Greek Life can be extremely intimidating to those who are on the outside looking in. But, on Monday, Greek Life proved that it is quite accepting of those who are part of the LGBTQ community and also those who choose to be involved in an organization on campus. This panel was one of several events that occured this week for the LGBTQ Center’s “Coming Out Week.”
At the event, the LGBTQ Center announced that Montclair State is one of the top schools for being most inclusive and accepting of all genders, orientations and the LGBTQ community.
There were five members of Greek organizations that served on the panel for the entire event, answering questions and giving their own personal experiences of being a part of the community and also being a member of Greek life. The panelists included representatives from Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Chi Rho, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Mu Sigma Upsilon.
The brother who represented Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity said, “[Although] gay rights for marriage have been passed, the fight for LGBTQ rights [is] not over.”
With Greek Life at Montclair State expanding and growing each semester, the question now becomes: how accepting is Greek Life on campus?
Lynsey Petruskevich, a sister in Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, said she always felt extremely comfortable in her sorority and never felt like she couldn’t express herself in any way she wanted.
Over 100 members of Greek Life and prospective Greeks came to support the event that included panelists answering questions about how the LGBTQ and Greek communities thrived on campus, some challenges LGBTQ members face and what improvements need to be made in order to keep progressing as an inclusive and accepting Greek community and campus.
One main suggestion that had been brought up numerous times throughout the night was the necessity of “Safe Space Training.”
Greek Executive Board members are required at each annual Greek Training week to participate in “Safe Space Training,” a positive asset for each organization to have accomplished before going through new recruitment sessions.
Petruskevich said, “I think it went really well. The crowd seemed really engaged, which made it a lot more comfortable to talk about. I think it should be a series, though, because there’s a lot of issues within the two communities that should be discussed further.”