Speaker addresses revamping Greek life

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Michelle Guobadia speaks to multi-cultural greek organizations at the Student Activity Center Monday evening. The talk focused on how destructive behavior affects greek organizations and the importance of making smarter decisions.

Photo Credit: Batil Joselevitz | Daily Texan Staff

Negative impacts of Greek life are harsh realities for fraternity and sorority members who must unite to recapture the positive image of true Greek life, said a lecturer from North Carolina Monday.

Michelle Guobadia, director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and a prominent speaker for the pan-hellenic community, came to campus to speak with students about Greek life issues and the need for members to promote a more positive experience.

Guobadia is a keynote speaker for the CAMPUSPEAK agency, which provides universities with speakers and workshop leaders nationwide. The event was sponsored by Greek, Leadership and Intercultural Education, and was attended by students from various fraternities and sororities affiliated with the National Pan-Hellenic Council at UT and Huston-Tillotson University. The event was also associated with the Latino Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council.

Guobadia, who is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., said her experiences in Greek life were crucial in her decision to speak with students about the important issues that go with being part of the Greek community.

“I had a unique experience in becoming Greek,” Guobadia said. “It turned into a lot of changing beliefs and behaviors and there was hazing and other things, and it took me awhile to realize that’s not what it’s all about. I really had to fall in love with my organization not for what it was, but for what it was supposed to be.”

The presentation invited students to speak about reasons they chose to join a Greek organization, including the ability to serve the community and gain a loyal group of friends. However, Guobadia said hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual assault are major problems in the Greek community, which send an inappropriate image of what fraternities and sororities are meant to be.

Journalism senior and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. member Ahsika Sanders, a former Daily Texan reporter, said Guobadia’s presentation was enlightening because it was from the point of view of someone inside the Greek system.

“The fact that [Guobadia] is Greek and able to step outside and make these kind of judgments is eye-opening,” Sanders said. “It offers a much better perspective than someone who’s on the outside looking in.”

Political communication and ethnic studies senior Lebon James III, president of the UT National Pan-Hellenic Council, said Guobadia sent a positive message about the way the Greek system should be working together as a whole.

“[The presentation] was amazing,” James said. “It was a great way to learn about the opportunities we have to improve ourselves. We get better by reaching out and educating about our Greek life.”

Guobadia said she worries about Greek standards for future generations and believes that change is necessary soon.

“If we don’t make positive changes soon, the organizations that fraternities and sororities are supposed to be won’t exist in twenty or so years,” Guobadia said.

Printed on, February 7, 2012 as:Speaker focuses on positives of Greek life