March 13, 2014 | Volume 4, Issue 6 | Los Angeles, CA
www.theodysseyonline.com | @TheOdyssey | Facebook.com/TheOdyssey
GREEK OF THE WEEK PAGE 4
10 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN COLLEGE: FROM TRIVIAL TO SIGNIFICANT page 3 MARCH MADNESS: WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF page 8 Phi Delta Theta Puppy Philanthropy. Courtesy of Phi Delta Theta Facebook
2 EDITOR’S NOTE
Greek Life traditions
As we approach spring break, I’m sure students are getting more and more excited about their plans. But after break, school will be right back in full swing. As sad of a thought as that may be, it means Greek life will be back in full swing.
DAVID KARLSBERG Delta Tau Delta
A couple weeks after spring break, Pi
David is a sophomore studying communication. You may contact him at email@example.com.
Beta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta will have their philanthropies, the Alpha Gamma Delta house will open up and, of course, the paper will continue being printed and delivered to the row. So enjoy your week off and come back to school feeling less stressed. Just like the rest of the year, you’ll have plenty of campus events to look forward to when you return.
THE ODYSSEY AT USC CREATIVE TEAM Editor in Chief David Karlsberg Delta Tau Delta Writers Jay Juster, Phi Sigma Kappa Kristen Garrett, Alpha Gamma Delta
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OLYMPIA MEDIA GROUP 888.272.2595 | OlympiaMediaGroup.com Cambria Roland, Managing Editor
We want a representative from every house! To apply for a writing, photography or sales position, TheOdysseyOnline.com/creative © 2012 Olympia Media Group, LLC All Rights Reserved. The Odyssey is a private entity not associated or governed by The University of Southern California or USC Greek life office. The views and opinions shared in The Odyssey are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Odyssey and Olympia Media Group.
10 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN COLLEGE: FROM TRIVIAL TO SIGNIFICANT
1. Ramen tastes best past midnight. I don’t know why. It just does.
2. Netflix is your best friend and your worst enemy. Seriously. It’s the abusive relationship of the 21st century.
Alpha Gamma Delta
Kristen is a freshman studying theatre. You may contact her at garrettk@usc. edu.
3. Call home at least once a week. If you’re like me and flew across the country to come to college, it can be a pretty lonely place. It’s nice to talk to people who have been on your team since day one, even if they do nag you about sunscreen. 4. Make time for yourself. College is probably going to be the most social time of your life and that’s great! But make sure you don’t abandon your hobbies, whether that means drawing, dancing or taking super long baths. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t allot some time for yourself, every week, to just do you. 5. Don’t be afraid to say no. Especially freshman. It’s great to want to get involved and you definitely should, but remember: when it comes to extra-curriculars it’s better to fully dedicate yourself to one or two things that fulfill and rejuvenate you than sort of do five or six things that you’re not passionate about. If it’s not contributing anything to your life, quit it. 6. Recognize when relationships are toxic and abandon them. I’m not just talking about romantic relationships, though this applies to them. If you find that you are caught in a one-sided relationship or if your “friend” is inherently selfish, cruel or just a generally toxic person who exhausts you, cut that person out of your life – immediately. It’s hard enough be a good friend to people you love. You don’t need to expend energy on people who poison you. 7. Don’t do things for the sole purpose of validation. Don’t agree to do something because you think people will herald you for your involvement or superior talent. Clubs, sports, people – don’t involve yourself if you’re only associating with them because you want to be validated. Validate yourself, then get the hell out. 8. You need to motivate yourself. This is what I struggle with the most at college. In a whirlwind of parties, people and potential, it’s hard to find the willpower to study for that particularly horrendous GE. But you are at college to become an adult, part of growing up is being responsible for yourself and that includes being responsible about your schoolwork. I don’t have any recommendations, as different things motivate different people. Just find what works for you and do it, because grades are important. You’re paying a lot of money to be taking that GE, you might as well give it your best effort. 9. Tenacity is key. Among many other things, my first year at college could be characterized by the excessive amount of rejection I’ve encountered. Whether it’s people,
jobs or bad grades you are going to be rejected nine times for every one time you get a “yes.” It’s disappointing, sure, but part of college is learning how to keep putting yourself out there. If you give up, you fail. So have a good cry, scream into a pillow and then move on. It’ll work out if you keep your head up.
