First of all, let me be clear. I’m one of those girls with “Social Chair stamped on my forehead.” Well actually, I was one of those girls. I suppose now I’m one of those girls with “Risk Management” stamped on my forehead.
You see, last year, I was social chair for my chapter. Now, I sit as the VP of Risk Management on the Panhellenic Council. You need a venue in Des Moines? A busing company? The best priced caterer in town? Yeah, I can probably give you a multitude of options. I don’t say this to impress you—you definitely shouldn’t be. Unless I somehow end up pursuing a career as a wedding planner, these skills will be completely useless outside the shiny Drake bubble. I say this because I want you to know where I’m coming from. I’ve done sorority social events inside and out, literally.
So, here is the deal: This article offends me. It offends my Panhellenic sisters, my chapter and most importantly, Drake University. Anyone will tell you that we’ve had our share of issues involving alcohol here at Drake. But the Greek community that I stepped into as a freshman was a completely different world than what I experience now as a junior. I know for a fact that I’m not only speaking for my chapter when I say that there have been some pretty drastic changes in order to live up to the values that our organizations were founded on. These changes are slow and steady, but they are there and undeniable. Want some examples? This semester, the women of Alpha Phi brought their dates ice-skating. The men of Sigma Phi Epsilon and the women of Delta Gamma went rollerblading. Last fall, Kappa Kappa Gamma took their dates to the Blank Park Zoo. I could go on, but rather than boring you, I’ll just assure you, the stereotypes so heartily embraced in this article are slowly and surely disappearing on this campus.
I’m not a fun-hater. In fact, defending our risk management policies and our changing social scene isn’t what I’m trying to accomplish in this response. The article is funny, right? It has some cute little anecdotes and there is that clever thing with the lyrics at the end. But, I ask, what happens when a Drake alum reads this article about pre-gaming, fratfits and solo cups? How about the group of men and women who chose not to join a sorority or fraternity? Or perhaps the visiting high school senior who is considering going through recruitment next fall? My guess is, after reading an article embracing a “Thirsty-Thursday Hookup,” they aren’t about to show a lot of respect for the organizations that we represent. The organizations, might I mention, that were founded on leadership, friendship, service and scholarship.
It deeply saddens me that this article was even printed. To find our campus newspaper perpetuating the stereotypes that we try so hard to combat is unbelievably disheartening. Let me clarify, I whole-heartedly believe in the sorority and fraternity community. I wouldn’t have spent my much-needed homework time on this response if I didn’t. The thing is, I want people outside the Greek community to see that, too. With articles like “Prepare for the Party” how can we ever expect them to?