-paced and dangerous. Delaware State University graduate Franklin Alvarez of the Kappa Omicron chapter of Omega Psi Phi said in regards to the discussion, “It was very informative, but some people who would seriously compare Greeks and gangs are seriously misinformed.”

In response to comments such as those, people who were not involved in Greek life implied that no one could inform them entirely because there are so many secrets kept in fraternities and sororities. “You’re never going to know exactly what they’re about unless you’re in the group,” said ACS Community Service Chairperson, Rebecca Martelly, a junior at the university.

The overall discussion was informative about the two groups and it was meant to show that Greek life and gang life are not the same. Senior Diana Pena of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. said, “I hope it [the discussion] gave some light to what fraternities and sororities are, and hope some stereotypes were broken down.”

Martelly pointed out, “There was no one from gangs there, so we only had one side of the story.”

— Claudia Balthazar

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