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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A toast to double standards

    Chelsea Jo Simpsoncolumnist
    Chelsea Jo Simpson

    Congratulations, UA. You can drink yourselves senseless, pass out in the middle of Cherry Street and wait for the University of Arizona Police Department to come by. And when they do, go ahead and mutter any combination of Greek letters that you can think of. If you get “”pi”” in there, that’s five fraternities. So drink up, UA, and don’t you worry about it – Greek Life will take the heat.

    Last week, the Arizona Daily Wildcat ran the article titled “”Seven fraternities, one sorority on probation for alcohol violations,”” listing the greek organizations that were supposedly under probation and the duration of the probation.

    If the student body is so interested in the alcoholic consumption of students and the ramifications they face for it, why don’t we go ahead and list the sports teams, residence halls and clubs on campus who have any alcohol violations?

    And while we’re at it, let’s just turn the front page (below the fold) into a weekly list of all students who are cited for minors in possession, their major and how long they have to pay their fine.

    I really don’t understand the utter fascination with Greek Life that provokes such constant

    Fraternities and sororities are constantly being watched; it’s as if everyone is waiting for them to mess up. And let’s be honest, this is college: Students are going to mess up regardless of whether or not they have Greek letters across their chest.

    scrutiny. Fraternities and sororities are constantly being watched; it’s as if everyone is waiting for them to mess up. And let’s be honest, this is college: Students are going to mess up regardless of whether or not they have Greek letters across their chest.

    I’m not saying that fraternities should be free of all responsibility, but they aren’t the root cause of the downfall of society, either. And more importantly, they are not responsible for the individual choices of students. If a student drinks himself – or herself – unconscious, whose fault is that?

    Blaming the fraternity doesn’t make sense, unless of course that’s what we’re looking for: someone to blame. And naturally, Greek Life will be called the cause of alcohol issues on campus. Because everyone knows that there are never any house parties and students certainly don’t drink in their dorms.

    Students, greek or not, make their own choice to drink or not. Students need to take responsibility for their own drinking, and stop blaming it on the easiest target.

    And yes, there have to be rules, regulations and repercussions to protect the students, the university and the individual chapters. But in the scheme of things, fraternities and sororities are probably a safer place to do what students are going to do anyway.

    When greek organizations have social events, they are required to follow the very long, very specific Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol (GAMMA) Student Risk Management Policy. Fraternities and sororities take the liability for their parties and events. GAMMA outlines everything, from the definition of sponsorship to the specific days and times that parties can be held.

    Fraternities aren’t doing anything different from non-greek students; they’re just doing it on a larger scale with many more restrictions and much larger consequences.

    Besides the fact that greek probation status is irrelevant, it should be said that the article was unintentionally misleading and generalizing.

    It seems like the Wildcat writes about Greek Life without any clear understanding of how Greek Life works or with any real knowledge of the repercussions it has on fraternities, sororities and Greek Life as a whole.

    The article suggests that all of the fraternities and the one sorority included in the list are in the same situations. Probation was used as a general term, when in reality the differences are quite specific. Probations differ and sanctions are chosen based on specific, individual instances.

    But instead of differentiating between each case, all of the fraternities were grouped together and generalized under the same category.

    And as far as getting comments from greeks, it’s important to know that the president is the one designated to release information to the media, or to make any official statements. So when the article says “”Officials from all seven fraternities declined to comment,”” one would assume that the each president was contacted and refused to comment.

    Neither of the presidents of the two fraternities that were specifically cited within the article were asked to comment before the article ran, according to Sigma Phi Epsilon President Rhys Williams and Pi Kappa Phi President John Snowberger.

    “”I never declined to comment. Personally it made me look like I had something to hide,”” Williams said.

    I have contacted half of the presidents of the fraternities and sorority that were on the list, all of which were more than happy to talk to me; after all, that’s their job. But members are not “”officials,”” and they typically cannot provide any information. If a comment is warranted, talk to the president.

    Like it or not, Greek Life is a huge part of this campus. And like it or not, they will be blamed and held responsible under any and all circumstances. Cheers, UA!

    Chelsea Jo Simpson is a journalism sophomore and is a member of Chi Omega Fraternity. She can be reached at

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