|Old house > New house|
On the flight back to Indy, I had an entire row to myself. Can you believe it? I laid down right away, just in case someone in an adjacent row tried to get in on my window action. NOPE! Sorry the Shelbyville woman next to you is 400 pounds, this is my row.
I went down to Bloomington yesterday. I even made my dad drive by ATO. I had some snarky Instagram pic ready to go when I got the text.
"Did you hear?"
This is always a bad text. When someone texts you "did you hear?" they are about to tell you someone died or got arrested. (If it's DID YOU HEAR?!?!?!?! it might be an engagement)
"No. Who died..."
"Phi Psi, check your email."
I checked my email and it appeared that the frat was indeed dead. The Indiana Beta charter had been revoked for marijuana and hazing related violations.
As someone who is 28 years old and has been out of school for over 6 years, this will have little impact on my life. I'm well past the age of going to Little 5 or even swinging by the undergrad tailgate if I were to check out a football game. However, I find myself angry because I see a societal shift happening and I don't like it.
I've read ironic articles about "The war on Christmas." It's hilarious. There are actually people out there that think that it is insensitive to tell someone Merry Christmas. On the flip side, there are people that take offense to the phrase 'happy holidays." The song "White Christmas" was recently banned for being racist. People were boycotting Starbucks because their Christmas cups weren't Christmasy enough.
Both sides of this argument are populated by morons. If you take part on either side of this so-called war on Christmas, you're a fucking idiot. That said, the "War on Greeks" seems to be something real and worth exploring.
When I went to school there was some bullshit class called 'Traditions and cultures of IU' one of the chapters of our text book was about the history of fraternities. It was interesting because you got to hear about some of the old hazing gone wrong stories that read to the demise of several organizations. One kid was forced to swim across lake Monroe and didn't make it. Another was forced to drink a half gallon of Jim Beam on his 'dad's night,' his autopsy report read that at the time of his death, his BAC was north of .48.
Hazing is bad, especially when it leads to death or injury, but on the flip side our reactionary society has gone the other way so hard on this issue that it has become a joke. When I was a pledge, we essentially got yelled at and did push ups. We also provided sober rides for the brothers. All three of these could be considered hazing by the letter of the law, but the reality of this 'hazing' was I had slightly more impressive pectoral muscles my Freshman year and a few of the older brothers avoided a DUI.
This brings us to marijuana, a drug that has been decriminalized in almost all forward thinking states. College kids smoke pot. It's not that big of a deal. Freshman pledges spend one semester of moderate discomfort cleaning up after older guys. It's not that big of a deal. No one is forcing them to be there.
Beyond my house, ATO was booted for hiring a couple of strippers/hookers...a grey area misdemeanor sure, but is it a crime worthy of evicting 100 young men? Probably not. A sarcastic sign that reads "Drop your daughters off here, hell leave Grandma too." Is it coarse? Sure. Is it funny? It's an old joke. Is it an infraction so bad that a social institution should be destroyed? Nah.
The Freshman and Senior Phi Psis will probably ride out the storm, but the Sophomores and Juniors college careers are ruined, or will at least take a significant blow. These guys have 10 days to find a new place to live. It will probably be somewhere shitty. Their social circles have dissolved. Good luck convincing your hot sorority girlfriend to bring her friends over to kick it with you 7 miles off campus!
I get it, it's hard to feel bad for a bunch of alpha males who routinely behave like assholes. It's easy to point a finger at buzz words like 'rape culture' and 'institutional racism.' The truth is, most of these hot take think pieces are pure click bait. Most frat guys want to do what most college students want to do: drink beer and play video games, if you get laid once or twice a semester, that's cool too.
Maybe as a white male it is hard for me to understand someone with an agenda. But I've never seen such hate come from a place of perceived jealousy. When I hear a SJW tell me I don't understand certain things because I'm a WHITE MALE, I feel that they resent me for it. It's the same way I feel when a foreigner complains to me about Americans. For a lot of people, a certain segment of people have just been at the top for too long and it's time for them to be brought down a few pegs, I honestly think this is why PC culture has determined frats should be abolished.
I met my best friends in college, specifically through my fraternity. I have lived with one for the past 4 years. Another in Los Angeles has helped me with several jobs. I've lived on couches of fraternity brothers in times of need, I've been to their weddings and had the best weekends of my life. If my back is ever against the wall, I know there are some guys out there that would move mountains to bail me out and I met most of them in Phi Psi.
Now I know frats aren't all good and there is some sketchy stuff that goes down within them, but all college kids are animals sometimes, not just the Greeks.
There is good too, the heartwarming story of the guys at UCLA that did their best to cheer up a 12 year old cancer patient around the holidays but you won't read about that anywhere else, because it doesn't fit a certain narrative. We did some bad things when I was in college, but we also did some good. I helped raise a million dollars for breast cancer through BMOC. My buddy Eric did a haunted house that supplied a LOT of food to local Bloomington food banks. I like to think that we were a net positive on the community as a whole. (And uh about that flooding of Jordan, we PROMISE that was just a hockey rink that melted, we're not engineers)
Wherever you stand on the issue, fraternities are going to go away and it's sad. I've never actively rallied against an organization's right to exist. I don't understand why outsiders hate us so much. Is it the GDI jokes? I've made a few, but it's all in good jest. I mean for fuck's sake, in this country the KKK is given the right to exist. Surely a few preppy kids with family money and a love of partying are not as bad as white supremacy?
It's clear Indiana's president, Michael McRobbie, has an agenda. I believe he is on record as being anti-Greek. Then again, I haven't thought much of him since he had one of his old drinking buddies hijack a commencement speech to instead discuss the plight of a gay man in Australia. It's not just the administration though, our nationals aren't a huge help either. Fraternities used to be about building lasting friendships and excellent networking. Now it seems they are more concerned with press clippings and maintaining a positive bottom line.
I may not speak for every former Greek when I say this, but if the kids aren't actively harming anyone, why don't you just leave them alone?