Sunday, February 08, 2004"Despite all of the things I learned in and out of the lecture hall in my five years, one thing that will remain beyond my comprehension are the very fundamentals of the contemporary college Greek system. Three months before I'll be kissing this place goodbye once and for all with a piece of paper that will (supposedly) put me in the upper echelon of society and guarantee me a job slightly more glamorous than associate manager in charge of restroom turd disinfecting at the local Steak n' Shake, I still haven't worked through the angles."
Thus begins the latest installment of the occasional email newsletter "The Manifesto" sent last Friday. This one in particular measures up to the name - clocking it at nearly 2,000 characters, or nearly four full pages single spaced. Here the manifesto skewers the Greek system for its hazing and irrationality, singling out black greek organizations for particular criticism. Here's excerpts:
"Greeks have been in existence for many moons while maintaining the same foundation of brotherhood and sisterhood, having bands of kids comes together under secrecy and ritual to establish connections with others of their ilk and form lifelong bonds that carry through collegiate life and beyond. However, from my understanding, the Greek system has, throughout the ages, received a set of morally ambiguous facelifts that the originators probably would not have approved of Â
Let's start off with the organizations under Interfraternity Council, shall we? I hope my dear readers didn't succumb to the farce that is the Greek "recruitment" video that gets sent to incoming students presenting the idea that membership in these organizations will give them that opportunity they always wanted to feed starving Somalian kids Â damn near all of these frats and sororities stand for social and recreational purposes and little else. Ladies, if you want to spend just a few more weeks in a high school atmosphere, you can join the sweeping throng of girls that migrate to the Mecca that is Hill Street every September in a massive ocean of cell phones, $300 purses and vapid chatter. Instead of worrying about men perceiving you as a piece of meat, you can get it from the sorors that make not-so-covert decisions based on approval or disapproval of physical appearance along with other asinine shit. Come to think of it, some of the sisters would do well as Abercrombie & Fitch hiring managers! When all is said and done, if youÃÂre LUCKY, you will end up members of a group of ladies youÃÂll be forced to live with the following year and quickly grow to hate ("She took my curling iron! That bitch!").
At least they have clean homes for the most part, which is more than I can say for the fraternities. Oh, the filth Â do these punks actually bring their families into these houses reeking of sweat, piss, cigarettes, and three-week old light beer? Leaving the dorms only to be forced to live in a building reminiscent of an urban wasteland is not my idea of the optimal college experience.
More than a few of the naive souls I know that signed up for rush did so with the promise of unending swells of beer, sex, and parties, but if 35-cents-a-can Milwaukee's Beast and that drunk, sweaty, STD-infested chick from your Econ 100 class that won't remember shit the next morning is your idea of a good time, then Godspeed. And these dudes go through these silly-ass hazing processes (more on that later) just to be a part of something so profound. Pardon my implied arrogance, but those who cant land frat groupies without going through a week of wearing short-shorts and extra-medium t-shirts with obscenities scribbled on them, or even getting hospitalized on some dangerous shit like that clown last semester, then you probably deserve to remain a sober virgin for the rest of your natural life.
All of the doings of the IFC, though, seem truly innocuous compared to the goings on in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations, which cover most of the minority-based Greek organizations, particularly the African-American ones. The occurrences in the black Greek orgs have been a sore spot with me for some time now, perhaps because, despite my efforts to view their actions from a purely beneficial perspective, I cannot look past the hindering effects it has on a group of people that historically struggle just to see the inside of a college classroom.
Seriously, if you need to be a part of something resembling a Greek process, join the army and actually apply it to something. If you need booze and women, go to someone ELSE'S party. If you need a friend, try taking a shower. If you just need some love in your life, buy a dog. Problem solved."
Posted by Rob at 10:38 PM