BSU brings Greek life back to campus

Written By Amanda Andrews, Co-Features/A&E Editor

For the first time in a few years, greek life was back on Point Park’s campus.

The Black Student Union (BSU) held an event called “Black Student Union Presents: Meet The Greeks” on Jan. 21 to inform BSU members and other students of color about opportunities for Greek life in the city.

Ryan Dunston, a senior psychology major and secretary of BSU, organized the event. He said the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about different city-wide chapters focused on African American students.

“It was mainly realizing that we go to a PWI (predominantly white institution) and not [an] HBCU (historically black college or university), and with that entails not fully being able to access information about Greek life, so people only think that the normal Greek life exists with whites, per se,” Dunston said. “People don’t believe that there are African American organizations out there.”

Dunston himself is the president of a city-wide chapter at Duquesne University. His grandfather is the founder of the larger organization Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, which has over 250 locations across the world, according to their website. Due to his grandfather’s contributing role, Dunston is considered “superlegacy.”

Within the first hour, the event saw attendance of around 30 people in Lawrence Hall 200.

Four different fraternities and sororities from Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh set up tables around the room where students could freely move around and ask the organizations questions. Among those present included Iota Phi Theta, Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma.

Phi Beta Sigma’s president, Cameron Clarke of the University of Pittsburgh, provided historical context for why black students felt they had to form their own Greek life organizations:

“…the reason why there is black Greek life is because historically, we weren’t allowed into the white sororities or fraternities [and] we didn’t feel as though we belonged. And so, we made the Greek life…with Divine Nine,” Clarke said.

“Divine Nine” or the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), founded in 1930, is made up of nine historically Greek-lettered African American sororities and fraternities.

Sophomore multimedia major Darius Walden said he attended the networking event to hang out with friends. Walden said he was interested in potentially joining a fraternity because of the event.

“I’m thinking about it. Our school doesn’t have any [Greek life], so I might do it,” Walden said.

Ultimately, he said he hopes there will be African American specific chapters formed at Point Park University.

Walden’s attitude was what Dunston hoped bringing greek life on campus would accomplish:

“I hope they feel more comfortable with not only themselves but looking toward greek life, knowing about it and looking interested to join one of these organizations eventually,” Dunston said.