Consistently one of the hottest topics across the nation, and it’s not just because of the girls or me, the “Animal House” representation of Greeks never fails to get even the shyest person to chime in. It seems as if almost every other day, right on cue, there is another story (some clearly justifiable) attempting to slander the letters that are foreign to the majority of our population. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon or even a burger king employee (god bless the whopper) to understand that stigmas run our society and while we’re not going to change the image of fraternities and sororities over night, especially with the “TFM” culture that has been put on a pedestal by college students and select high school students who I hate, there are things we can be doing to help bury these stereotypes.
Before I go any further, look, I get it, “kid wearing cargo shorts and a graphic-tee” about to tweet something absurd and completely stereotypical at me, even I don’t put Greeks and perfection in the same breath. I’m not going to sit here in all of my arrogance and pretend that chapters don’t haze, I’m not going to doubt that there are certain houses that pride themselves on how slutty they can make their themed parties, and I’m definitely not going to dismiss the topic of “butt-chugging” (because I’m devoting an entirely new article solely to that). I see your perspective and you’re entitled to your opinion. My point is, of course there are flaws within the Greek system. Just like any other community, there are some bad seeds mixed in, but did you stop watching “Rugrats” as a kid because Angelica was a bitch? No, because step for step was Tommy Pickles and Chucky Finster, the unmatched badasses of our generation. Similarly, we all know the kid who gets a little too drunk during a party and gets creepier than people who substitute fruit for fries at restaurants, but we also know that for every one of those people there are ten more that volunteer, attend philanthropies, take on leadership roles, and still have time for a thriving social life.
As members of the Greek community, these stereotypes should frustrate us, but never get to us, and more than anything they should motivate us. Does it annoy me when girls assume that because I am in a fraternity I am automatically a meathead and probably have a lot of sex? Legally I have to say yes, but, hands down, what annoys me most is that often times we confront these stereotypes with complaints and words rather than the much-needed action our tightly-knit community needs. Well, today a group of Greek students attending Indiana University did take action just as our generation does best, by rushing to social media.
The idea started from a member of the Panhellenic executive board as a campaign in response to an article published by some virgin early in the week entitled “Another Drunken Saturday” which followed around a sorority girl, recording her every move at a university tailgate painting the picture, once again, of the drinking culture that surrounds Greeks, a picture that many people buy into. Pretty original. The counter to this highly unrepresentative article was an idea, simple, yet productive and beneficial for one of the parties involved, like a metaphorical blumpkin, if you will (Look it up, mom).
The concept in which I am talking about was dubbed the “#FollowThisGreek Campaign” and urged students to take to Twitter and tweet using the hashtag (Look it up, mom) #FollowThisGreek attached with a short excerpt about a member in the Greek community who affects others in a positive manner day after day. Originally, an idea created just to get the attention of a simple student newspaper, was amazingly found trending around the Indiana area throughout the day with the countless heart-warming stories pouring in. These stories ranged from a chapter vice president who volunteers as a high school soccer coach in his spare time, to a philanthropist who raised thousands of dollars to save lives, to a sorority committee leader who actually ate a large pizza by herself (No, seriously, if this was you contact me immediately to arrange marriage details). Naturally, the effects of this buzz are sure to be positive and have already stirred up conversation between both Greeks and Non-Greeks.
No matter your opinion, which you’re entitled to in this country, there is no argument to the point that it is a beautiful thing when twenty somethings take matters into their own hands. So what is stopping Greeks on your campus from following IU’s example and doing the same thing? What is stopping Greeks on all campuses across the country from making a statement doing this on the same day? The best part is that I am sure this community is not the first or last to think of something like this and it should be encouraged more often to share these kinds of stories with the masses, especially for any groups that faces adversity. Remember, it’s one thing to talk about change and it’s another thing to follow through with it.