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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

NPHC to be included in Greek celebration

Members of multicultural fraternities and sororities are involved in Greek Week activities for the first time this year.

Usually, Greek Week is the time in the academic year when members of Marquette sororities and fraternities come together to celebrate what it means to be Greek. This year, Marquette’s Greek community has extended an invitation to seven historically black sororities and fraternities to participate in Greek Week for the first time.

According to Patrick Johnson, vice president of programming for Marquette’s Interfraternity Council, those fraternities and sororities are part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The NPHC is different from the National Panhellenic Conference, which is an umbrella organization of sororities nationwide. Marquette has chapters of sororities in its Panhellenic Association. The NPHC is also different from fraternities in the Interfraternity Council.

Johnson, a junior in the College of Education, said NPHC members have never attempted to get involved in Greek Week and never expressed an interest. For unknown reasons, they were not offered the opportunity until this year.

Since NPHC sororities and fraternities have always been a part of the Marquette community, he said involving them in Greek Week is a way to welcome them to be active in the tradition.

“We’re working to unify the three Greek life councils,” Johnson said. “The goal is to create a positive experience for all Greeks on campus.”

Justine Shorter, a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, said she doesn’t think there was anything limiting NPHC’s pursuit of getting involved. She said she feels the hesitation to do so came from an acceptance that things “have always been separated, and that’s just the way it is.”

Now, she said, there’s a movement among the three organizations to come together.

“The attitude is much different because we’ve been involved in the planning,” said Shorter, a sophomore in the College of Communication. “Our voices have been heard and our members updated. I think communication has been the key.”

Deanna Anderson, vice president of programming for Marquette’s Panhellenic Association, said this is a building and familiarizing year for NPHC members because they have not participated in Greek Week in the past.

Anderson, a junior in the College of Engineering, said 30 NPHC members are participating in Greek Week, compared to 720 participating IFC and Pan-Hellenic members.

According to Marquette’s Web site, the Marquette chapter of the NPHC is entitled to receive university support through the Office of Student Development, specifically in the form of a Greek adviser, programs and services.

However, NPHC chapters are Milwaukee-wide, and not all members reside on the Marquette campus. For liability reasons, only Marquette members are permitted to participate in the week’s activities, Anderson said.

Shorter said the liability issue is a primary problem for Greek Week events because NPHC members barely have enough representatives for their teams in the activities. For Greek Week, both fraternity and sorority members are on a combined NPHC team. But Panhellic sororities and IFC fraternities are represented individually, Shorter said.

She said she hopes this is something that can change next year so NPHC members can have a chance to be more competitive.

Johnson said NPHC involvement is important because it includes them in the Greek family that is visible on campus.

“For Greeks, this is our golden week of the year,” Johnson said. “We want (NPHC members) to know that they are just as much a part of our Greek family as we are of theirs.”

Shorter said NPHC members want to ensure their presence is felt by all.

“People need to understand that we do have a place on this campus,” she said. “They see power in numbers and might overlook us sometimes. We want to make sure that when you think ‘Greek life’ at Marquette, you also think about the historically black involvement.”

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