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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Bromeo and Juliet

My parents, like many of yours, met in college.

My mother transferred to California in her junior year and was introduced to my father. Birds sang sweet melodies, butterflies swarmed and somewhere in the distance, bells rang, as I’m told often happens when one falls in love.

They got married fresh out of college and have been happily married ever since, as far as I know. They make it seem so easy, but then again, my father never lived in a fraternity house.

As the students of UA trickled back to Tucson a few months ago, few expected that their relationships from the year before would perish.

But what changed? Tucson is still the blissful paradise it’s always been. Classes are still awe-inspiring as ever. Perhaps the only thing to change is housing. Perhaps he moved into a fraternity and grew in a different direction. A lot can happen over the course of a semester.

Fraternity houses can provide many things: deafening music, shallow conversation and most importantly, free alcohol.

But as an environment for a love-struck boy, it falls short.

Perhaps now would be a good time to make clear that I am in a social sorority on campus, through which I’ve met amazing people. This is not just another anti-greek rant. I think Greek Life is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life; it’s where you meet your future bridesmaids and godparents to your children.

But as a member of a social sorority on campus, I’ve had many opportunities to socialize with fraternity men and to watch sorority sisters make mistakes. And though at a platonic level some of the men definitely exceed my expectations, any step beyond friendship appears to be a perilous plunge into disaster.

This is not to say that all the men in fraternities are gaudy meat-headed horn dogs, though I’ve met my fair share. I don’t wish to stereotype every member of a vast organization based on some bad experiences, and sorority women have flaws of their own. But living in the fraternity house itself can be detrimental to one’s health, modesty and sense of commitment.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus broke out at the UA last year. The symptoms included nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

A former member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a social fraternity on campus, estimates that around 60 members of his fraternity got the virus.

“”Everyone got it at the Halloween party,”” he explained.

If you’ve ever set foot into a fraternity house, then you’re probably not paralyzed with shock by this information. I’m willing to wager that urinating in trashcans and vomiting in or around sinks, both of which I’ve witnessed at fraternity ragers, doesn’t help the sanitation, but I’m no doctor.

The lack of modesty, on the other hand, cannot simply be blamed on the abode. What boosts fraternity brothers from confidence to arrogance is living, breathing and female.

What came first: the alcohol or the women? We may never know, but where there is one, there is the other.

It’s truly a vicious cycle. Woman drinks at frat, woman puts out at frat, woman throws up (optional), man gets woman, woman may wake up ashamed (also optional), but woman wants alcohol, and back to the fraternities she goes.

I don’t intend to pass judgement on women’s private lives, but do they play a part in the men’s transformation? Affirmative.

And the cycle may lead to woman wanting man, but all that’s left are little boys with over-sized heads.

The men live a tough life of constant temptation, causing them to consider relationships out of the question. The combination of teased hair, sly smiles, Popov and Flo Rida is unbearably irresistible.

Some may break the relationship off up front, expressing their desire to get the “”true”” fraternity experience, but don’t worry, they still want to be friends. Other men will wait until they’re accidentally unfaithful, and at that point, friendship among exes won’t even be a possibility. 

But both paths lead to the same lonely destination.

Words can’t do much to console the broken-hearted or to encourage a fraternity man to change his ways. But perhaps there’s hope in the exceptions, of whom I’d like to see more. And for some, it may only be a matter of time or of finding the right woman. But maybe not. I surely don’t know.

But here’s hoping it’s not the latter.

—Rachel Leavitt is a creative writing sophomore.

She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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