Bring Greek life to Webster Leiden?April 21, 2012
By Brittany Brown
Sisterhood and brotherhood—where memories are cherished and friends are made. However, does it have a place here on the Webster Leiden campus?
Webster University’s main campus in St. Louis is currently the only Webster campus that has Greek life: Delta Phi Epsilon and Delta Upsilon.
The sorority—Delta Phi Epsilon—began on campus in the spring of 2009 with 25 girls. It is home to 62 members and 18 alumni members. It continues to grow every semester by initiating new girls.
While on the other end, Webster St. Louis’s fraternity—Delta Upsilon—failed to succeed. It started in 2009 as well, but slowly died a year later when most of its members graduated. The fraternity did not initiate any new members.
Webster Leiden students Michelle Weaver and Jeremy Francis share similar views about bringing Greek life to Leiden. They believe it will not be successful due to the fact that the campus is so small. It only has 400 students.
Weaver says, “I feel like with sororities, people become isolated or only mix and socialize with people in their club. One of my favorite things about Webster is the diversity and how we all mix together and I would hate to jeopardize this.”
If a fraternity were established on campus, Francis would not join. He says, “I prefer non-alcoholic fun.” Sororities and fraternities hold a negative image, one that is associated with endless parties and hazing.
Although, depending on the Greek life that would come to Leiden campus, it could easily eliminate the negative images others have of sororities and fraternities. A Leiden study abroad student Julie Polk is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon back in St. Louis.
“I would have loved to have Greek life over here. It would have enabled me to make friends quicker since we would have had a common ground of being in the sorority.”
She understands there are negative views about Delta Phi Epsilon. In St. Louis, members are not allowed to partake in hazing or seen partying. If caught, consequences may include losing membership to the sorority.
Polk does not believe size has anything to do with the sorority being successful on the main campus. “It would bring in a more cultural aspect and bring more of a community to Webster since Webster Leiden is so small.”
Greek life is not for every college. Perhaps it is not for Leiden because of the size. Or maybe the size is suitable and this would thrive even more than the sorority at Webster St. Louis.
It is hard to tell if a sorority or fraternity would be successful in Leiden. One thing that is for sure, it takes a group of people to devote time and commitment in order to start an organization, and continue it each year.