Thursday, April 24, 2014

Research Blog #10

Research Blog #10

Link to My Paper

Greek letter organizations comprise a large component of social life on the college campuses of present day.  They have transformed over the past decades and are largely representative of an ethnically, racially and culturally diverse student body.  Though they are notorious for their social aspect, Greek organizations serve a higher purpose.  They provide a unique support system to those who partake in membership that include campus life integration, personal identity validation, networking possibilities post-graduation, and more.  Focusing on minority Greek Letter Organizations, I explore how membership in such organizations impacts a student’s personal and academic success.    

Works Cited
Armstrong, Elizabeth and Laura Hamilton.  Paying for the Party: How College Maintains
Inequality.  Boston: Harvard, 2013.  Print.
Baker, Christina N. "Social Support And Success In Higher Education: The Influence Of On-
Campus Support On African American And Latino College Students." Urban Review
45.5 (2013): 632-650.
Baker, Christina N. "Under-Represented College Students And Extracurricular Involvement: The
Effects Of Various Student Organizations On Academic Performance." Social
Psychology Of Education 11.3 (2008): 273-298.
Bartlett, James E. II, Michelle E. Bartlett, and Thomas G. Jr Reio. "Analysis Of Nonresponse
Bias In Research For Business Education." Delta Pi Epsilon Journal 50.1 (2008): 45-58.
Braxton, John M., Amy S. Hirschy, and Shederick A. McClendon. "Understanding And
Reducing College Student Departure." ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 30.3
(2004): XI-97.
Guiffrida, Douglas A. "Friends From Home: Asset And Liability To African American Students
Attending A Predominantly White Institution {Computer File}." Naspa Journal (Online)
41.4 (2004): 693-708.
Guardia, Juan R., and Nancy J. Evans. "Factors Influencing The Ethnic Identity Development Of
Latino Fraternity Members At A Hispanic Serving Institution." Journal Of College
Student Development 49.3 (2008): 163-181.
Hughey, Matthew. "Crossing The Sands, Crossing The Color Line: Non-Black Members Of
Black Greek Letter Organizations." Journal Of African American Studies 11.1 (2007): 55-75.
Patton, Tracey Owens. "Jim Crow On Fraternity Row." Visual Communication Quarterly 15.3
(2008): 150-168.
Sidanius, Jim, et al. "Ethnic Enclaves And The Dynamics Of Social Identity On The College
Campus: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly." Journal Of Personality & Social Psychology 87.1 (2004): 96-110.

