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AlleghenyCampus.com

OPINION

The Campus || April 22, 2011 ||

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Opinon editor: Alexandra Jaffe || ACCampusOpinion@gmail.com

EDITORIAL An open letter to the kid we saw doing Kung Fu on Campus Center on Wednesday night: Kid, You thought no one was watching you, but we were. around 3 a.m. and we were tired. We thought no one else was here. We thought we might step out for a breath of fresh air, maybe a smoke and then return to our labor. But there you were. Posted up at the top of the stairwell, you were maybe 120 pounds of pure blissful ignorance, convinced that no one was around to catch the air. What were you doing? Maybe you were trying to keep yourself awake, get ring with an invisible enemy so that you could go contend with whatever essay was keeping you up so late at night. Maybe you were haunted by some private demon, some secret torture and the only outlet you had was practicing late-night martial arts. And maybe you were punching just to punch, as surprised as we were at the ing for no real reason at the top of the stairs. Kid, we want to thank in your punches to give us hope. Life is hard in the Campus here because they want to all became too much. All of

their work, all of their activities, responsibilities both academic and social: it all just kind of snowballs until there just wasn’t enough daylight to deal. ple in here past midnight. Look in late at night sometime — you’ll probably see one of us in here sleeping on the couch. Other brave late-night warriors camp out in study rooms with bags of chips and seventeen cans of Red Bull, ready with tired eyes to conquer what they have to conquer before the sun rises. We all vaguely recognize each other and we almost make eye contact when we walk past each other. But away at the last moment and bury our heads back in our books, crushed with despair. Maybe you didn’t know someone might see you. Maybe you didn’t care. But while everyone around you wanted to give up and go home as failures, ourselves included, there you were, either ignorant of your surroundings or proudly shameless, punching and punching and punching as the hands of clock kept ticking along. And from the and behind your back, we saluted. Because in you, among the drooping eyelids and the failing energies, we found signs of life at Allegheny. And it made everything a little bit better.

EDITORIAL POLICY dividual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of Campus newspaper editorial board. right to reject or edit letters not meeting standards or space the Tuesday before publication. Letters may be emailed to ACCampusNewspaper@gmail.com along with a phone number

CORY MUSCARA/THE CAMPUS

On Sunday, members of the Greek community came together to clean the campus in the wake of Springfest, an event that the writers of the following column identify as just one of many ways Greeks give back to Allegheny College.

In defense of Greeks

Members of the Greek community respond to criticism By LUKAS J. FRIGA, TED KOLLER, CORY MUSCARA AND FRANCHESKA VARGAS

pus painted Greek life as dishonorable, promoting “abhorrent practices.” As current members of Greek life, we disagree statements and insulted six hundred and twelve of his peers in the process. Greek community to “rethink this serious gap between their advertised morals and their actual behavior.” We ask “What gap?” Here at Allegheny, Greek students are leaders on campus and Greek alumni give generously back to the school in many ways. According to an internal survey conducted this spring, 134 Greek students hold leadership positions in clubs or student organizations. 27 Greek students are Resident Advisors or Community Advisors. 32 Greek students serve in Allegheny Student Government or on Cabinet. 66 Greek students are or have been peer leaders. Furthermore, the all-Greek GPA over the past two semesters is 3.135 higher than the all-Allegheny GPA, which is 3.08. inspires fraternity and sorority members to do well academically. Many members of Greek Life feel that their fraternity or sorority has given them role models who demonstrate a serious commitment to their studies and who are leaders in the broader campus community, not just in Greek life. Philanthropy and community service play a huge role in the purpose and

function of Greek organizations. Last fall alone, Greek members volunteered 5,256 hours of their time and raised $10,539 for charity. As recently as this past Sunday, 250 members of Greek life conducted an We do understand that Greek life is not for everybody. Just as sports teams or student organizations can provide a sense of belonging for certain students, students, who strive to represent their organization on campus with pride and integrity. fraternities and sororities is also misunderstood. While sports teams or even must answer only to the school for their behavior, Greek organizations also have mandated risk-management policies and national organizations that monitor and enforce regulations. What was truly shocking about last week’s letter to the editor was its vitriolic tone and misleading arguments. In the article, the author calls the Greek community a “disease.” He implies that having Greek organizations on campus leads to and goes further to strongly imply that the Allegheny Greek community encourages “more repulsive activities” such as “violent crimes as severe as rape and murder.” Such claims, as ludicrous as they are, are damaging to the entire Allegheny Greeks have been taken to represent the

