The development of my story came about in a wave of ideas. I was, at first, stuck with only statistics. The data was a large amount that was both for and against the Greek system on college campuses. The statistics outlined things such as graduation rates, GPA within the system and outside of the system, numbers on rape, alcoholism, and more. I had put all of the information into my first draft, but was told to hold back on the information that I did not enjoy reporting. I had previously thought this to be bias and was trying to remove all side-taking from my writing, but was made aware that as long as I was not blatantly trying to promote Greek life, I was fine to report upon the positives. Telling of the benefits and stories of Greek life and its members was acceptable if the information was all factual and written clearly. It was still difficult to report on the information without being biased, as I was a Greek member for two years, but I believe the way I positioned my interview quotes and statistical information was fair.
I then had to plan my attack on the interview process. My sources were among the University of Utah’s most involved Greek members, being able to show what the system is truly capable of. The IFC President, the YAF President, and a fraternity social chair were all very different positions, but all positions that they said would help them in the future. Whether it be on resumes or using the connections they made during their terms, they said their time spent was extremely valuable to them. That seemed like enough to warrant an interview. The YAF President stood out to me most, as he had just accomplished a feat that made Salt Lake City headlines. He was able to invite, with the help of alumni, Ben Shapiro to the U’s campus. This was a true testament to what fraternities and alumni support can accomplish.
During this process I truly learned to plan ahead before stepping into an interview. After my meetings with a few of the folks I was left wanting to ask o many more questions. If I had better prepared, then I could have gotten some additional information for my article. I also learned that having friends and family review your work is a priceless tool. They were able to make suggestions that I would not have thought to include. Never be afraid to ask others to read your things, kids!