Recent Problems Generate Strength for the Greek System and Xi Xi

Recent Problems Generate Strength for the Greek System and Xi Xi

 
If you live anywhere within normal media reach of our campus, you have seen the publicity regarding the fates of two Mizzou fraternities, one charged with severe hazing and the other allegedly involved in a race-based interlude. Even though no blame was found in the latter incident, previous problems with the involved chapter motivated its removal from campus by its national organization. The hazing house also met the same fate.
 
Fraternities must live with an emphasis on the negative behavior and frequent medial neglect of the good things they do. It’s frustrating but a fact of life. For instance, in the past four years, the Alpha Epsilon Pi Rock-a-Thon has raised more than $400,000 to fight cancer. Our Chapter, from the Sigma Chi vs. Beta hockey game and Derby Days, raised $38,000 in one semester. All the funds raised went toward fighting the same disease. When the Beta chef’s wife became seriously ill, the Chapter supported her with a $5,000 donation. Trent Grimshaw, a Delta Tau Delta, flew to Washington, D.C., to donate bone marrow to help a woman with blood cancer when they were matched. This spring, Xi Xi alumnus Alex Lindsey ’XX will meet his fundraising goal of $250,000 to produce a film on suicide problems in college. His group, Project Wake Up, also plans to contribute to mental health support at MU. These cases represent just a sampling of the positive efforts of the men and women of the Mizzou Greek system.
 
The Natural and Rather Unnatural Reaction
It’s only natural that the university amplifies communication with and pressure on the officers of Greek organizations, increasing the scrutiny of their chapters after events and trying to cull occurrences that negatively impact the image on the campus. Though the oversight has increased, the response by the Greek community may surprise you. Instead of reacting with a “poor us” attitude, both the Interfraternity Council and individual chapter officers decided it was time to take positive strides forward.
 
The IFC recognized the damage to general fraternity unity resulting from flimsily grudges and overreaction to healthy competition. It has set out to change that culture and to improve interaction through better social contact; particularly reaching out to historically African-American fraternities. We at Xi Xi previously attempted the latter but found due to our large membership, we tended to overwhelm the smaller numbers of those organizations. IFC, in recognizing this disparity, has encouraged contact among officer groups of the chapters to equalize the numbers.
 
Although hazing, due to our “no freshmen in the Chapter House” policy and the newly instituted pledge program, is virtually a non-issue at Xi Xi, the encouragement of pledges to perform acts which infringe on the privacy and property of other chapters has been a divisive issue in terms of achieving Greek unity. IFC is emphasizing stoppage of this. Special efforts are being made to educate freshmen about the right way of acting.
 
A Return to Former Disciplinary Processes
During the time that the two chapters were being expelled, the disciplinary process had been tightened. Xi Xi had been a prominent actor in altering the previous rules; when any charges were brought against a chapter, it would be given two weeks to investigate, report its findings, and indicate any discipline exacted. When the negative publicity hit the fan, the process was tightened. Now, due to the positive steps being taken, the original system appears reinstalled. Most importantly, a stronger bond among fraternities has been created from their common purpose. The immediate future promises a healthier position for our Greek system, consistently recognized as one of the most vibrant in the nation.
 
What’s the Status of Xi Xi?
Our Chapter’s current picture has to be weighed against our unique positions on freshmen and our pledge program. You may remember we initiated 41 out of 41 pledges in the fall and have a spring semester class of 15. Our consul reports, with an expected degree of bias, that pledging Sigma Chi is highly coveted among potential new members, and we cannot take all the good men who would like to join us. In-house problems have been minimized, and a growing respect and care for the Chapter House is noticed.
 
Nathan Willett ’18, receiving heavy support from a number of other fraternities and sororities, is the new student body president, and the Chapter is readying for another dazzling and successful Derby Days. Folks, that’s called momentum.
 
One can surmise that out of the ashes of negative publicity, the Greek system and our Chapter have never been stronger and more united.

Recent Donors

Brenna Dunlap Ildza
Robert Erwin ’53
Larry L. McMullen ’53
George L. Satterlee ’53
Duncan L. Matteson ’56
Gerald A. Saracini ’58
John E. Walker ’60
Mark E. Horstman ’87
Xi Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi at the University of Missouri • Copyright © 2020
P.O. Box 22548 • Kansas City, MO 64113-2548