10. You are not that special. Okay, I know this sounds extremely pessimistic, but hear me out. You know how complex you are? You know all those feelings you have and all the contradictions and multitudes you contain? Every single person in the world contains them, too. You are not special, because everyone is special. As a result, everyone becomes ordinary. Don’t elevate yourself or think you’re better than someone else. You’re not. If you’re open to the idea that everyone is just as important as you, it’s freeing. Be empathetic and sincere and just be kind to people. It’s not that hard.
Greek Life traditions
GREEK OF THE WEEK: STEPHANIE STEVENS to do what is right despite how others may react.
How would you explain your basic life philosophy? I like to be understanding and open to everyone I meet. I’ve found that when I treat people with kindness I get kindness in return. What should everyone know about you? I appreciate honesty in peopIe. I like making other people feel comfortable – allowing others to be themselves around me. What makes you happy? Being myself, un-apologetically, and living with purpose. Do you participate in any other organizations or jobs? I’m a member of the Environmental Affairs Organization and I am a photographer for the Daily Trojan!
Meet Stephanie Stevens. She’s a super sweet girl from my hometown. She’s always there to help out her sisters when they need her. She always keeps a level head and thinks things through before acting on them. Year: Sophomore. Major: Anthropology. Hometown: Potomac, Md. Sorority: Delta Delta Delta. Fun fact: I am playing guitar right this second. Favorite quote: “Don’t fear the uncharted path.” Favorite movie: Harriet The Spy. What do you like to do for fun? I like to spend time with nature. I like reading, listening to music and meeting new people. Favorite band: Local Natives. Favorite color: Purple. Favorite food: Pad Thai. What are you passionate about? New experiences and getting out of my comfort zone. I am a big believer in going out and learning things for myself. I think the best lessons are learned through doing things on your own rather than living through the experiences of others. What are your dreams? To travel anywhere and everywhere, learn as much as I can about everything I can and peacefully find success along the way. I also want to change the way people view themselves because progress comes once you believe in yourself. What inspires you? I’m inspired by people who are open-minded and courageous. People who are willing
Greek Life traditions
GREEK OF THE WEEK: RAGHAV LAKHOTIA
Meet Raghav Lakhotia. He’s a super friendly guy and he was one of the first people I met when I began looking into Greek life. He’s a great example of how a true fraternity man. Year: Junior. Major: Industrial and systems engineering; minor in business. Hometown: New Delhi, India. Fraternity: Theta X.i Fun fact: Spent all of middle school and high school traveling the world as a professional
tennis player. Favorite quote: “An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there somewhere.” Inception Favorite movie: 21 What do you like to do for fun? Love watching and playing soccer, including FIFA! Favorite band: Nirvana. Favorite color: Navy blue. Favorite food: Sushi. What are you passionate about? I am extremely passionate about start-ups, in general, and my own start-up, www.bestuniversityhousing.com. What are your dreams? Being able to transition from college into a successful start-up environment. What inspires you? Definitely looking up to my dad, who is a successful entrepreneur and a great role model. How would you explain your basic life philosophy? Make enough time for both work and play and give it your all towards whatever you care about so that you have no regrets in the future. What should everyone know about you? Love to travel a lot and meet new people and go on new adventures. What makes you happy? Traveling around the world and spending time with friends and family. Do you participate in any other organizations or jobs? Lead host for USC international exchange program and a lot of intramural sports.