Want to read the letter to the editor that sparked this debate? Download a QR code reader on your phone and scan this code to check out Lee Swaydis’ take on Greek life.

strongly condemn any fraternity or sorority member who contributes to this “predatory culture,” but there is no logical connection between anecdotal evidence of one regrettable incident and the supposedly “entrenched” behavior of the Greek community. nity is always open to a discussion about our role on campus. We invite the author of the column — indeed, any student at the school with concerns — to come address us directly. We do respectfully request, however, that criticism be based Greek life is more than simply an abstract concept, but comprises many of your peers and friends.

Lukas J. Friga, ’13 – <frigal> Ted Koller, ’12 – <kollert> Franceska Vargas, ’12 – <vargasf> Cory Muscara, ’12 – <muscarc>

President Obama, we need to talk

Conservative columnist traces America’s love affair with its president

By DAVE KLEPPICK Featured Columnist

When we “like-like” someone else, we always romanticize our initial attraction. We point to the best and brightest attributes of the person we “like-like,” spending countless hours imagining each step that will bring us closer to true love. Problem is, this all occurs in our thoughts. Our brain dismisses any potential complication with rationalizations and best-case scenarios. When we

usually notice reality isn’t as peachy as the fairy tale that played out in our head. the American public as they became enamored of a Democratic up-and-comer named Barack Obama. In 2004, he was honored as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention before he was even a Washington politician. And then he surprisingly won the Iowa Caucus and reminded us that we should all

unite around the common feeling of “Hope.” In New Hampshire, he cited well-known historical examples in which Americans overcame obstacles with the spirit of the slogan, “Yes we can.”

right, all we need is change, a collective change.”

Obama accepted the Democratic Nomination in St. Paul, Minn. in June of 2008, he introduced the political ideal of “Change” : a common goal for all Americans, regardless of party af-

great between Obama and the nation for a while, and then we got a little annoyed with each

America throughout her tumultuous history. America started to have a little crush on Obama. We thought to ourselves, “Obama’s right, we all share hope for a better future in America,” or, “Obama’s right, every issue can be solved by saying, ‘Yes

male roommates: leave your girlfriend near him, and you better believe she’s gonna go

head over heels in love with Barack Obama. Nothing he could’ve done would’ve altered our belief that only Barack Obama could translate his campaign rhetoric of unity into a real change in government. Obama and the American public were now what you would consider “Facebook Of44th President, but that’s where

gan to see the limitations of a charmer like Obama. treats President Obama like

pened with our relationship. Fox News, CNN and even MSNBC sweet-talked us with their other side” rhetoric. We began to see how Obama was having

trouble passing just about everything he promised us leading up to the election. All of us “common folk” were still looking for jobs, still paying high premiums on health care and still receiving Social Security payments late. Politically speaking, Obama jorities in both the House and the Senate, more than PresiRepublican president anyone would drink a beer with passed any legislation he proposed with much less political capital, and far fewer political expectations. In contrast, Obama had great expectations from the public and couldn’t pass a cold, much less any of his liberal agenda, without legislative concessions the President made for the feisty Republican minority. Additionally, Obama lied to us about the political ideal of “Change” for American government. I suppose Republican leaders interpreted Obama’s campaign rhetoric something like this: “‘Hope’ for a candidate with as little experience as

Obama to become President; ‘Yes We Can’ bully this inexperienced President in the media, in the public and in Congress.” the 2010 mid-term elections Obama’s attempt at governing through emotional appeals and loaded rhetoric. Obama’s campaign made us fall in love. He seduced us into believing that we could establish a long-term relationship. Obama’s tenure showed us why we shouldn’t trust ourselves when we fall in love with an inexperienced, charismatic politician. As a result, we’re in the Barack Obama. In the market for a new love interest in 2012, we may be seduced by an experienced old guy with a lot of money, and so the hopelessly romantic story continues.

Dave Kleppick is a member of the class of 2011. He can be reached at kleppid@allegheny. edu.


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