Greeks unsure of 5-Star program


Stephanie Burgardt, Staff Reporter

The Greek organizations at Lakeland College have been around for generations. Most of them are over 50 years old and their alumni are usually some of the best donors to the school.

The students at Lakeland know the Greeks as the people that host the parties or are the obnoxious ones at different sporting events, but a lot more goes into being a part of Greek life than one might think.

The Greeks at Lakeland are held to higher standards than the other students. They have to have a higher grade point average than athletes and are required to attend events, to host events, to do community service and to still find time to do homework and go to classes.

Apart from all of those requirements, they have to record everything that they do and place it all into a binder. This is separate from the organization’s own requirements. This is something that the school is having them do and it’s called the 5-Star program.

Corey Roberson, student success and engagement coach, said, “The 5-Star program assists the Greek chapters in enhancing their organization and their members within their chapters. It focuses on academic excellence, participatory citizenship, campus involvement and member and chapter development.”

This program was meant to benefit the Greek chapters at Lakeland College, but to some students the program has seemed like more of a hassle.

Junior psychology major, Nathan Miller said, “I feel that you need to communicate with Corey a lot. After a couple of times meeting with him, we were able to understand it a lot more.”

Not only do the meetings take time, but Brianne Frank,  junior biology, chemistry and Spanish major with a minor in business, said, “The binder we had to put together was very specific on how he wanted it organized, so that also took a lot of time.”

With a lot of time and energy spent on this program just to understand it and put it together, it still doesn’t seem to have any benefits. Roberson had a response to what he believes the 5-Star program has done and said that he believes “The image has changed. Greeks are viewed more as leaders and are being involved in more things.”

Similarly, Miller stated that he likes “The fact that it’s getting us engaged in the college experience,” and Frank comments that “It shows that we are going above and beyond. We are doing a lot of stuff that you don’t normally see and it helps clear the name for Greeks. It makes you realize that we are not just partiers.”

With all the involvement on campus and after everything is documented, the binder gets turned into Roberson. He then goes through them, along with the Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Success, Eric Blacknall, and they grade them.

If a chapter receives above a 3-Star, they are in the clear, but with some needed improvements. If a chapter earns below a 3-Star, the “Organizations will meet with myself and IGC Coordinator as well as the Dean of Students, Eric Blacknall. We will go over the criteria, why they didn’t make it, things that we can help them do better to become a 5-Star organization, but also holding them accountable to follow through on those things,” said Roberson.

Although the 5-Star binders are done for the year, some students are still upset and feel that “It’s just kind of annoying to us when it gets dropped out of nowhere. We have to do all this programming and get all this information together and just having it all there. It’s just a bit much,” said Romain Johnson, senior communication major and writing minor.

Sadly, he is not the only Greek that feels this way. Miller also said, “I just wish that the 5-Star was a little bit less of a requirement.”

Like most things, the 5-Star program has both good and bad aspects for the students involved.

Yes, this program might benefit the Greek organizations in the future, but what about what it does right now?

“It’s hard and it stresses [those in] sororities and fraternities out,” said Darcie Weick, senior religion major.

Many students are left wondering, is the added stress and hardship that the 5-Star program causes students due to all the requirements really worth it?