Greeks and Geeks: A Frat Cac’s Plea for Inclusion
Over here on the Hill, Tufts Greek Life finished yet another season of a Fraternity and Sorority Rush. After all the wings and football and socials and speed dates the lovely little freshmen (and some sophomores) wiggled their way into new social spheres. Translation ” WE GOT PLEDGES”. But honestly, such a solid proportion of students join I assumed it was the same all over the ‘Cac…low and behold, the Greek sentiment isn’t universal. (#theCacIsMyUniverse)
There are twelve Jumbo fraternities and sororities on campus so a solid percentage of people are active in the community. Ever since my freshmen spring, there is constant talk about pledge classes growing–and pledge classes expanded every year. There is always the moment you realize fraternities are more than cess pools of stank. There is also a moment when you understand that sororities are far more than girl-on-girl make-outs and wet t-shirt contests.
Recently there has been such an influx of sorority participation there is talk of a fourth sorority. Which, honestly, is awesome. Expand! Show more people these institutions based around good character and commitment to other people and surrounding communities.
But why doesn’t Greek life work at other places In the Cac? Why do so many other small/mid sized liberal arts colleges prohibit or limit Greek Life? I think there is a stigma between intellectuals and the perceived barbarity and misogyny of Fraternities and Sororities. How, in academic space where gender and sexual equality reigns supreme, can a segregating institution exist?
There are significant regional cultural prejudices that condemn the value of Greek life. As a ‘Cac-er, if Greek isn’t at your school, you probably look to TV shows and movies as a source of understanding of Greek Life. Well I’m sorry ABC Family but there is more to it. There are more fundraising for causes, community outreach, and interpersonal connections than you give us credit for.
Consider us valid academics, understand that our institutions are not creating systematic oppressions. They, if anything, unite otherwise unconnected people around shared values. They foster pride and community. Document the socialization as a positive. Don’t shame us into silence, or cite our same-sex segregation as exclusive. We create a space voluntarily to have our identities validated, and we just wanna throw down and have a good party once in a while.
I understand Monday-Thursday you are on your grind but when the weekend rolls around let us entertain you, excite you, relax your mind. We are in your classes, on y0ur teams, in your clubs, why not let us on your campus.