6 PHI DELTA THETA HOSTS PUPPIES PHILANTHROPY Scene on campus
By: Alyssa Poteet On February 28, USC’s Phi Delt held their first ever puppy-petting philanthropy. However, the men of Phi Delta Theta had to overcome a bit adversity while planning for this event. Despite waking up to a house with no power, no fundraiser t-shirts and no dry lawn for the puppies to play on due to the most rain L.A. has seen all year, the house managed to overcome the layers of technical difficulties and still put on a great philanthropy. All guests were able to get dry from the storm and as they were welcomed into the house by a pen filled with dachshunds, shih tzu’s and more. Some attendees even brought their own dogs, adding to the plethora of pups. There was plenty of food and drinks for those who weren’t constantly playing with the puppies though, given the overwhelming amount of sorority girls, there weren’t many puppies going without entertainment Not only has the house raised an amazing amount for their cause, as a result
of sororities signing up to attend this philanthropy, but the Phi Delt boys were hard at work the week prior as they hosted Taco Tuesday, Sangria Wednesday at Bacaro and an Around the World themed party to raise even more money and attention for the ALS Association. Phi Delt chapters, nation wide, support this organization in honor of member and professional baseball player, Lou Gehrig, who died of this disease. ALS can affect those who have it by limiting control of muscle movement and, potentially, leading to paralysis. The money donated to the ALS Association by Phi Delt will go towards researching treatments as well as helping those who suffer from ALS to live as comfortable and normal lives as possible. Even on the gloomiest day of the year, Phi Delt was able to get many Greeks to come out and support the ALS Association and raise money for a good cause. How could anything less be expected when there are adorable puppies involved.
greek life traditions
Scene on campus
6 TIPS FOR THE SOCIALLY AWKWARD GOOBER GUY
Ever just stared at a girl in silence for so long that she awkwardly walked away? Confused about What Guys Really Talk About When They’re Alone? Can’t even make friends on Xbox Live? Then you might be socially awkward... Or a freshman. Luckily, just like being a freshman, social awkwardness is not an incurable affliction. Making friends and being comfortable in your own skin requires one part practice, two parts patience, and copious amounts of not judging other people. Granted, we all fear what we don’t understand, but don’t immediately deem all popular people ‘shallow’ and their behavior ‘hedonistic.’ At least during the time it takes you to read this article, keep your mind and eyes open because this might just change your life. Although I don’t have Starline Hodge to masterfully depict each part of my article, prepare yourself for the six steps that will take you from the bottom to the top of the social ladder. Step 1: Getting Ready Immediately, I am reminded just how much easier men have it. Make-up? Not unless you’re following the goth or emo trend. In which case, I think I might have stumbled upon a potential root cause of your social awkwardness. Step 0: buy clothes that aren’t all black. Speaking of clothes, as a collegiate male you have two options. One, wear clothes that say either “I’m sexy AND classy” or “I’m fun.” Sexy and classy is easy. Get a button down shirt and jeans. Done. Buy a lot of these. Fun is also easy. Basically, the more extreme you go into any character, the more fun you are.
Especially if you are normally a socially awkward person, dressing up gives you the opportunity to completely change how you act and who you are. Seek out and embrace themed parties... Or just continually use the excuse that you are pledging. All you really need to do before going out is shower, shave, put on clothes, and brush your teeth. Congratulations, you now look, smell, and taste as good as everyone else! Get ready for a good time! Step 2: Choosing A Venue: No, home doesn’t count. And your friend’s house doesn’t count, either. Unless, of course, he’s throwing a party, in which case you need to ask if it’s themed. If he says no, go sexy/classy. If he says yes, opt for the fun look. See how easy this is? Here’s a tip: don’t let Yelp or Google decide your night. I can almost guarantee you anything they suggest requires you to buy a ticket, remain sober if you’re under 21, and keep your hands entirely to yourself. None, I repeat, NONE of these things are conducive to your social blossoming. Save your money either for alcohol if you can buy it or the cover charges at parties if you can’t. That reminds me: depending on your personal comfort with it, alcohol might just be the ultimate remedy for the endless forms of social anxiety. Drinking alcohol around other people who are also drinking is perhaps the single greatest thing you can do for your social life. In fact, most of this other advice might not even matter in that kind of context. Of course, for the socially anxious, attending parties feels similar to how most people feel when doing the ‘lay in a bed of worms’ challenge on Fear Factor. His expression just screams “Please God, get me out of here.” I mean, look at his hands, he’s literally praying for it all to be over. That would definitely not be a fun person to chill with at a party. Especially if his discomfort is so intense that he could barely pay attention to a serious discussion about how important Hangover 3 was to the integrity
of the franchise!
