Minority Greeks feel singled out

On Oct. 8, The Houstonian ran an article regarding Greek license plates. The article basically stated anyone with Greek plates would be given a citation by the University Police and Huntsville Police Department. First, it was not necessary to place a Greek Plate on the front page especially from just one Greek organization. The article could have been written without a picture or it could have featured a collage of Greeks plates. Second, a recent article talked about Sam Houston being a suitcase university forever. There are not many things to do in Huntsville in the first place, and when students do go, they are constantly harassed by the police. Students can’t even stand around and talk in a group, without some officer coming around and flashing a light in their face. While at the same time, people’s cars are being robbed at a party at the Walker County Fairgrounds parking lot with the police present. Even if students had something to do on weekends, why would students stay if they are going to be harassed by the police? Third, Greek plates represent organizations on campus, and they are trying to take away our way of showing our school pride. Last I checked, Huntsville receives a majority of its money from students and this school. Why not let us show our pride in the organization we represent on this campus, especially since we worked hard to be in the organization? This only adds to the already strained relationship between the student body and the police and will also help give students a reason to leave on the weekend. Fourth, I know for a fact that the police are more likely to stop you with a Greek license plate than they would if you had another type of unassigned vehicle license plate. Like if I drove a Lexus and had a Lexus license plate with the Lexus logo, they would not stop me, but if I drive around in my Honda Civic with my Greek plate, you can be sure that they won’t hesitate to stop me. Fifth, in the Greek plate article, it stated that students were concerned that this was just another way for UPD and HPD to get more money. This is true because if even there aren’t that many citations being issued for Greek plate violations, it adds up. Add Greek plates, parking tickets (now in the evening also), and various other dumb reasons for them to issue tickets. UPD and HPD are making a killing on all the people they are supposedly protecting. This leads me to the most important concern about the whole issue. Though they were correct in their statements, I feel the comments made by the other Greek members interviewed in the article didn’t talk about the issue at hand, which is singling out of minorities. Miss Leonard said it right in Thursday’s editorialanyone who has been around campus knows that minorities in fraternities and sororities are the main ones who have Greek plates on their car and that minorities are most likely to be cited for this violation. At least 90 percent of vehicles that you come across with Greek plates will be from a minority fraternity or sorority. As minorities, we are greatly out-numbered by the majority on this campus and when a majority of vehicles that have Greek plates on them belong to someone that are African-American or of Hispanic decent, this can only make minorities feel as though they are being singled out. As President of Phi Beta Sigma, I can understand where these fraternities and sororities are coming from, especially when you place one of their license plates (my license plate of my car) on the front page of the Houstonian, regardless if the article was just intended to inform students of this situation. I think the University Police and Huntsville Police Department should really re-evaluate their priorities and start getting back to protecting students, and stop focusing so much on ways they can give students tickets.

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