Greeks United for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, seeking to make the UCSD Greek system more inclusive, is educating campus fraternities and sororities for a more equitable atmosphere within that community, as has been the group’s focus since it was founded in Fall Quarter 2014.
GUIDE has so far held a retreat and four workshops that focused on teaching members of the UCSD Greek community about a range of issues including allyship, LGBTQQIAA campus issues, historic exclusivity of Greek life and pre- and post-Compton Cookout UCSD.
Lauren Roberts, an Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore and active member of GUIDE, as well as Alpha Chi Omega, spoke about using GUIDE to fix issues that have been institutionalized in the Greek system.
“This org [sic] isn’t about dismantling the system in place and creating a new one,” Roberts told the UCSD Guardian. “This org is about realizing the institutional problems that exist in Greek life so we can step up and move into a new era for Greek Life. We hope to make institutional changes in the Greek system that can move Greek life away from its historical exclusivity and towards a more equitable future.”
GUIDE intends to make changes in education for the Greek system specifically by implementing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirement for all members of UCSD Greek life. Roberts indicated that this may be their most difficult goal to implement. They have also been drafting their constitution, and the election for principal members will be going on this week.
Roberts also told the Guardian that though GUIDE realizes that many communities at UCSD do not trust Greek life, the members intend to work to change that image.
“A lot of communities are distrusting of Greek life, which is completely understandable. We have a lot to prove as a new organization, and the first of its kind in the country,” Roberts said. “That being said we just need to follow the avenues for change and hope people respond well.”
The organization was formed through the efforts and inputs of Greek Life Advisor Colin Gerker, the Campus Community Centers, the Interfraternity Council at UCSD, the Multicultural Greek Council and the Panhellenic Association at UCSD.
Colin King, the former Beta Theta Pi director of equality, talked about his disappointment with Greek life’s attitudes toward cultural inclusion and how he sees GUIDE as changing that.
“When I first came to UC San Diego in 2010, I was disappointed to see the lack of action towards the Greek communities and the lack of resources for those individuals or groups that were hurt by cultural insensitivity,” King told the UCSD News Center. “GUIDE is a tangible step towards tackling the wider issues in the community.”