If you, reader, are a socially awkward person, then I can only Phi Sigma Kappa guess that your friends, Jay is a junior studying if you have any, want psychology. You may contact nothing more than him at Juster@usc.edu. to stay in, play video games, and basically cut off the rest of the world as much as you do. And that’s totally fine. Who doesn’t enjoy an occasional night of sweat pants, junk food, and as close to no blinking as possible?
Just be careful not to do this every night. If you want to overcome social awkwardness you need to evolve into a social person. Someone who authentically enjoys being social and spending time around other people. Maybe house parties aren’t your scene and you genuinely get along with other people who play video games. Guess what? I know girls who play videos games and are eagerly waiting to humble your self-appointed status as the ‘God of CoD.’ Step 3: Being One of the Guys If you want to fit in with men, you need to know what they talk about. Here’s an easy to remember list of 5 Ws: • Women. Focus on the words hot, tits, and ass. Leave out graphic detail. No one wants to get turned on by your story that probably didn’t happen anyway. (Don’t worry everyone else is lying, too) • War. Talk about all the fights you’ve been in or the fight you saw the other day. Especially talk about how you would’ve gotten into a fight if you hadn’t intimidated your opponent with a viking battle cry. (And no, you can’t repeat it because it only happens when you get really angry. Compare yourself to the Hulk at this point.) • Whiskey. Any discussion about alcohol is fair game. This includes what you drink, how much you drink or how to make a drink. • Winning. Take the time to inform other people about your accomplishments and just how great you are. • What’s new. Movies, video games, life, whatever. Honestly, you can talk about anything if you either make it funny or engage someone specifically. In a worst case scenario, you can always choose to make fun of someone else simply for not knowing what you are talking about. “Sorry, I forgot you were too busy intimidating slash seducing hot ninja warriors with just your biceps.” Step 4: Flirting First of all, congratulations. You’ve managed to make it out of your house and stand directly in front of a girl. The hard part is over. The fun part begins. Your first goal is to avoid giving her your name for the longest time possible. In the world of women, mystery will be your best friend. In fact, literally never give her a straight answer. Here’s a golden tip: the best response to a woman’s question is a slight pause followed by asking her the same question.
www.theodysseyonline.com Her: “Why are you wearing a clown outfit?” You: “... Why are you wearing normal clothes?” Warning: prepare to instantly make out with girl with this tactic. When a woman actually engages with you past the “Are you worth my time at this party?” phase, just remember that they love to dance. Step 5: Dancing Shakira did men everywhere a huge favor by revealing that a woman’s hips don’t lie. Although the entire song is shrouded in confusing half-spanish terms and trumpet, there’s a simple moral: lead a girl to the dance floor and “read the signs of her body.” You know you’re doing it right when she gets creeped out because you either pull out a notepad and literally start taking notes or put on your reading glasses and start critically analyzing the parts of her body out loud. She calls it “weird and uncomfortable”; I call it being sensitive, which is what every woman really wants anyway, right? Plus, this skill might legitimately help you read better than the sixth grade level and improve your reading comprehension scores on any future standardized tests. How can you turn down being a nerd when this is bound to happen: Again, be careful not to turn the girl on too much. Granted, it feels amazing to have a girl demand that you take her home, but there’s a serious consequence to being the only guy, ever, who pays this kind of in-depth attention to her. Stage-5 clingers are real. Step 6: Making Your Exit If you originally convinced the woman that you were Batman, this step becomes much easier. All you have to do is make her look away and then completely disappear. It happens in the movies all the time.
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look at your phone, unlock the pass code, open your messages, and just stare at your phone with wide eyes for a couple of seconds. Without any explanation, look around the party and then find a way to tell the girl you need to leave. In my opinion, the more you sound like a caveman, the less questions she will ask. (“No explain. Need leave.”) When you finally find your friends through the clutter of red cups, drunk bodies, and horribly placed furniture, you will need to master the skills of inception. You must somehow plant the idea that it’s time to leave in their mind without bringing it up in any way. Unfortunately, I’m not a master inceptor, but I think being an architecture major or Leonardo DiCaprio will help. Just whisper the word inception and see what happens. In the situation where your friends have sufficiently prepared for this mental invasion, you need an exit strategy. Passing out is a personal favorite. That way you not only get to go home, but you also get carried the whole way! It’s like being 3 years old again when you would fake being asleep so that your parents would lug your lazy ass to bed. Another strategy requires that you go back in time, get the number of the girl you were talking to, tell your friends you just met this “hot chick with nice tits and ass” (remember guys will understand this perfectly), and “call” the number. You: Hey, it’s Batman... Alright, I’m coming over, where do you live?” Turn to your friends with a sly smile and then, without saying anything, leave the party. Immediately return home and enjoy your freedom. When your friends ask what happened, just remember to leave out the graphic detail.
