Faculty Members Express Opinions on Campus Greek Life (Part Two)

by Eva Csuhai
Contributing Writer

I know some people who would not belong to a club that will take them as members. It is a sick philosophy, in my book.

Having grown up in Central Europe before 1989, I was always a member of some group or another. Probably the most important group was provided to us by default in our school system. Once you entered the “college track” high school, you were placed in a class of about 25 people, with whom you spent about 75-80 percent of your time.

These same 25, for better or worse, were your companions for four years. You might not like some of them. Some might have very different upbringings, goals and levels of brightness, to put it mildly. But by the end of four years, you had to admit, it felt like you have acquired about 25 brothers and sisters. You had to, what, with class trips, school pranks, collective punishment and all that. …

After that, in college, the 20 chemistry majors took 80-90 percent [of] the same classes together for four years. Plus we shared dorm rooms. We stayed up together Sunday nights, preparing for that eight-hour lab on Tuesday.

Being in a fraternity or sorority is the closest that I can think of to actually being in a community, for better or worse, these days.

(Forget for a moment the alcohol abuse and the worst forms of hazing — some mild hazing seems to be necessary to create any sort of community. … Forget even about that chemistry test on which you got a sub-par grade during recruitment.)

It helps that at a school like Transy [a] fraternity does not have 200 members. Those girls in your sorority live on your floor.

So, what if some of them are not as bright as you are? Or might not want to go to the same professional school you do? They are your sisters. That guy’s views on your dad’s politics might not be quite the same as ours. Still.

True, you did pay to be a member of the group. But last night, at that party, two of your sisters insisted on dragging you home before it was too late, and, boy, are you thankful now. You made fools of yourselves together at Bid Day. Then there was that greatest feeling in the world when you and your 30 sisters danced together, in prefect unison, at Campus Sing, after weeks and weeks of planning and practice. Even if you did not win the prize. Even if you were the one that messed up that step in the second number.

Four years, for better or worse. That is what real friendships are made of. No, it is NOT about alcohol. Go ahead, have those friendships somewhere else if you can. Join a fraternity or sorority if you want to.

When you come back for your five-year reunion, see whom you are the happiest to see. And who are the happiest to see you. A hint: It won’t be that brainy kid from your logic class. Don’t take my word for it; ask Steve Pratt.


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