This discourse column is about the Gentlemen of Quality brotherhood, commonly referred to as GQ. A fraternity of self-identified Gentlemen, made up mostly of men of color, GQ was founded in 2007 and is unique to Knox. This fraternity uses the Greek letters AGA. A Gentleman, Always.
Alpha Gamma Alpha (AGA) is an all-Armenian sorority, founded in 2002. Registered with the U.S. Government as a philanthropic organization, AGA members have been doing incredible things for the advancement of their community and nation as a whole.
Considering the fact that GQ is a registered fraternity at Knox College, its executive board must know how Greek systems operate. The executive board must know that Greek letters, given to each organization, are not arbitrary. They are one of a kind. And a simple Google search of any assortment of Greek letters alongside the terms “sorority” or “fraternity” links all existing and discontinued Greek organizations with mentioned letters.
So why would GQ use the already active letters AGA? I can only think of two possibilities.
I) GQ has not done research on the letters they are using and the toes they have been stepping on since 2007. This option seems highly unlikely since some GQ members know of the existence of the Armenian sorority AGA. Which leads us to the second option.
II) GQ as an organization and Knox as an institution are okay with the preventable exploitation of women of color who work hard to maintain their sorority and sisterhood, Alpha Gamma Alpha.
As an Armenian woman it hurts me immensely to see the erasure and exploitation of Armenian femme culture, history and advancement by the hands of men of color. It is saddening to see that the same people who are supposed to be rooting for us on the sidelines of our marathon are putting out their legs and tripping our runners.
My hope is that this column encourages GQ to reevaluate their values and their symbols as a fraternity. However, I especially put this responsibility and request on the shoulders of the brown men of GQ. Please, stand by your brown sisters and siblings.