Research Blog #8

Research Blog #8: Interviews

Interview Questions: Vidyavisal Mangipudi (Nickname: Mangi)
1. Give me a sense of your ethnic identity – I consider myself Indian.  I was born in Bangalore, India, and lived there the first 18 years of my life.
2. Are you fluent in your native language? Yes, speak fluent Hindi.
3. What generation are you (where your born here? your parents?) I am the first generation to live and study in America. 
4. What was your upbringing? I had diverse exposure in the school my parents sent me to in India. There was a mixture of British, Indian, Asian, American and French students in my grade school and secondary school (high school)
5. Did you go to any traditionally Indian events? While living in America, I attended Indian events through an Indian ethnic club I joined freshman year in college. I was determined and enthusiastic to make new friends of other cultures. I was really trying to get the most out of the melting pot of the US.
6. What music interests you? I would listen to a variety of music while in the US.  
7. Was there Indian presence in your town? Your school?  As an international student there was a good mixture of races at the university but the first people to accept me was a community of Indians..
8. How about your friends? At first, because of my ethnicity, most of my friends were Indian.  That changed relatively quickly because of my nature as a person. I consider myself to be very outgoing and an extrovert.
There are two types of Indians who come to the states: The first type, similar to me, are very outgoing, able to make friends easily and are open to new experiences and people. The second type, and I use my brother as an example, are closed off to Americans due to home sickness. Additionally, he isolates himself from other ethnic groups by staying in circles of his own ethnic background, utilizing these groups as a security blanket to combat his loneliness.
9. Why join did you join a fraternity?  At my first college I pledged X fraternity (I chose to remove the name to prevent negative backlash) because most of my male friends in the dorm where pledging. I wanted to immerse myself in the full college experience.
The second time I pledged because of friends I made who were members of Tau Epsilon Phi.  
10. What made you decide to join a mainstream fraternity and not an Indian fraternity? Simply put, I am Indian, so I didn’t feel as if that would benefit me much. I had a good understanding of who I was as a person and as an Indian.  I wanted to challenge myself as well as be a part of something different, something beyond being Indian.
11. Have you ever experience racism within your fraternity? I experienced indirect racism from X fraternity, the first mainstream organization I pledged. This came in the form of small jabs about my mannerisms, ideals, religion and diet. They never valued my thoughts or ideas.  Instead they would shoot them down or not acknowledge them. There were racist remarks made about me under their breath. These were the underlying causes of why I left that specific organization.
It’s important to note that he would have been the first non-Caucasian to pledge that fraternity.
As far as the organization in which I am a member of now, Tau Epsilon Phi, I have not experienced any form of racism. They made me feel like family in the way they value me as a person and as one of their brothers. They look out for me, my welfare, my academics and my overall status as a normal man in this world.  They never viewed me as an Indian, they see me for who I am.
12. Are there a lot of other minorities in your organization or is it predominantly Caucasian? Before I became a brother, the majority were Caucasian with few Asians in the organization. After I crossed, there has been an influx of minorities joining Tau Epsilon Phi.
13. How would you say being a brother has affected your integration in campus life (socially)?  I was already outgoing without the assistance of the fraternity, but I did find myself to be more socially active through the fraternity because it opens the door of Greek life and those involved in it. There is this universal commonality for all Greeks that has opened new social doors for me on and off campus.
14. How has it affected you academically? Academically there was not as much change but I did find more of a support system being in the fraternity than being on my own. There were brothers who were consistently there to study with, to motivate me and to help tutor me.
Interview Questions: Algene Soloman
1. Give me a sense of your ethnic identity – I consider myself Pilipino American. I immigrated with my family to the United States when I was one.
2. Are you fluent in your native language? I am semi-fluent in tagalog but my first language is English.
3. What generation are you (where your born here? your parents?) My parents and I were born in the Philippines but my sister was born in the United States. 
4. What was your upbringing? I grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey.  It is a very diverse city where the demographics are a mixture of Latino, African American, Pilipino, Irish and Italian. I attended a predominantly Caucasian private grade school and high school. Overall, I had an array of friends from different ethnic backgrounds as well as from different classes: low, middle and high class.
5. Did you go to any traditionally Pilipino events? Yes.  My parents were very active in the Pilipino community through our church.
6. What music interests you? I listen to a variety of music your average male from New Jersey would listen to in the 90’s and so on. 
7. Was there Pilipino presence in your town? Your school?  There was a big Pilipino community in Jersey City.  Unfortunately, due to being placed in a private grade school and a private high school, there weren’t as many minorities.
8. How about your friends? My friends growing up were made up of many different types of races, majority of them Latino.  I identified with minorities more than I did with my Caucasian friends.
9. Why join did you join a fraternity? What made you decide to join a Latino fraternity and not an Asian fraternity?  I joined to be fully integrated into the college community, to gain the overall college experience that I saw growing up on TV.  I wanted to be a part of something.  I was always involved whether it was sports, the military (Army Reserve), or clubs.  There were Pilipino clubs and Asian fraternities but I already knew about my culture and who I was as a Pilipino. It was the way LSU represented themselves as men that inspired me to join the organization.
10. How do you feel as a Pilipino male being a member of a Latino based organization?  I felt as if I was accomplishing something, breaking down barriers and creating a bridge between minorities.  I always felt welcomed by the brothers and that made things easier for me.
11. Have you ever experienced racism within your fraternity? Yes, but only by one older brother because he felt I had to prove myself as a brother before I was acknowledged as anything else other than Asian. I was nicked named “Chino” by this particular brother.  After some time in the organization and showing what I can do for the organization as a whole, he stopped calling me that and felt as if I proved myself. 
12. Are there a lot of other minorities in your organization or is it predominantly Latino? It is still predominantly Latino but that is slowly changing. At the moment, there is an influx of other ethnic backgrounds crossing over into the fraternity.  The board is deciding to possibly change the name of the organization from Latino Fraternity Inc. to Multicultural Fraternity Inc. This is a move to unify cultures and ethnic backgrounds in the organization.
13. How would you say being a brother has affected your integration in campus life (socially)?  I was already outgoing in my own rite without the assistance of the fraternity, but I did find myself to be more socially active through the fraternity.  It has opened new doors for me on and off campus.
14. How has it affected you academically? The organization prepared me professionally as well as academically. They taught me the right tools I would need outside of college life and in the real world. It was through brothers that I found most of my jobs including the current one where my mother and I work at, Merrill Lynch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Research Blog #9

Minority students face obstacles that affect their success in college, a central one being stereotype threat.  Students who belong to racial or ethnic groups that are stereotyped negatively in regards to academia do not perform as well when they feel they are being stereotyped under a negative pretense.  A possible environment or group that can help students combat the potential damage of stereotype threat is a strong ethnic social network, such as a Latino Greek Letter Organization.  Students join minority racial and ethnic organizations to enhance their respective personal identities “…and increased comfort with one’s identity may… lead to greater interest in cross-cultural contacts, a greater sense of belonging to the university community, and greater integration into broader campus life (Sidanius et al. 96).  Research shows a positive correlation between peer support and academic performance – one of the strongest predictors of success for Latino college students is social support from friends (Baker 636). 

