Greek students gathered in Duke Chapel for the fourth annual Greek Convocation on Tuesday night.
The convocation stressed the importance of unity across the different ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds found in Greek life.
“One of the big aims we have this year is to bring more unity among the four councils," said Delta Tau Delta President Tom Shelbourn, a junior.
The four councils are the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Association.
Greek students are currently able to learn about the activities of students in different councils only through their presidents, who come together to discuss the concerns of their respective councils. The presidents are discussing kickstarting a committee with members from all four councils, so members of the different groups can work together on issues that affect all Greek students.
“We realize that if we don’t support each other, Greek life isn’t going to exist,” Shelbourn said.
Another experience that unites Greek students is resisting the stereotypes that exist about Greek life.
Senior Jack Riker, president of the Interfraternity Council, discussed the difficulty that students who are involved in Greek life face when trying to explain the importance of their fraternities or sororities to students outside of Greek life.
"Protect the system that has given so much,” he told students.
The presidents of the four councils explained that Greek life is not solely about socializing—as stereotypes might suggest—by highlighting the academic and community service achievements of the different chapters in their councils.
Senior Ian Zhang, president of the Multicultural Greek Council, discussed how his council has helped students of different backgrounds learn more about each other through its commitment to diversity in Greek life.
Furthering the idea of unity was the convocation's theme—commemorating 50 years of black undergraduate students at Duke.
“It is a privilege to be the voice of history,” said keynote speaker Judge Michael Morgan, Trinity '76.
He spoke to students about the significance of the black presence at Duke and particularly the importance of black Greek life.
He noted that he appreciated the chosen theme, saying, “It’s nice and fulfilling to be remembered in this way.”
Senior Marcus Benning, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity closed the ceremony.
“Our convocation is a demonstration of our respect for each other," he said.