“Gangs and Greeks both share the love for a brother,” Nigel Richardson, senior, political science major said.
This is just one of many views of students at the Gangs v. Greeks forum held Tuesday night in the University Center Cypress Room.
The forum was hosted by the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and discussed the similarities and differences between Greek organizations and gangs.
The event consisted of a panel discussion including representation from a member of seven out of nine members of the NPHC fraternities and sororities. Discussion included many thoughts about the similarity and differences between Greeks and gangs, the media perception of both and the parallel between hazing methods.
“The origins of Greek Life started on college campuses for the betterment of the campus,” Jeremiah Wiggins, senior psychology major said. “Gangs started for equality of blacks on the streets. Frats began to do community service while gangs began to promote violence against police, other gangs and even within their own members.”
Also discussed was the aspect of what Greeks and gangs stand for.
“Scholarship is essential to all NPHC organizations,” Ieshia Greaves-Thomas, junior business administration major, said. “I don’t think the Crips and Bloods have Wednesday night study hall.”
While some people saw mostly negative differences, others sought out positive similarities.
“Both Greeks and gangs have goals,” Jonathan Wyche, senior chemistry major, said. “They just take different paths to achieve them.
The aspect of the media portrayal of Greek life and gangs was also covered during the forum and produced many different opinions. Some felt that the media showed Greeks in a bad light, while other opinions suggested that the media portrays what is given to them.
“The media places messages in other peoples head for those who don’t know what Greek life is really about,” Nina Wright, senior mass media major said.
One of the last things discussed was the hazing factor for Greeks and gang.
“For Greeks, hazing was outlawed in 1990,” said Richardson. “The purpose for hazing was to prove how much you wanted it. I think the same holds true for why gang members do it.”