Students push for Greek life at Dixie State University

Posted at 10:21 PM, Aug 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-11 01:39:56-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Sororities and fraternities are common at college campuses across the country, but one university in Utah is not allowing Greek life.

Dixie State University has never had Greek life, but some students are working to change that.

Student Indigo Klabanoff said she believes allowing sororities would benefit students.

"A lot of clubs on campus don't offer the whole sisterhood experience that I, and a lot of other people, would like to have at Dixie,” she said.

Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership at DSU, said they don’t see a need for Greek life at the school.

"Our administration currently feels that anything that we value that we would get out of those organizations can be done with clubs and organizations,” Sharp said.

Students, like Klabanoff, said the administration seems unwilling to even consider the idea, and they said they are even implementing a rule against using Greek letters in club names.

“It's been an uphill battle," she said. "I've had resistance at all angles. It's been a really big struggle."

Assistant Professor Rhiannon Bent said the students seeking sororities aren't planning on getting involved with national programs right away.

“They are not looking to be associated with a national sorority,” she said. "They want to start local. They want to build networks. They want to have an organization for women.”

Sharp said that’s not feasible.

“What a lot of students don't understand is when you bring Greek life on, that there’s a lot of additional resources that you need,” he said. “To bring on a full-time person just for Greek life would be, you know with benefits and everything, about $60,000.”

Sharp said logistics aren’t the only reason they are opposed to Greek life.

“To be perfectly honest, we are trying to get away from the party image at Dixie State,” he said. “A lot of good students are leery to come here, and the Greeks a lot of times bring that type of feel with it, and that can be good or bad, but I know that’s a concern.”

But Bent said she doesn’t see Dixie’s image that way.

"I don't think that Dixie really still has the party image that it did even 10 years ago,” she said.

Sharp said if it does happen, it will take time.

"I don't think that the administration says that it will never happen,” he said. “They are pretty convinced it's not within our mission right now, but they are not convinced that it is never going to happen."

Students pushing for Greek life said they will continue their efforts.