Greeks come out of the academic closet

by Ralph Nader

In an attempt to play down the anti-academic image many students have of University fraternities and sororities, the University Panhellenic Council has begun a public relations campaign that highlights greek commitment to scholarly endeavors.
The campaign includes a series of televised interviews with several members of University sororities and fraternities, in which they have candid discussions about what they have learned in University classes and how they relate to the real world.
“I took a painting class for a liberal arts requirement and thought it would be a real drag,” said Anna Rannadanna of Delta Phi Delta. “But it actually turned out to be very helpful.”
Rannadanna felt her experience in the University class was easily incorporated into sorority life. She then produced an 8-by-10 glossy of a large “I (heart) BOP” painted on the snow outside of a University fraternity.
“During our courtship week, I used primary color spray paints on a frozen water medium to illustrate my undying love for Beta Omega Pi. This was a symbol that I accepted their ‘bid’ for courtship — which represents ancient mating rituals, and, of course, primal needs,” she said.
Several of her greek brothers and sisters nodded in agreement and paid compliments to Anna’s work.
“I took the same course and used it to deface the lion statue outside of the Alpha Delta house. It was a work which expressed my repressed rebelliousness and male aggression,” added fraternity brother Josh Jones Jr. of Tri Lambda.
Alpha Delta is a rival fraternity.
Other members of the informal group named sign language, composition, human health and biology classes as helpful in the real world, and many said they felt they had more to talk about with fellow brothers and sisters.
“Amanda and I became really good friends after taking a biology 1009 class together,” said Trina Rosendale of Tri Theta. “It was really hard and I couldn’t see how it applied to the real world, but we sort of used each other as a support group and complained and studied together and stuff. So in the end I passed and so I must have learned something, and Mandy and I are much better friends.”
Creators of the interview series are upbeat about how it will be received. Lance Rudolph, the project’s director and a fraternity alumnus, believes the interviews are a big step in getting greeks more integrated into the University system.
“I mean, we don’t really care if people think we aren’t academic, but it would be cool if they thought we were. Maybe then fewer people would be scared to come to our parties because of our reputation and all that.”