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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Scandals do not represent Greek Life

    When a “God damn independent” like myself thinks about fraternities, images of “Animal House,” “Old School,” and “Revenge of the Nerds” come to mind. While fraternities may not be exactly as depicted in those movies, it makes things easier when I, as a Daily Wildcat columnist, try to villainize them. Or at least, that is what many of the members of the UA’s Greek Life seem to think.

    However, contrary to popular belief, I don’t hate fraternities.

    Greek Life is actually pretty important to this campus. It provides plenty of school pride, a plethora of charity fundraisers, and social opportunities for Greeks and independents alike.

    For example, Delta Chi’s recent charity fundraiser was a brilliant idea. Bringing the Shoebox Recycling company to the university so that less fortunate people could use the shoes that UA students no longer need was a noble and beneficial project. The only problem with it is that Delta Chi is on interim suspension.

    While interim suspension should not prevent an organization from attempting to benefit the community, the problem arose because technically the fraternity should not be doing any organized activity; charity unfortunately falls under organized activity.

    This could have been a complete misunderstanding. One wouldn’t think that a fundraiser benefitting the community would be banned while the fraternity was on interim suspension, and it would be reasonable to assume that Delta Chi was just trying to garner some positive publicity in order to maintain its charter, which it just got back this year. However, since the project was discontinued, the publicity turned out to be just the opposite.

    Delta Chi is not the only fraternity in trouble. Johanne Ives, the assistant dean of students for Fraternity and Sorority Programs has really cracked down on many fraternities. Phi Kappa Psi was kicked off campus this year after hazing problems, and Pi Kappa Phi has been struggling after two former members were accused of sexual assault and kidnapping.

    The hazing and sexual assault charges are serious, but it doesn’t mean that these fraternities are fundamentally bad. Mistakes happen. And although torturing another human being for two months doesn’t seem very reasonable, members of Greek life say hazing creates a strong bond. The pledges know what they are signing up for, and can quit at any time.

    There has been a lot of outrage surrounding the sexual assault case at Pi Kappa Phi, but two former members of a fraternity don’t define the whole organization.

    Many of the fraternities currently in trouble will not remain in trouble. Most of them comply with what the director of Fraternity and Sorority Programs orders and they go back to being just the way they were. It’s part of a cycle.

    If fraternities stopped getting in trouble, it would mean that they would stop the activities that define them. This cycle has been inherent in fraternities since their inception.

    It makes sense that they would do what is required to get out of trouble, but the trouble won’t change these habits. The same punishments repeated over and over again won’t make any difference. Fraternity men will continue to haze, drink and have sex. They will promote brotherhood, hold small fundraisers here and there, get in trouble for partying and start the cycle anew.

    If the university really wanted to stop the cycle, then the punishments would be more severe. But since that’s not happening anytime soon, we should all just kick back, grab a beer and let Deltas be Deltas.

    — Dan Desrochers is a chemistry freshman. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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