Column: Respect the choice to go Greek

Abigail Carlin, Copy Editor

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Let me begin this column by stating that I am not involved with Greek life, nor do I plan on becoming involved in the future. That being said, I recognize the negative stigmas associated with Greek life and I find it rather unfortunate that such a divide exists on our campus.

Through most of last week, I watched many my friends rush and go through the entire bidding process. At the end of the week, I was so pleased to see them get into their desired houses and begin to become a part of their new family. However, their excitement was muted by the loud outcry against Greek life.

One does not have to venture far out of their dorm to hear the rebellion. “Well, I don’t feel like paying $300 a semester when I can make friends for free” is probably one of the more popular backlashes. However, I would like to clarify, as someone who is not a part of the Greek community, that these kinds of statements are simply inaccurate and belittle the good that Greek life does for our campus.

Greek life is meant to connect and empower young individuals for life. Sure, there are parties and drinking, but there are also philanthropy and study tables. In order to remain a part of Greek life, a certain standard is put into place to keep people from falling off the edge. Even more than that, Greek fraternities and sororities are a grouping of young people who want to empower one another and make the most of their college years together.

Greek life is the glue that holds our campus together. Where else, other than RSO’s, can you find such a closely-knit group of people with one common goal? People of different majors, minors, socioeconomic backgrounds and interests elected to live and work together for the remainder of their college career. I think this commitment is something to be admired, for it is a commitment that I know I am not mature enough to make in my own life. I admire those who have taken the leap and joined fraternities and sororities, and I also applaud them for their efforts in their philanthropies to try improve both the Charleston community and the world around them.

Despite your personal feelings about Greek life, partying or the certain individuals involved in Greek life, I think it is important to reflect on the negative stereotypes surrounding them. It is unfair for those of us not in Greek life to heavily judge those who are, if we judge them at all. At the end of the day, their lives are simply not our business. After all, we are all Panthers, and instead of trying to ruin the fun of others, we should be building each other up. This means respecting one’s own life experience opinions, and interests, as well as someone else’s.

No one has to agree or disagree on anything, and that is one of the biggest advantages of living on a diverse campus such as ours. You are free to pursue your own interests; therefore, you should respect everyone else’s freedom to do the same.

 

Abigail Carlin is a sophomore English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]