Monday, May 23, 2022
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Greek life squashes stereotypes of history

UMKC’s Greek community consists of a diverse range of students, but like many obstacles throughout history, it took persistent voices of the past to paint the picture seen on campus today.

Dr. Bob Riggs has witnessed first-hand the traditions of Greek life within the UM System for more than three decades. He began as a freshman in Columbia, and now serves as a physics professor, outreach coordinator and academic adviser to Alpha Delta Pi at UMKC.

“I can tell you how racist Greek life was back in the ‘70s,” Riggs said. “And from that perspective, I’m very proud of the diversity UMKC’s Greek life shows.”

Some of UMKC’s core values include community service, leadership, diversity and academic excellence, which closely mirror many values recognized within Greek organizations. But how is it possible for these groups—which are also known for cherishing tradition and sacred rituals—to preserve those customs while remaining mindful of progressive societal changes?

The question stems from a controversial — and victorious — concern that recently emerged in the South.

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