October 18, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Greeks give most time, raise most funds

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To the Editor:

Re: “Greek-American” Opinion, Oct. 18

While the author’s column was characteristically thoughtful and interesting, I was disappointed to read his uninformed characterization of Greek life as promoting “occasional philanthropy.” This misguided interpretation could have easily been avoided with a quick glance at the Interfraternity Council’s website, which clearly displays the Council’s impressive accomplishments in volunteer service and philanthropic giving. Over the past two academic years, the IFC alone has contributed nearly 70,000 hours of service to the Tompkins County community and over $230,000 dollars to local, national and international nonprofit organizations. This does not include equally impressive contributions from the Panhellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council. Even the recent proposal to modify the University Recognition Policy, written by administrators intent on making sweeping changes in the Greek community, noted that Greek students are “more involved in volunteer work and student leadership roles.” Please carefully consider facts before publishing work that perpetuates stereotypical images of Greek life. Even innocuous references can create opinions based in misguided notions of “frat life.”

Nate Houghton ’11, vice president for university and community relations, Cornell Interfraternity Council