Sac State students weigh in on Greek life’s purpose

Allegations of hazing leads to questions of accountability

Jose Fabian

Anonymous allegations not only kicked off at least three investigations into Greek life at Sacramento State, but began a spring of scrutiny and self evaluation among students and organization members.

Sac State’s Delta Chi chapter was ordered to cease and desist all activity after recently being accused by an anonymous email sender of hazing pledges; once in 2015 and once in 2017, according to the emails.

A video from January 2018 of a Pi Kappa Alpha pledge vomiting also surfaced after it was emailed anonymously to The State Hornet by a separate sender, reopening an old investigation for one day.

RELATED: Sac State orders Delta Chi fraternity to ‘cease and desist all activity’

In response, Sac State’s Associated Students, Inc. President Noel Mora is establishing a Student Safety Committee which will act as an advisory group for student organizations. Mora said the committee will create a list of recommendations for a more caring campus.

“As a campus, we all need to do our part in making sure we have a caring culture that enables all of us to succeed,” Mora said. “It takes hard work and communication, but we’re one Hornet family at the end of the day.”

For some Sac State students, Greek life is part of what makes a caring campus.

“I got a massive support group out of nowhere which helped me get through life last year,” said Ricky Garcia, a finance major. “It’s a good way to get out there and get out of your own shell so that you can meet other people.”

Clint Gassaway, an economics major and Alpha Phi Omega member, said that as a community, Greek life can be helpful for those who are in need of support. Gassaway also said that there needs be reform and accountability in terms of how the organizations are run.

Garcia expressed concern for the Greek community, explaining that there is negative energy toward all the other organizations rather than being one unified Greek culture.

“Personally, I get why people do it,” said Damon Perez, a communications major. “I know people might not have that many friends and just want to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

Bianca Bernales, a liberal studies major, said she views paying to go to events with friends as “pointless.”

“I mean, I don’t really care for it,” Bernales said. “How I see it is that you’re paying to have friends in a way. Like, having to pay to go to events, I don’t know. To me, it’s kinda pointless”

Seth Woster, a geography major, echoed Bernales.

“I’ve always thought of it as a pay-to-make-friends kind of thing,” said Woster.

Woster added that he thinks the media is partially responsible for some of the stereotypes surrounding Greek life.

“The hazing, binge drinking, the way they act, and the way they are portrayed, the negativity comes from what you see in the news,” said Woster.

Gloria Ramirez, a communications studies and disorders major is currently pledging Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Sigma. Ramirez said Greek life is about having a group of friends to support you.

Kayla Knox, a pre-nursing student, said she thinks greek life can encourage clique behavior, especially at Sac State.

“I feel like Greek life here, there are a lot of stereotypes,” Knox said. “‘Oh, she’s in Alpha Phi. I already know how they are.’”

Aaron Jackson, Robert Moon, Robyn Dobson and Luis Platero contributed to this report.

RELATED: Sac State Pi Kappa Alpha chapter no longer under investigation