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CCU sororities, fraternities work with campus leaders to break stigma, improve campus experience

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Coastal Carolina University hosted a committee meeting with members of campus sororities and fraternities on Friday to discuss ways to change the conversation surrounding Greek life.

Three members of the Greek life community voiced concerns with campus leaders, in hopes of ending the stigma and improving their organizations.

“For some reason, when you bring up Greek Life, the first thing you think about is hazing and that’s one thing I think needs to be broken,” said Executive Vice President of Operations for CCU Interfraternity Council Jake Carvalho.

During the meeting, students had real, open conversations with CCU’s Board of Trustees. Those trustees said they are focusing on improving Greek life, as a whole, across campus.

Leaders said CCU’s Greek life includes around 1,300 students. With over 10% of the student body in a fraternity or sorority, the board was interested in hearing student’s perspectives on their Greek Life experience with CCU.

”It really gives you that opportunity to get in somewhere and meet countless friends,” said Alex Knight, president of CCU’s IFC.

Knight bridges the relationship between the school and Greek life. He said he spoke with the board on Friday in hopes of clearing up hazing misrepresentation within fraternities.

During the meeting, leaders also reviewed CCU’s hazing policy and compared it with other universities.

“College of Charleston adds extortion, road trips, stunts, and violations of fraternity national policies. James Madison has a long list and adds burning, branding, tattooing, painting, spraying, pelting blindfolding and parading,” said Oran Smith, board chairman of CCU’s Board of Trustees.

This meeting comes just months after the , following a lengthy hazing investigation.

“We definitely don’t want to see hazing, but the sad part is that can never change when the only thing that’s being talked about and emphasized is hazing when in reality people should be emphasizing the great things Greek life does,” said Knight.

Knight explained Greek life does so much good in the community, like fundraising and volunteer work. He said the sororities and fraternities are hopeful the board will take their feedback to heart.

“I think what it really comes down to is where can we meet that middle ground, but also benefit each other,” said Knight.

Leaders in Friday’s meeting claim the last hazing policy was reviewed in 2021. They said discussing the hazing policy this year, is in line with a planned three-year review.