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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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Greek Life secrecy unethical

Greek Life secrecy unethical

Due to some questioning about the current status of a fraternity here on campus, it has come to my attention that there are alleged accusations of hazing in the UTEP chapter of Phi Delta Theta.

As a reporter at a university newspaper, it is my duty to provide news to students that directly affect and pertain to them. In many cases, the stories I write are of a joyous nature, but many include some not so favorable content.

It is frustrating when, at times, there is a story that I can’t report or complete due to the lack of cooperation by the main sources or spokespersons for that issue.

Greek Life is the most tight-lipped entity that I have ever encountered. Although no source is ever obligated to talk to media, the type of silence and lack of cooperation by Greek Life is unlike any other I’ve ever witnessed.

During my freshman year at UTEP, I ignorantly chose the topic of my final feature story in one of my journalism classes to be on Greek Life and it’s place in UTEP’s history, whether it be good or bad.

I highlighted why students are drawn to Greek Life and why some may have drifted into oblivion due to some suspicious activity.

Of course, being the type of journalist that wanted to get to the root of the story, I noticed that everything was always glitter and flowers when it came to talking about the positives of Greek Life on the UTEP campus. But when it came to talking about the bad side of this issue, my sources completely shut me out.

Hazing was an issue that I felt needed to be addressed in my story, since it is what has ultimately been the demise of a few well-known sororities and fraternities on campus.

According to stophazing.org, more than half of college students that are involved in some sort of organization, club or team will experience hazing. In all, social sororities and fraternities are right behind athletics when it comes to the highest percentage of students that are hazed in their student group.

When I reached out to a former classmate who was a part of a sorority that had been disbanded due to hazing, she quickly and blatantly told me that she was not going to share any information about what had happened, and that I wouldn’t get too far with any other sources either.

When I asked why she wouldn’t speak to me even though she was no longer a “sister,” she told me that she will always remain loyal to her sorority no matter what the outcome, disgraced or not.

Although this loyalty is admired by some, as a journalist it is something I find ridiculous and unnecessary.

It is clearly unethical not to speak out against something that is obviously wrong. I find it disturbing that a group would hold out information that could possibly help inform others on the truth, especially a truth that could bring justice and clarity to those that are unsure of the Greek Life culture.

Exposing injustices could easily clear up names. If someone claims to be your brother or sister, how can you not speak out when they harm you?

Taking a step back to hone in on my primary focus, these are the questions that are left unanswered and that journalists like myself are
waiting to solve.

Although these may seem like small, petty issues that only a college newspaper would cover, please remember to take a look at the severity of issues such as hazing, partying, alcohol and other accidents that can occur in Greek settings.

Injuries, and even some fatalities, have been reported around the country due to events—mostly hazing—that have been associated with fraternity and sorority life.

I am in no way saying that this is the definition of what Greek Life is, but this is an issue that is present and magnified because of the secrecy and silence that has always been present here at UTEP and at universities across the United States.

As soon as the fear and the loyalty fade, the truth will surface and maybe then the journalism world and the Greek world will learn to work together in perfect harmony.

Until then, The Prospector will continue to seek the truth. That
is a promise.

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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  • H

    Hector R. SolteroOct 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Hi Amanda,

    I wanted to let you know how I dont appreciate you calling out my fraternity Phi Delta Theta the way you did. We are currently being investigated and it had nothing to do with hazing or will I tell you what our investigation is about. Several other fraternities and sororities have been suspended from campus for other reasons and never has the prospector reported on them. Why now, and why call out one particular fraternity?

    If you want to write about Fraternity & Sorority Life (not Greek Life anymore by the way, please do a little more research) you should write about how Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) is a key to being a Tier One University and how we need 5% of the student body to be greek in order for our university to be considered for Tier One. Do you even know what our current percentage of our FSL community is? Maybe you should look into that and write how important FSL is not only to the community but to our university to become a Tier One campus. In the past three years that Ive been part of FSL I have seen 4 fraternities and sororities get suspended. One of those four just returned this semester.

    As a reporter I expect for you to do your research and yes dont expect to get information from administration or members of the FSL community on things such as why is this fraternity under investigation. Do your research by actually getting involved and learning what good the FSL community has done for the El Paso community and the UTEP community. How many people in leadership roles on campus this includes students and faculty members actually are a part of a fraternity and sorority. You would be surprised to learn that many leaders of our university are in fact part of a fraternity or sorority.

    Hector R. Soltero

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Greek Life secrecy unethical