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The aspect of Greek life that the media doesn’t talk about

By Scott Sutton and Nick Teteris, Guest Columnists

With the current state of Miami's Greek system, many people outside the fraternity and sorority community are undoubtedly struggling to wrap their heads around the concept of a Greek organization. Why do so many people choose to be a part of a group that allegedly tortures their new members? What could anybody get out of being associated with a group of people that seemingly sends new members to the hospital every weekend?

While we do not condone hazing, nor will we ever condone it, we want to emphasize that the actions of a few should not tarnish an entire community. Greek life can have a tremendous impact on people's lives. A Greek organization has the ability to literally change the trajectory of a person's life. One of those people is Sam Becker, a brother of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Miami.

Sam Becker was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) at a very young age, which forced him to grow up in a way many of us could not imagine. From starting physical therapy at the age of two, to dealing with bullies for using a walker for a week in third grade following a surgery, Becker has consistently been put through trials that would understandably cause someone to give up. But not Sam Becker. From the moment he was teased by bullies when he was 8 years old, he has been motivated to be the best person he can possibly be. This continued into his college career, when he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity.

In describing his fraternity brothers, Becker referred to them as "incredible" in helping him cope with his illness.

"They treat it like I treat it; like it's no big deal," Becker remarked. "It doesn't affect who I am or what I can do."

"They hold me accountable to make sure I can take care of myself and never let me use it as an excuse," Becker said. "I am fortunate enough to have my CP to constantly compete against. Sure, I love to compete against others on the field or in the classroom, but my CP has always allowed me to compete against myself and force myself to do the best I possibly can."

Becker believes being in a fraternity has helped him to successfully move past his disease and live like a college student.

"When I'm out with my brothers or studying at King, my CP tends to slip my mind," said Becker. "It feels like I finally shed that label."

Becker is also proud of how the Greek community has helped to propel his efforts to spread awareness about CP through philanthropic efforts and service projects as well as wellness talks.

"The Greek community has really propelled my efforts and been an integral part of my development and college experience," he said.

Sam Becker is just a normal college student with some extra hoops to jump through. He still enjoys going out with his fraternity brothers, going to the rec center and getting good grades. A lot of that can be attributed to the support system his fraternity brothers and the Greek community as a whole have provided him with.

If you are interested in hearing more about Sam's journey, he will be giving a talk on campus soon. Stay updated on when that will be by following Miami's IFC Instagram account @MIAMIU_IFC.