For every other situation, relying on your friends is always the best option. Casually
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: THE HEAD AND THE HEART
If you haven’t heard of The Head And The KRISTEN Heart, prepare for GARRETT your life to change Alpha Gamma Delta forever. Founded in Kristen is a freshman studying theatre. You may Seattle in 2009, The contact her at garrettk@usc. Head And The Heart edu. is an indie folk-rock band that has two albums to date: their self-titled debut album, The Head and the Heart, and their 2013 album, Let’s Be Still. The band consists of Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Charity Rose Thielen (violin, vocals). Their voices mesh together and, yet, each stands out in the three-part harmonies they are famous for. If you haven’t heard their music yet, it’s like a combination of the The Lumineers and HAIM – it’s folk with an edge. If you don’t do anything else, at least listen to the song “Rivers and Roads” from their debut album. If that doesn’t convince you, then you have no soul.
MARCH MADNESS: WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF March Madness isn’t just a catchy creative marketing title, it captures exactly what to expect when watching the tournament. There’s nothing more exhilarating than to watch the nobodies take out the top dog. Let’s look at the top five biggest upsets in March Madness history.
5. Richmond (15) vs. Syracuse (2), 1991. In an unmatched effort, heavily favored Syracuse never once led during the game. Coming within one point gave hope to fans, but three Richmond free throws late in the game put the nail in the coffin for this game. 4. Princeton (13) vs. No. 4 UCLA (4), 1996. What had been a close game, through and through, had six minutes remaining with Princeton falling seven points behind. Like a Hollywood movie, a switch was suddenly flipped and Princeton rallied together to shut down UCLA and come back in this thriller. UCLA’s Toby Bailey tried for a buzzer beater to tie the game, but dreams were shattered as the bucket was missed. Final score: 43-41. 3. Duke (2) vs. No. 1 UNLV (1), 1991. This game was a prime example of the principle of defense wins games. UNLV’s national player of the year, Larry Johnson, was held to only 13 points by Duke’s high-powered defense. At the end of the first half, the Rebels held a slight lead with a 43-41 score. In the second half, UNLV started to pull away until Greg Anthony, a key point guard for UNLV, fouled out. Duke began to come back. Duke’s Christian Laettner hit two free throws at the end to put the Blue Devils ahead and, despite a missed last ditch effort by UNLV,
Duke proved to be the victor.
2. Villanova (8) vs. No. 1 Georgetown (1), 1985. Villanova, the clear underdogs in this game, surprisingly kept Georgetown on their heels with a 29-28 halftime score. The game was back-and-forth, and the Wildcats didn’t take the lead until they went up 55-54 with 2:36 remaining. If that wasn’t enough, Villanova hit 11 of 14 free throws to hold off the Hoyas. This game made history because Villanova became the lowest-seeded team ever to win the national championship. 1. North Carolina State (6) vs. Houston (1), 1983. NC State took advantage of a slow paced Houston early, leading by halftime. After halftime, Houston went on a 17-2 run to take a 43-35 lead. NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg brought the team back to tie the score at 52. After the Cougars’ Alvin Franklin missed a free throw, NC State rebounded and held the ball until the game’s final seconds. A pass by NC was blocked, but the NC State player managed to grab the ball and heave a lob at the net from 30 feet away with time almost up. The ball was short of the rim, but Lorenzo Charles caught the ball in midair and slammed it down for the buzzer beater. The most memorable scene of the game was the after affect – Houston players collapsed while NC State’s coach, Jim Valvano, ran around looking for someone to hug. As every year seems to prove, there should be no shortage of teams falling short and upsets. Nothing is guaranteed during March Madness. Only time will tell who will cut down the net this year.
