Greeks do good

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Excellence in community service is on our shores.

With the growing prominence of UVMÕs new club, SHORE, we are continually reminded about how much community service UVM students devote their time to.

What makes students in Burlington so appreciated by the cityÕs permanent residentsÑ despite any qualms about testy neighborhood relationsÑ is the time and effort that various clubs and organizations dedicate to the community.

With the closing of Sigma Phi Epsilon and its subsequent national attention, Greek Life at UVM took a hit in 2011. But now is the time to look past the actions of an individual and recognize the good that our Greek community does for UVM, Burlington and national philanthropic programs.

Call it a comeback, if you will.

Clubs like UVMÕs SHORE have partnered with both local and national philanthropic organizations and have been involved with local programs such as BurlingtonÕs DREAM and the emergency food shelf.

Some of the largest contributors to community service at UVM, and often most overlooked, are the Greek organizations, former members of which make up a large subset of the founding leaders of SHORE.

The Greeks participate in weekly street cleanups around Burlington, the annual Relay for Life, Outright VermontÕs Firetruck Pull and recently the UVM Greek community was recognized on a Northeast regional level for their philanthropy and service.

The Kappa Sigma fraternity is known nationally for its annual Sleepout for the Soldiers, raising over $10,000 for families of wounded veterans in this yearÕs event.

Additionally, Kappa Sigma and other Greek organizations volunteered their time for the March Zumbathon, helping to raise over $55,000 for Women Helping Battered Women.

There are annual events known throughout Burlington, such as Delta Delta DeltaÕs Delta Desserts, which raises money for St. Jude, and AEPiÕs Rockathon for Save a ChildÕs Heart.

We have witnessed how the charitable efforts of some Greek chapters can be tarnished by negative stereotypes of Greek culture. We hope critics will not be blinded by past actions in their assessment of Greek lifeÕs future.

A few former members of Sig Ep have proven their commitment to community service through the creation of this club.

Now is the time to join them and the rest of Greek Life in their causes.