A former member and a junior class representative argue against the fraternity
Although I may burn in the eyes of my former brethren, I pray I remain in the good graces of Heaven. It brings no pleasure to condemn an organization with such potential. It does cause me great sadness to denounce what I formerly pronounced as the force of change we need on campus. I had a hope for something great, something that could bring good to our small Bubble, despite my previous experiences with fraternities.
As Crusaders, we value independent thought. We also have a capacity to see the good in everything, so long as the end is true and the application proper. So when the idea of bringing a fraternity, specifically Alpha Delta Gamma, started circulating around campus, I was intrigued. I was hopeful that this campus could provide the men that a fraternity needs to be successful.
ADG has many great values as an organization. It believes in prioritizing the spiritual, scholastic, service and social aspects of a man. None of this deterred me, so I won’t deny that when I was asked to join, I gladly pledged. Little did I know that this brotherhood would become exactly what led me to leave my first university.
My freshman year was spent at Texas Christian University. 60 percent of the student population is in a Greek social fraternity or sorority. I rushed and pledged a fraternity for a semester, but after multiple occasions which caused me utter disdain for the whole Greek life, I became a commuter during my second semester and ultimately transferred to escape the horrors of fraternal bondage to which I had been committed.
In my time with the Dallas colony of ADG, I have found that the people in this organization are more concerned with maintaining its existence than preserving the values it champions. The colony has compromised its principles while maintaining the appearance of brotherly values – the extent of its shameful behavior cannot go unrecognized.
If an organization is not properly founded, it is not worth building. The structure of this colony will not stand the test of real Christian values.
I have no desire to preserve UD exactly the way it is for all eternity. I find that to be a silly argument and I always disagreed with critiquing the chartering of a fraternity for the mere sake of preventing change. Whether we want it or not, change will occur. It drives us toward our greater potential. Thus, my first thought was yes, finally an opportunity to create a fraternity with the same values that drew me to UD. I thought we could be the founding fathers of an organization that only strengthened our core principles and empowered men toward greater ends.
Whether any fraternity has the potential to be that force can be debated. Sadly, this is not the one to do so. This is not the time for the induction of what is, from my personal experience, a detriment to our campus and students.
It is with great regret that I bring this to our students, faculty, staff and any other affiliates, for I invested much hope in this group. I wanted nothing more than for this to be a success. It breaks my heart to say these things not because of the dissolution of the fraternity, but because of what actually drove me to change my position. So I urge you, as a student body, spare yourselves the injustice and end this debate. I came here hoping to leave this campus in a better place than I found it, and perhaps the end of this debate is the only change that we truly need.
Upon reading contributing writer William Remmes’ article entitled “Alpha Delta Gamma and UD: a unified mission,” I knew that, once again, a prospective fraternity would spark debate around campus. I hope it will again proceed in an atmosphere of good will and respect. It seems that this time around, however, the debate will not revolve around the benefits or problems of having a recognized social fraternity, but rather around the question of why the prospective fraternity members are looking for recognition again and what last year’s decision meant for the group and for the school.
Last year, many students took part in a Student Government survey about ADG specifically, and about Greek Life in general. The overall majority of them reported that they did not want the group, or any other social fraternity or sorority, to be recognized by the university. This consensus resulted in SG’s denial to grant ADG a charter – a fair and representative action of the vox populi. The majority of the student body expressed a strong desire that the fraternity not be recognized by the university, not only for this past school year, but for all school years to come. The reappearance of the fraternity has left many students wondering, in the words of Cicero, “quo usque tandem,” “for how long” will this be a debated issue?
This fall, ADG again seeks to be recognized by the university. While the group has the right to petition for recognition again, SG is not obligated to repeat its survey due to the extensive work done by the Fraternity Investigatory Committee on its behalf last fall. By denying ADG a charter last fall, SG expressed the collected opinion of the student body, which applied not only to that year, but also to the years to come. The previous decision ought to be taken into account in any future action by Student Government or the university administration.
To explain why the group is renewing its quest for university recognition, Remmes points out a “striking similarity” between the mission statements of the University of Dallas and ADG. However, while the mission of UD is fairly defined in its mission statement, the fraternity’s mission is surprisingly vague. With its appeal to an unnamed “common set of ideals, goals, and realistic purposes,” the fraternity’s mission statement could realistically apply to a range of groups. UD’s mission statement is specifically oriented towards educating students towards acting for their own good and for the good of others, whereas the ADG statement merely asserts a “responsibility to many things,” and cites God as one of those “things.” It seems curious that a fraternity purportedly based on Jesuit values would prescribe a divided responsibility to God placing Him among other “things,” whereas the Jesuit motto indicates that all things ought to be done to the greater glory of God and responsibility to Him ought to pervade all one’s works.
Upon closer reading, it seems to me that any similarity between the mission statements is inconsequential and does not alone warrant examination of the group’s renewed bid for recognition. However, I recognize the passion and energy that prospective fraternity members have displayed toward working for the common good of UD, and I would urge them to work within the many existing service groups, which we already have on campus.