Smile Politely

Ask Politely #32

Thanks to an enterprising hacker, Greek life was thrust into the local discussion even more than normal during rush season this past week, as the following phony email was distributed to all University of Illinois students from “GDI Chancellor Richard Herman.”

Dear Students: Many of you may be aware of an event known as Rush. It is my objective to warn you of the potential downsides of Greek organizations. I advise you to not succumb to the aggressive recruitment tactics used by these organizations. It has been my concern over the years, that the Greek culture of alcoholism and lack of respect for the community degrades campus life. These organizations present themselves as prestigious, yet are discriminatory, serve to perpetuate social inequality, especially with respect to the opposite gender, and promote a lack of diversity. Many students have expressed concerns with regards to safety on campus, particularly due to Greek culture and behavior. It is my hope that a student’s experience on campus strengthens one’s individuality, but the Greek system emphasizes the group above all, without cause or reason. This is detrimental to the purpose of universities. I hope that you will consider wisely.

But just as the USA persevered when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor (an Animal House here folks), the Greeks will survive this hoax. So what do you think? What sort of impact do fraternities have on the community, both student and townie? Are they a crusading force for good, a deplorable group of evildoers, or do they perhaps reside somewhere in a nebulous gray area?

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