When I read Brian Reinken’s March 24 column “A pledge against greek hazing,” I was both offended and frustrated. All this talk of the hazing that supposedly occurs within greek organizations is just another example of the many offensive greek stereotypes. These stereotypes shame good-natured organizations and dissuade potential new members from pledging. They are also highly offensive to individual greek members, as these stereotypes unjustly label and pigeonhole them into an offensive definition of what it is to be greek.
Case in point: I didn’t even join my sorority until halfway through my college career because of negative rumors. I assumed that typical sorority girl stereotypes were true, and therefore, greek life wasn’t for me. I have never been more wrong. One of my biggest regrets is not pledging as a freshman. Now that I understand what greek life is all about, I do my best to promote it, especially among those who may have believed these stereotypes.
While hazing has been a problem at some universities in the past, it is certainly not a problem here. The University of Minnesota greek system has in place many stringent guidelines to prevent hazing, as do the individual organizations on campus. In fact, the only “hazing” I received as a new member was weekly gifts from a secret sister and an initiation gift basket. Brutal, isn’t it?
Ultimately, I understand the author’s intention in writing the article; however, I believe it is highly inappropriate in the University context, given the actual nature of the greek system here. The column can cause readers to assume that hazing is an issue on this campus, which it most certainly is not.
It is my hope that students can put an end to the nasty stereotypes about fraternities and sororities and do their research before vilifying what they don’t know.