Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fraternity taints Spartan image

The image of MSU has improved drastically from the fiery and riotous one just a few years back. The conduct of the students has greatly improved, the football team’s bowl victory and the basketball team’s national championship has helped to broadcast that new image to the rest of the country and the recent actions of MSU President M. Peter McPherson help to further those gains made by the university as it enters a renaissance. I am pleased that McPherson is trying to advance our academic community by bringing in the likes of Stephen Jay Gould to speak before the university, and his latest decision to donate his bonus to the university to plant trees on south campus - where they’re desperately needed - only helps make MSU that much more attractive.

It is sad then to see that the selfish and callous actions of one of our fraternities has helped to degrade not only MSU’s polished image (“Fraternity paints over heritage message on rock,” SN 9/25) but the new image that the greek system is trying to construct. The fraternity hurt this image by painting over the work by Culturas de las Razas Unidas on the rock Friday morning and the subsequent remarks made by Sigma Alpha Mu vice president Brian Schneble, trying to play down the incident from its racist tag left by an unknown individual.

Indeed, Sigma Alpha Mu’s actions were racist at least on some level, in the fact that they did not respect the requests of CRU, and although this act was probably fueled more by alcohol and ego than by hatred, the results are the same. If Sigma Alpha Mu were to paint over the work done by another fraternity it would be considered an affront to that fraternity. The same goes for CRU, which is - after all - a group of people, like any fraternity or sorority, that unites with a common cause or motive. By insulting that group you insult its motive. I do think that a censure of some sort should be placed on Sigma Alpha Mu, especially by the rest of the greek system, to show that insensitive and thoughtless actions of this sort will not be tolerated. The punishment does not have to be severe but it should be more than the proverbial slap on the wrist. I also hope that other fraternities, sororities and social groups take heed of this incident and help ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

Benjamin Kozicki
human biology junior


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