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Scene on campus
IN DEFENSE OF FRATERNITIES
On January 7th, Bloomberg published an editorial asserting the need to abolish Phi Sigma Kappa fraternities nationwide. The trend that I’ve Jay is a junior studying noticed in these frat psychology. You may contact hating articles is that him at Juster@usc.edu. they are always written by people who did not: • Participate in Greek life • Have close Greek friends (Obviously. Greeks typically don’t associate with GDIs) • Take the time to form a balanced view beyond movies like Animal House or Old School and statistics about fraternity-related deaths Because the authors took the position of pseudo-consultants trying to advise university officials, I’d like to do the same. They start by asking this simple question: “What is the business of an institution of higher learning?” Unfortunately, they start off on the wrong foot by answering their own question, without citing any real answers from university officials or mission statements. While their answer is short and vague: “help young adults gain the knowledge and skills they need to prosper” Let me give you a brief list of problems that their definition has: • How does Bloomberg’s mythical university ‘help’ these ‘young adults’? Athletic Coaches? Classes? Clubs? Events? Emotional Intelligence seminars? • Why only ‘young adults’? • What does it mean to ‘prosper’? Academically? Socially? Financially? Physically? In every possible conceivable way? Somehow, even though this definition is so incredibly vague (and could relate to Yoga, a seminar on financial management, and even the TV show Myth Busters) the authors still manage to be so incredibly biased that they exclude fraternities. Bloomberg’s staff of inquisitive consultants accomplishes this extraordinarily difficult feat of journalistic gymnastics by asking another smart question “How do fraternities fit into that mission?” Instead of actually offering some balanced evidence based on their own definition, they proceed to write what can only be classified, in my opinion, as slanderous. They first cite “alcohol abuse” as a fraternity problem because of research finding that “almost 90 percent of fraternity house residents engage in binge drinking (five or more drinks at a time), compared with 45 percent for nonmembers.” If binge drinking is so awful, then we should be paying more attention to the fact that almost half of all men (45%) on a college campus are doing it! I mean, if binge drinking betrays a university’s mission (which is up for debate), why target fraternities when there is a broader issue with how the university enforces their alcohol policy on campus? If we want to point fingers and place blame, then there is an underlying problem with what we are teaching our kids and their perception of college culture. Anyway, next the authors inevitably decide to mention the horrors of hazing, how “Hazing is illegal in 44 states” and that “at least one student has died in hazing episodes in each of the past 43 years.” Here are some real statistics that were, surprisingly, also collected by Bloomberg: • As of 2011, there were “327,260 Greek members nation-wide, and a full 75 percent of them, both male and female, have been the victim of hazing” (that’s 245,445 members) • Only a handful of chapters are responsible for these deaths. Take the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at ASU for example. Out of the 60 deaths reported by Bloomberg, that chapter is responsible for 9. Let’s start by putting the issue into perspective, “hazing” is a broadly defined term that isn’t restricted to Greek life. Sports teams, school bands, and even certain clubs participate in ritualized hazing activities as part of their recruitment process. And, fraternities don’t haze the worst, either. If you look through the news, you will find many examples of students dying from these other kinds of hazing, as well. Check out ESPN’s list and one of their articles at the turn of the century. If you compare the number
of deaths in the same years to the ones caused by fraternity hazing, you will find far more are sports-related. The real problem, and the reason fraternities receive so much grief about hazing, is the ridiculous ways that the fraternity men are found dead. Just look at this list of the worst hazing scandals. Do you really believe that these stories are by any means normal? In fact, as the second statistic makes clear, there are really only a few blame-worthy fraternities that give the rest of us a bad reputation. Punishing every fraternity and creating a blanket statement about the national culture of fraternity hazing would be equivalent to deciding to abolish all sports teams because of a the few instances of hazing-related deaths, as if they don’t otherwise contribute to the university community. Next, the authors discuss “the anti-intellectualism that dominates so much of fraternity life,” and, of course, cite the stereotypical imagery of ‘Animal House’ and the “frat-boy culture of spring break