FSU's Greek Life Ban Shouldn't Be What Makes Us Realize There's A Problem

FSU's Greek Life Ban Shouldn't Be What Makes Us Realize There's A Problem

Did we not learn anything from Max Gruver's death at LSU?
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On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, LSU lost a student, the Gruver family lost a son, many lost a friend, but the Louisiana State University Phi Delta Theta chapter didn't lose a brother — they were charged in connection to his death. With that being said, we should have learned a lesson and by we, I mean Greek affiliated members across the nation, but apparently, we didn't.

On November 3, 2017, at about 10:30 in the morning, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge was found unconscious about a mile away from campus. No one searched for him on Thursday night, no one realized he was missing. That is ridiculous. Andrew Coffey is another victim of negligence and ignorance, and it's about time that we get educated on alcohol consumption.

SEE ALSO: I'm An FSU Student And I Agree Greek Life Needed To Be Shut Down

Coffey, raised in south Florida, was a 20-year-old Florida State University student whose life was taken from him far too early. He decided to pledge Pi Kappa Phi, but little did he know it would be one of the last things he would ever decide to do. His family and friends didn't get to say goodbye.

They expected to see and talk to him on Friday just as they did every day, they expected everything to be like normal, to wake up and go on with their days. Coffey expected to wake up on Friday, go to his classes and go to the football game on Saturday. He got all of that ripped away from him at the young age of 20. Max Gruver expected to do the same back in September.

Neither of the young men expected college to be their last experience. We shouldn't know either of their names because neither situation should have happened.

Following Coffey's death, Florida State University President John Thrasher announced the ban on all Greek organizations. Thrasher recognized the problem and did what he thought would be the best solution. Thrasher shouldn't have had to do this, but it seems to be the only plausible solution. It seems no one learned anything from Gruver's passing.

College students aren't being taught signs of alcohol poisoning, we are being trusted to know our limits right off the bat when in reality, college is the first time most of us drink or at least drink regularly. This would be OK if we were being taught how to watch for signs of alcohol poisoning. It’s become a contest between students to see who can drink more and that’s such a dangerous game. It’s a game that some might say is just as dangerous as Russian roulette.

Signs of alcohol poisoning:

· Slow breathing

· Vomiting

· Unconsciousness

· Pale/blue-tinged skin

· Low body temperature

Above are just a few signs of alcohol poisoning, but when a majority of young college students see these signs, we pass it off by saying, “Oh she/he is just too drunk, just don’t let them drink anything else” or worse, we get them to drink more, especially when it comes to the vomiting.

The phrase “puke and rally” has become one that is often used by college-aged students because we would rather keep going than stopping. We haven’t stopped to think that our bodies are telling us to stop. We’re ignoring it because we don’t want to stop having “fun.” I say that in quotations because drinking until we puke has become the ideal form of fun in college and that’s a problem.

Florida State shouldn’t have to ban Greek life to get the point across. No school should.

But it seems that that is the only solution at this moment in time. The ban is the only way to get people to wake up and realize that there is a problem and it needs a solution. President Thrasher popped the bubble we’ve all been living in. He stated the problem and he stated his solution. As harsh as it sounds it was more than necessary.

Being a member of the Greek community used to be something that was praised, it was an honor and a privilege but due to recent events, it’s becoming taboo.

It is something that people are ashamed of being because no one wants to be associated with an organization that tries to erase problems rather than fixing them. Parents don’t want to spend the money for their kids to be a part of an organization that has been in the headlines of newspapers and programs for negative reasons. This is coming from someone who is a current member of a Greek community.

So to the thousands of Greek communities across the nation, please teach your members the signs of alcohol poisoning. Teach them to call for help if you notice someone in distress rather than just letting them lie there. Every minute that someone is unconscious counts. Every second that goes by is another second closer to potential death.

To the parents and guardians of teenagers and young adults, please teach your kids that they shouldn’t be afraid to call 911 if they think someone is in danger. It’s better to get a ticket for underage drinking than the possibility of death or permeant damage.

To the parents of kids who within Greek communities, please remind them that it’s OK to walk away from an organization that is causing potential harm.

With that being said, please also remember that not all Greek organizations/communities are like FSU and LSU. Going Greek can be such an amazing thing, it’s something you should be proud to be a part of. It’s an honor and a privilege as long as it’s continuing to be a safe environment.

Hopefully, the ban on Greek life at FSU has taught us a few things.

Because if it hasn’t, I really don’t know what would.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Coffey and Gruver families.

Fly high Max and Andrew.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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To The Teacher Who Broke My Spirit

Education should not be like this.

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No one should have to sit in a classroom and feel absolutely horrible about themselves. No one should have extreme dread going to office hours. Education should not be like this.

I have always been an A+ student my entire life. Even throughout college, I have remained a diligent and hard-working student. I've loved being involved and engaged in all of my classes. Up until you, I've enjoyed going to class and learning.

You have broken my spirit.

When I walk into your class, I feel completely incompetent. I doubt myself and intelligence every single day. I feel like no matter how much effort I put in, I get nothing out. I could study and do homework for hours on end, yet I still only get below average grades. Every time I have to email you or attend office hours, I have extreme anxiety. Anything that involves you or your class makes me cringe. I know may this sounds super dramatic, but we've all been there at one point or another—and it flat out sucks.

Although you have made my life an absolute living hell, there's one silver lining to having to endure your class. You've made me appreciate all of the incredible professors I've had in the past. You've taught me what a real teacher is, and that is not you.

A real teacher is someone who genuinely wants his/her students to succeed, in both academics and life. They are not the easiest professors in the world, but they are kind and approachable. That is all I ask. I am not looking for an "easy A" from you or your class. I am looking for a teacher that has compassion for not only the topic but for the students too. You give the teachers who genuinely do amazing work a bad rep.

At the end of the day, you have taught me a life lesson...that not all people want me to succeed. In life, there will be people and things that stand in my way of achieving my goals. You have broken my spirit, but only temporarily. If anything, you have taught me to rise above the criticism and the negativity. I am not defined by the grade you give me or the way you treat me. I refuse to sink to your level.

You may have broken my spirit for now, but you will not keep me down for long. As Winston Churchill said,

"Kites fly highest against the wind—not with it."

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