On balancing obligations: Greek Life and Journalism

By Michael Bodley

I’m affiliated with Greek life at Eon. There, I said it, and I don’t often do so, not because I’m ashamed or want to hide my letters, but because I think the issue has become over-dramatized at Elon and throughout the country as a whole.

Far too often, there seems to be a line in the sand, imagined or otherwise, between the Greek community and those who are non-affiliated, particularly within the School of Communications. And that truly saddens me.

I love Greek life, the friends I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had, the sense of home I’ve found. But I feel every bit as home in the Pendulum office. And I think that’s something we should all strive for, Greek and non-Greek alike: making the Pendulum a place where everyone can call home.

That being said, the Pendulum comes first for me, and it should for all serious staff members (excluding classes as the priority that they are, of course). From a conflict of interests standpoint, I’ll never report on anything related to Greek life, and I’ll never put any obligations I have to my organization over those I owe to the Pendulum.

Where is this all coming from, you ask? Pardon my backtracking. Two affiliated students in the University of Alabama’s Crimson White spoke about balancing Greek life and the paper, especially in light of this story that drew national attention to perceived racism within the university’s Greek life system.

Two Crimson White staff members,  editor-in-chief Mazie Bryant and managing editor Lauren Ferguson spoke about balancing Greek life with Crimson White life. And much of it is common sense – news is an obligation to the public  that supersedes just about anything, conflicts of interest are to be avoided by not reporting on Greek life and, sometimes, members of Greek life are going to have to take a punch, or two from their own organizations.

As I said earlier, the paper comes first for me, and I’m confident the same can be said for all of you.


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