Students Raise Questions On the Parallels and Differences of SGA and Greek Organizations

The MSU Spokesman

IMG_0452The second event of homecoming SGA vs. Greeks kicked off last night in the University Student Center Ballroom to openly discuss and dispel the myths and deception behind the Student Government Association and the Greek life on campus. Questions like “Are they separate entities?” and “When and where do they intertwine?” were introduced to start off the conversation.

On the SGA panel, we were introduced to Brandon Johnson (Chief of Staff), Anthony Lampkin (Umoja Council Director), Camille Preston (Senior Class Event Coordinator), Kia Smith (Legislative Secretary), Esther Aribilola (Sophomore Class President), Monzona Whaley (Mr. Morgan State University), Jamece Wiggins (Public Relations Director), and Glenn George (Student Regent). On the Greek panel held Marcus Richardson (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.), Robert Chittams (Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity), Sylvester Meu (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.), Troy Griffin (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.), Shaquayah McKenzie (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), Chazz Jinadu (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.), Nandi Henderson (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), and Brandon Carr (Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.).

Most questions were picked from the site set up shortly before the event. Many were geared towards Greek life. Here we have listed the questions and answers from panel members.

Do you need to join a fraternity or sorority to be in the Student Government Association?

“You do not need to join a Greek lettered organization in order to join SGA. It is an opportunity to show and gain leadership skills, and most Greeks already happen to be leaders. “– Shaquayah McKenzie

The majority of SGA looks Greek. Why?

“Greeks are leaders. Leadership roles are in SGA.” – Nandi Henderson

“Most prominent leaders are in Greek organizations and their names are on buildings on this very campus. As Greek members, you are expected to be leaders.” – Rashad Staton

“Greeks will run for a position because people outside of the National Pan-Hellenic Council will not run against them.” – Monzona Whaley

Who has a more profound impact on campus, SGA or the Greeks?

“Personally, to me, they are of equal importance. But Greek life has a more profound impact because we look more attractive in a social aspect. We offer more in a tangible aspect. We [Greeks] can persuade and influence to a certain extent, while SGA leans more towards advocacy.” – Rashad Staton

“SGA is becoming more influential. The student body is attracted to what is attractive. If the body is not interested…. We are trying to revive school spirit and listen to what the student body wants so as to gain more relevancy with them.” – Brandon Johnson

Describe the relationship between SGA and the student body.

“People are used to the old ways of past SGA administrations, but we are trying to be more transparent. We open the door for people to come in and ask questions. The student body has to work with us as well.” – Jamece Wiggins

:The relationship is evolving; some people still may look at us as “illuminati”. Today we are making effort to be transparent but people hold us to a higher standard than they do themselves and expect things out of us that they don’t expect from themselves.” – Anthony Lampkin

Please explain the new campaign guidelines for Mr. and Miss Morgan State University.

“The old system was only done through votes. Now the pageant counts because we judge how the potential candidate will represent us in other places, such as the MR. HBCU pageant, etc. The pageant counts for 25 percent, an interview (25%), and the votes 50 percent.” – Shaquayah McKenzie

How does SGA choose the artists for the homecoming concert?

“The SGA President appoints the Umoja Council Director. The Director then gets in contact with a sort of contractor for artists they have in mind. The contractor works with the school’s budget. Who has an album out, material to perform, whose “hot” is all taken into consideration when picking out artists. All this is done in advance and takes about three to four months to negotiate.” – Anthony Lampkin.

What have you learned being apart of SGA/Greek Life?

“I’ve learned to be humble. To open yourself up to other people, and learn how to become a family.” – Kia Smith

“I’ve experienced new things, being from Baltimore attending Morgan. I have an open mind, along with meeting different people from different places. I’ve also learned to be responsible and balance my fraternity business on top of being an engineering student.”– Marcus Richardson

I’ve heard that school spirit has been declining throughout the years. What caused this and how can we fix it?

“It starts with you. Buy paraphernalia of your own university, instead of wearing Morehouse or Spelman’s. Go all out at games. Advocate for your university here and outside of the campus.” – Jamece Wiggins

“Don’t be afraid to step out and showcase your own school spirit. Everyone’s afraid to be the stand out person. Do you. If you love Morgan, show that.” – Anthony Lampkin

“Until we increase the student experience, we can’t understand what school spirit is.” – Alvin Hill (SGA President)

What is the difference between pledging and skating?

“Skating, someone who has not formally gone through their process.” – Shaquayah McKenzie

“We [Greeks] use it in a joking manner for someone who doesn’t do the work for their organization, as in not going to chapter meetings or anything really.” – Alvin Hill

Why is every event this week named after a DRAKE song, when J.Cole is the headliner for the homecoming concert?

“We want Morgan’s homecoming to line up with the hottest new album [Drake’s] to market it. Morgan isn’t the same. It’s a marketing technique.” – Anthony Lampkin

Why do most fraternities/sororities reject gay and/or lesbian people?

“Not true. If you were rejected, it was most likely for another reason.” – Robert Chittams

“It’s for something deeper. Maybe you didn’t meet requirements, not enough community service, etc.” – Brandon Carr

“Organizations are allowed to discriminate. In my bylaws (Alpha Phi Alpha), it states someone must be “of good moral character”. If we think something isn’t good moral character, then one will be rejected.” – Brandon Johnson

“If you put in work, it shouldn’t matter.” – Shaquayah McKenzie