You're wrong: There are significantly better ways to do college than frats and sororities
Editor's note: This is one part of a dueling column written by State News reporters. The other column can be read here.
My favorite thing about my friends is that I don’t have to pay money to hang out with them.
Also, that I was not put through a rigorous judging process to help decide if I was good enough to hang out with them.
It’s pretty cool. I like being friends with people who I am not led into meeting only by sharing mutual space or community obligation, or who do mean things to “initiate” me into their exclusive but somehow still “fun” group. I like it a lot, actually.
Which is probably why I’ve never once considered Greek life, and may be possibly why I roll my eyes every time rush season comes around again.
The truth is also that I can barely afford college as a low-income Spartan, so I actually couldn’t join one if I wanted to try. Because I am poor. And poor people are most definitely no bueno in frat and sorority circles.
These groups press into new pledges that they are being welcomed into a “diverse family” of people from many walks of life — yet this “diversity” is still only classified within those who can afford the price tag of everything Greek life entails. All done, of course, in the name of being exclusively identified by whatever your fraternity is, Alpha Kappa NutriGrain Bar or whatever, and for some letters on a t-shirt.
And the booze. Probably. And a line on a resume. Sometimes.
The base line: The Greek system has a long-held legacy as a symbol of privilege, masqueraded as a familial "leadership opportunity." To put it bluntly — there are about a billion "leadership building opportunities" at MSU.
And it would be incredibly easy to cite all of the "bad things" that come along with being in a sorority or fraternity, historically. Namely, the that have mostly been banned but and still definitely kill people, the storied history of , or even the who just can’t deal like the one that went viral in 2013.
Too easy, actually. Also unfair. With all of the distaste I do hold for frats and sororities, I really do think they’re mostly full of mostly good people just looking to fit in and make friends in a more “unique” way, which is just a piece of humanity. And that is fine.
But what does that mean for the still-perpetuated culture that we’ve even seen at MSU as recent as was found and published — and condemned, even by its own greater MSU Greek Council? As though this is surprising behavior coming from a fraternity?
I understand the appeal of having a newfound “family” coming into the new boundaries of college, but I also can’t express how many different ways there are to experience “family-like" bonding outside of frats at MSU.
Frats only add a couple extra and unnecessary layers to that equation, and honestly, a whole lot of misplaced dogma I'm not interested in experiencing.
I’ve been a reporter at The State News since my freshman year and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been interviewing a group/club and have heard the words: “These people are like my family.”
Without all that extra financial and emotional baggage that comes along with rushing, pledging and all of that other ritualistic stuff Greek life made a name for.
Maybe you're into that kind of thing. I'm not.
But, if you do get admitted, you can feel good about yourself being one of a very selective, special few. So I guess there’s that. For whatever that’s worth.
Which, to me, is not much.
This story appears in The State News 2017 Welcome Week Edition. The issue can be found on MSU's campus at various dorms and buildings. To read other Welcome Week stories, click here.