I discovered research that contradicts the idea of integration into campus life and cross cultural contacts as a result of membership in a Latino Greek Letter Organization.  “Racism and exclusion has led to the creation of minority Greek letter organizations instead of integration in existing ‘main stream’ organizations” (Sidanius et al. 96).  Additional research states “Black Greek letter organizations and Hispanic Greek letter organizations have historically used White Greek letter organizations as models, and have had policies of exclusion based on criteria such as skin color” (Baker 277).  Baker and Sidanius et al. make interesting points.  Although the creation of certain Greek organizations have been as a result of racism and exclusion, I do not think it is accurate to depict the creation of each minority Greek letter organization to be an answer to this exclusion.  Additionally, I believe Baker is also over generalizing policies of exclusion based on race.  There is more research that supports integration into campus life, academic success, and cross-cultural contacts as a result of membership in a minority Greek organization.  The research I have found that contradicts this information is over generalizing, simplifying the situation, and stereotyping minority Greek organizations in general.    

Literature Review Blog #5

1. Visual. of Dr. Matthew W. Hughey

2. Citation. 

Hughey, Matthew. "Crossing The Sands, Crossing The Color Line: Non-Black Members Of
Black Greek Letter Organizations." Journal Of African American Studies 11.1 (2007): 55-75.

3. Summary. 

Although racism in Greek organizations is prohibited by United States Law, racial segregation is still evident in the customs and traditions of fraternities and sororities.  Some of the segregation and exclusivity has been as a result of oppression and exclusion from mainstream Greek organizations.  On those college campuses in which Greek life has a strong influence, cross-racial Greek membership can promote intimacy, tolerance, integration and understanding. 

4. Author(s). 

Matthew W. Hughey graduated from the doctoral program in Sociology at the University of Virginia.  He is widely regarded as a rising scholar in the field of the sociology of race and ethnicity, particularly the study of white racial identity, media, and fraternal organizing. 

5. Key terms. 

Racial animosity on college campuses - racial and ethnic hostility on college campuses was the inevitable culmination of fundamental changes in the values of college students, increased competition and stress in higher education, a lack of sufficient personal experience and knowledge among students about racial and cultural diversity, and a societal shift away from concerns about civil rights and social justice to interest in issues of individual rights and consumerism.

Racial attitudes in white Greek Organizations - Researchers have found that those who live in Greek housing (usually white Greeks) are much less conscious of social injustice and less culturally aware (Morris 1991). This is strikingly similar to earlier work that found white Greeks more Eurocentric in their worldviews than their non-Greek white peers


If indeed Greek organizations act as a dominating influence, the possibility exists that at their best, cross-racial Greek memberships, as individual and organizational instances of racial boundary-breaking, promote intimacy, increased racial tolerance, integration, understanding, and social change. (p. 56)

While at their worst, cross-racial Greek membership represents the continued tokenism of racialized “others” within the scope of a theme that earns the host organization “multicultural capital” (Bryson 1996), and affords credentials to the organization among the politically correct communities of both “town and gown.” (p. 56)

The Greek structural system both constrains and enables human agency (e.g., economic factors), while also emphasizing cultural factors that constrain and enable the institution from bringing in different racial groups (e.g., stereotypes and informal practices). (p. 70-71).

Many students on both sides of the color-line also report that they feel they would not be welcome and that the racial separation of the Greek system is a good thing that allows for people to choose places of institutional comfort. (p. 72)

7. Value. 

This material discusses racism in Greek organizations.  It talks about cross-racial membership and how attitudes and covert racism affect how and why minorities pledge in mainstream or minority Greek Letter Organizations.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Research Blog #7: Your Case

I hypothesize that membership in a Latino Greek Letter Organization (LGLO) for a Latino student will enrich their college experience.   The research I have found shows that participation in a Greek letter organization enhances a students’ college experience by integrating them into campus life, which makes a student feel connected to their college community.  Membership in a Greek organization gives a student peer support.  The research I discovered also shows a positive correlation between peer support and academic performance.  There is some debate that Latino organizations segregate Latino students.  The research I found regarding the multicultural perspective states the opposite – ““ethnically oriented student organizations help provide minority students with a safe harbor and social support system from which to reach out to the larger campus community and to members of other ethnic communities (Sidanius et al. 96).  To sum up, I argue using evidenced based research that membership in a Latino Greek Letter Organization for a Latino student helps them socially, academically, increases their chances of graduation, and enriches their ethnic identity.