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Greek life should prioritize meaningful service

Although it is true that actions of some Greek members in the past have been lackluster and deserving of punishment, it does not discount the potential of Greek life as an institution. As someone who was skeptical at first, I have developed valuable bonds within my Greek community that I otherwise would not have been able to. Wooster having exclusively local Greek life gives us a unique opportunity to shape Greek life into what we want it to be. Greek life makes up a large chunk of campus and has the potential to make a big impact in the surrounding community.

Here are some examples of ways we, as Greeks, can begin to shape this community into a more positive force on campus and make a meaningful impact on the community.

First, we can each choose an organization that we consistently volunteer with. Right now, most Greeks do sporadic service over the course of the semester, from volunteering at the Humane Society one week to raking leaves another. This is helpful in the moment, but it’s more beneficial to leave a lasting impact. Building a relationship with an organization not only makes an impact on the people who are a part of the organization but it makes the work that we’re doing more meaningful. For example, if we decided to volunteer for the after school program at Cornerstone Elementary every week, we would start to form a bond with students that we help. Not only do we become role models for the students, but that new role also drives us to always come back. That’s meaningful.

Some might argue that this type of service already exists with the program houses on campus. Sure it does, and I’m not saying that type of service is lacking, but why not make a bigger impact when we have the chance? There’s no harm in doing so, only benefit.

Physically doing service is not the only way for us as a Greek community to give back. Sometimes doing service is not the best option when looking to do the most amount of good. In a world of ever improving technology and specialization, we are becoming more aware that we cannot do it all. Sometimes it’s more beneficial for us to donate or raise money than it is to actively do service. Let’s say there’s a humanitarian crisis in a Country X. They are in urgent need of medical care, food and shelter. Would it (A) be more beneficial for you to physically go to Country X and provide medical care, food and shelter or would it (B) be better to donate money to an organization that specializes in humanitarian aid? In this case, B is the obvious answer. As undergraduates, none of us have the adequate medical training, salary for food or carpentry skills necessary to help them in anyway.

This is where power in numbers comes into play. We represent a large portion of the campus community and if each of us donated $10 then we alone would raise over $3,500. For instance, that would cover the cost of 1,750 malaria nets which would protect, on average, 3,500 people for three to four years. Imagine if we used our influence to incorporate the rest of campus. Philanthropy and service are not just Greek-specific activities. I urge everyone to take part in service, but I’m challenging the Greek community to take part in meaningful service and to leave a lasting legacy on the Wooster community and the world.

Maha Rashid, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at

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