In celebration of Deliberation Nation, I attended a deliberation on Greek life on college campuses. While I really like the topic of the deliberation I attended, I wasn’t a fan of the way the group organized and ran the discussion. Immediately after we introduced ourselves, one of the group members asked to raise your hand if you are involved in Greek life. I’m in a sorority on campus so I had to raise my hand and then any time anyone was criticizing an aspect of Greek life they would look at me, as if talking right to me. I noticed the group also seemed to focus their attention on other students involved in Greek life.
While I understand that the group was probably just trying to get a feel for the room, I don’t think they should have focused on preaching the negatives of Greek life solely to sorority and fraternity members. It left out the majority of the discussion group and seemed to target a small percentage of us. As a member of Greek life, I can recognize the issues at hand and understand that changes need to be made but they seemed to assume that being involved in Greek life meant that I supported every aspect of it whole-heartedly.
I also didn’t like how involved the professor was. It made it seem like the group giving the deliberation needed help to keep the conversation going. Whenever the professor stepped back and allowed the group to run their own deliberation, the students behind each approach would be offended if anyone challenged their views. However, many of the approaches focused too heavily on the negative aspects of Greek life or even contained false facts about the organizations. Overall, I liked being able to participate in a community discussion that interested me, but I didn’t like the set-up or the execution of the deliberation I attended.