lore.”It’s weird how the people preaching about anti-intellectualism aren’t backing up their arguments with any evidence. They base their assertions on stereotypes and sensationalized news reports, which goes back to my first point that these guys have probably never set foot inside a fraternity or made close friends with someone who went Greek. Here are some facts just at my university alone, taken from this USC website, : • Greeks raise “over $300,000 a year for local and national causes.” • “The greek community at the University of Southern California has continually achieved a higher GPA than the all undergraduate average.” (which directly contradicts what the article later says about nonmembers outperforming fraternity members on cognitive tests) Now, how could a group of dumb ‘frat-boy’ drunkards possibly coordinate enough people to collectively raise so much money? How can they manage to maintain an overall higher average GPA than all the other students on campus? In truth, Bloomberg’s stereotype is dismissive of how fraternities actually form the backbone of this country: • According to the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), “At this date 44% of U.S. Presidents have held fraternity membership.” • “Of the nation’s 50 largest corporations, 43 are headed by fraternity men.” • “A U.S. Government study shows that over 70% of all those who join a fraternity/ sorority graduate, while under 50% of all non-fraternity/sorority persons graduate.” • “The Greek system is the largest network of volunteers in the US, with members donating over 10 million hours of volunteer service each year.” These statistics directly answer the last questions that the Bloomberg authors pose to the reader: “Are students in fraternities more likely to get these benefits than those that aren’t? And are there not other ways to encourage such behavior and fellowship?” Clearly, Bloomberg, the answer to your answers are an emphatic ‘yes’ to the first and a ‘if there are, they pale in comparison to Greek life’ to the second. In the most disrespectful manner possible, the authors succinctly kick fraternities to the curb by ending their article with, “At any rate, this much is clear: Too often, fraternities are at odds with the mission of a college or university.” How, Bloomberg? Please explain how your article even begins to suggest that universities need to completely uproot a fundamental part of their campus’ culture. Bloomberg, when you were consulting this mythical university, did you even consider: • How many students would decide against attending your college simply because there is no Greek life? • What you would do with current fraternity members? Would you just revoke their charter and take their houses? What happens to the members who are living there now? What if the fraternity actually owns the deed to the land? • All of the alumni donations you are sacrificing because you are taking away their primary connection to your university? • Sororities? Should they receive the same treatment because of your blanket stereotype? • The fraternities that housed many of our presidents? How would they feel if you shut down their chapters? Are you ready to face that kind of pressure? Bloomberg, if your editors want to skip around, acting like ‘management-consultants’, then I urge them to do more in-depth research before writing articles based solely on two statistics, which are used to support a biased view to an extent that I personally believe verges on bigotry.
campus Scene connections on campus
@totalfratmove: Pointing at a stranger in class and saying, “This guy knows what I’m talking about,” after saying something extremely offensive. #TFM @ConanOBrien: Just once in my life, I’d like to know the sweet satisfaction of finishing a tube of ChapStick. @totalsratmove: Meeting your future little in a fraternity house bathroom. #TSM @OleMissProblems: When the outside temperature is dropping faster than my GPA. #olemissproblems @CollegeTownLife: What if in like 15 years they make a movie about how Leonardo DiCaprio
never won an oscar...and the actor who plays him wins an Oscar @itsWillyFerrell: Current emotion: I need money. @tbhjuststop: school starts with s and so does slavery coincidence i think not @CollegeTownLife: “Woke up in the kitchen sayin how the Hell did this shit happen, oh baby.” -me, quoting Beyonce to a pizza box the morning after @totalsratmove: Doing the extra hour of cardio, because wine. #TSM @itsWillyFerrell: Why do girls associate their selfies with a deep yet irrelevant quote, I do not
understand the correlation. @Camillionaireee: It looks like mardi gras threw up in my car what even is this the amount of beads, hand grenade bottles, feathers and sequins is absurd @totalfratmove: Describing your entire college career as an “alcohol related incident.” #TFM @meghanrosette: I have this condition where I can’t stop singing songs from frozen @CollegeTownLife: Waking up with texts that say, “Are You Alive???” #CTL @totalfratmove: Making a pledge skip his class so he can sign you into yours. #TFM