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“They are, of course, still pretty bad,” the newspaper continued. “No one is here to say they’re good. Not by any stretch. They’re still as drunk and rape-y as ever.”
Fine fine, the Hartford Courant didn’t print that second part, but their phrasing in this editorial’s sub-header still amuses me. “Greeks aren’t all bad.” Thanks guys, really appreciate the glowing endorsement. Sort of like, “print media isn’t completely worthless.” It is actually unfair of me to be so touchy, because the editorial was pretty evenhanded, dumb sub-header aside. The article lists a few Greek indiscretions, mostly ones that occurred at Connecticut schools. Some are justifiably worth scrutinizing, like the sexual assault case at a Wesleyan fraternity. Others, however, are just ridiculous.
As former student sued Hartford’s Trinity College in connection with a 2008 fraternity party at which he broke his neck after diving in a shallow pool while drunk. The suit has been settled for a confidential amount.
That might explain why Trinity wanted to make all Greek houses co-ed, effectively banning the Greek system from their campus, since a fraternity party apparently cost the school a bit money. Ironic since it looks like banning the Greek system is going to cost them quite a bit more as alumni have threatened to withhold donations. Then again, maybe Trinity should blame itself for the cost, since settling when this kid is clearly the one at fault (at least partially so) seems like their problem. I guess the bad press and prolonged case might have cost them more than a settlement. That seems likely, so here’s a better solution for Trinity: stop admitting kids who are that fucking stupid.
Thankfully, the editorial does present a quality case defending the Greek system, as well. You know, the same argument we always scream, the one that falls on deaf ears because angry geeds and media have heard it so many times, and that somehow makes it less valid than before. I hate people.
University of Missouri research showed that 71 percent of fraternity and sorority members graduate, as opposed to 50 percent of non-members. The grade-point average of Greeks was higher than the overall collegiate GPA, the study said. Fraternity or sorority members form the largest network of community-service volunteers in the country.
Clearly, the challenge for colleges is to encourage positive behavior among fraternities while discouraging the bad, but that’s easier said than done.
Simply banning fraternities is unlikely to work. The obstacles are too great, including the loss of alumni dollars.
We, as Greeks, graduate more people, have higher GPAs, donate more money, and are the largest network of community-service volunteers in the country. See, we’re not all bad. Could we even make the argument that we’re mostly good? Of course we all know how that argument goes when you bring it up to someone who blindly hates the Greek system.
Greek: Why does the Greek system have value, you ask? Well for one we graduate a greater percentage of students, a significantly greater percentage of students, than non-members. You are in college to earn a degree, after all.
GDI: You probably graduate more people because you can afford to pay for four years of school, unlike most people. It’s white privilege!
Greek: Well maybe it’s actually because we have higher GPAs than non-members as well.
GDI: Um, yeah, because your parents paid to live in fancy school districts and or for you to go to private high schools, making you better educated. White! Privilege!
Greek: Whatever. In terms of value to the university, our alumni donate more money than non-members, donations that actually help the university accomodate all students, but I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that you’re about to say…
GDI: WHITE PRIVILEGE OHHHH YEAHHHHHH! Too easy on that one.
Greek: Well it could also be because Greeks graduated a higher percentage of people than non-members and were able to get better jobs in part thanks to our hard working nature, an example of which is our higher GPAs, but sure, yeah, go ahead and devalue all our hard work. We really appreciate that sweeping generalization.
GDI: Nope, white privilege.
Greek: We are also the largest network of community-service volunteers in the country. You can’t possibly attribute that to…
GDI: White privilege? Watch me. You have time to volunteer because none of you have to get jobs to pay for school or other expenses because of your rich families. WHIIIIIIITTEEEEE PRIIIIVVVIIIIIIILEGGGEEEEEE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Fuck you and your volunteer work. It doesn’t count!
Greek: A lot of the guys in my house have jobs, but that aside, how does it not count? I’m pretty sure the people we help would completely disagree with you.
GDI: It doesn’t count because you’re all rich and three years ago someone got alcohol poisoning at one of your parties.
Greek: Fine, how do you contribute?
GDI: By being a tolerant person, and just, like, putting that out there.
Greek: Anything more tangible than that?
GDI: I once wrote a play speaking out against domestic abuse and performed it at a coffee house.
Greek: Oh yeah, my fraternity teamed up with a sorority and raised $40k for the local women’s shelter. I’m going to go back to ignoring you now. It’s way better.
But actually, just ignore the haters, because that’s all they really are.
[via The Hartford Courant]