Members of Greek Life are used to being stereotyped. Instead of being seen for their majors, personalities, GPAs or other individual characteristics, they are perceived to all belong to the same mold of beer-drinking, status-obsessed airheads.
But anyone who looks past the stereotypes knows we are much more than that.
You can judge me all you want for being in a fraternity. In the end, I do enjoy a nice cold beer and a rager filled with beautiful, of-age ladies — who doesn’t?
But I do have a problem with the recent blanket statements by the media and some students about Greek Life. Yes, some organizations on this campus haze. And yes, some of the things that happen during pledging are disgusting, immoral acts. No one has ever benefited from being locked in a closet or drinking until they puke. Those abuses must be stopped.
But should that place all Greek organizations on the same moral level as those offending organizations?
Freshman year, a resident in my building trashed the bathroom on my floor. Since no culprit was found, the entire floor was charged.
Now, the same collective punishment is being leveled against the entire Greek system.
Greeks are portrayed as a detriment to society. Like many generalizations, the characterization is false. Greek Life does great things for its members and for Binghamton University.
Overall, Greek Life does more philanthropy work than any other group of organizations on campus. This year Delta Phi Epsilon raised more than $10,000 for cystic fibrosis research and Alpha Epsilon Phi raised $19,000 at Greek God. My fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, raised the second-highest amount of money for Relay for Life — the top team was Delta Phi Epsilon.
Let’s move beyond philanthropy to academics. By belonging to a fraternity, your chance of graduating increases by up to 10 percent. My brothers have always been there to support me academically. Of course there were those who partied too hard, but many brothers served as positive role models. I quickly learned the valuable lessons of moderation and time management.
Greek Life undoubtedly gives more than it takes from society. So don’t judge Greek Life as a whole for the actions of a few organizations. We all work incredibly hard to benefit this campus and are extremely proud of the things we accomplish and the events we hold.
We are a beneficial force that is being unfairly attacked on this campus. I am graduating this year and am scared for the future of Greek Life at Binghamton University.
I hope that in the following years, I can come back to find a campus in which Greeks and non-Greeks coexist happily, one in which stereotypes do not determine perception.
I leave you with one final thought. I was inspired to write this column by a sentence from a previous Pipe Dream editorial which eventually found its way to The New York Times: “If even half of the rumors swirling around campus are half-true, then the jig needs to end.” Think about the rumors you have heard about yourself or others. If nearly half of those rumors were half-true, what kind of person would you be?