I Am Done Defending The WSU Greek Community

I Am Done Defending The WSU Greek Community

I cannot be a part of an organization that tolerates everything I stand against.
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Last semester, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Washington State University shut down Alpha Kappa Lambda. The reason?

Hazing.

It was a long process of the report, a temporary suspension, a two-month long investigation by the IFC, WSU, and AKL nationals, and finally, the chapter's charter was revoked.

When the news broke that IFC had shut the fraternity down, rumors spread across WSU's Greek Row like wildfire. People were angry, confused, and everyone had questions, but nobody was giving any answers.

Granted, some details are legally withheld, but finding facts about the fraternity shutting down was next-to-impossible.

I remember sitting in the dining room of my chapter, reading the school newspaper article about it and hearing my sorority sisters complaining, saying they knew what AKL did to their pledges — that it wasn't "that bad," especially in comparison to other chapters on our campus.

I was stunned. What do you mean not "that bad?" What would these boys have to do to be wrong, in their eyes? Also, if other fraternities were doing worse things, why was nobody doing anything about it?

Eventually, the news died down and everyone forgot about the hazing. I stopped thinking about it. I forgot about it. If the university wasn't talking about it, surely it could have been all that bad. AKL was the example, the warning to the rest of the chapters partaking in potentially dangerous activities.

I was so wrong.

I will spare you the details, but Wilson Criscione at the Inlander sums up what really happened at AKL nicely.

After finding this article, I tried to find a report from Pullman or WSU about AKL. Surely, they had to have released something explaining what had really happened those nights.

Nothing.

So I got to digging. I spoke with friends and was horrified to find that while AKL did do some pretty messed up things, it is true that they don't even come close to some of the fraternities on our campus. You know, the ones who physically beat their new members.

Hey WSU, I have a question for you:

Why are you not stopping this?

The Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life (CFSL) at WSU talks a big game with their "zero tolerance for hazing."

First, Washington has a no-tolerance hazing law that requires an organization to lose recognition from the University if they are found responsible for hazing or the University is in violation of state law. Second, approximately one fraternity or sorority is found responsible for hazing every year at WSU and if organizations who are not currently hazing do not talk about it, it often creeps back in. Third, while hazing may, in the eyes of some, bond or unite a new member class, it often prevents fraternities, sororities, and individual members from reaching their full potential and will divide the chapter. -CFSL

Okay, so why does nothing happen to these other chapters? Are you telling me you really didn't see this coming with AKL? The chapter was unrecognized for five years in 2009 for "illegal drug and alcohol use and disregard of WSU policies by AKL members." The idea was that after five years, the "bad seeds" would have graduated and the chapter could start anew.

That clearly worked really well.

I'm not saying every member of AKL is bad. I'm not saying all fraternities are bad. I am not saying the Greek community is poisonous and deserves to burn to the ground.

I've been in a Greek chapter since my first semester of college. I loved the support, the idea of women helping others to become better women, the empowerment of being part of a powerful group of women I knew would someday change the world.

Maybe I was naive. Maybe I turned a blind eye to the deterioration of the positive and safe environment around me. Maybe I should have seen it coming.

I should have walked away when I heard it was possible women in my chapter refused to take one of their own to the ER, even when she clearly needed help. They didn't want anyone to find out they'd given minors alcohol earlier that day.

I should have spoken up when young women and men were sexually assaulted and nothing happened to their assaulters — when the events were hidden from all of us. The Greek community is "safe," they tell us.

I should have never sat back down when a fraternity tweeted about taking "social boner pills" to conquer all the women on campus via their "Buffet Date Dash." They told us the boys would be disciplined — we all know they were not.

AKL is only one of many glaring problems on my campus, and the thing is, it is never going to change. Not with the way things are now. Not until someone actually does something.

I can't be a part of this anymore. I cannot sit idly by as freshmen are beaten, forced to drink until they cannot remember their mother's names, taped to one another until their bottles of hard liquor are gone, not taken to the hospital until it is too late, not given an ounce of human decency. I cannot stay quiet in the back of the room, listening to my "sisters" defend hazing. I cannot be a part of an organization that tolerates everything I stand against.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

With all of this, combined with many financial and personal issues accumulated over the last few years, I have chosen to no longer be a member of the Greek community at Washington State.

I'm done remaining neutral.

I'm done being silent.

I'm done defending the Greek community.

I'm done.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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Vine may be dead but Vine references live on. I still watch Vine threads AT LEAST twice a day. Here are 75 of the most quotable vines:

1. "Ooooooo, he needs some milk."

2. "Hi, welcome to Chili's."

3. "It is Wednesday, my dudes."

4. "Country boy, I love you ahhhwweelhwh..."

5. "Escalera oooooooaaaa!"

6. "F**k ya chicken strips!"

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8. "Gimme your F**KING money!"

9. "That was legitness."

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11. "Fre-sha-vocado."

12. "Staaaahp! I coulda dropped my croissant!"

13. "That's my OPINION."

14. "You're not my dad, ugly ass f**king noodle head."

15. "What the f**k, Richard."

16. "This bitch empty, YEET!"

17. "Road work ahead? Yeah, I sure hope it does."

18. "What up, I'm Jared I'm 19, and I never f**king learned how to read."

19. "Um, I'm never been to oovoo javer."

20. "My God, they were roommates."

21. "Why are you running, why are you running?"

22. "Whoever threw that paper, your mom's a hoe."

23. "I can't swim."

24. "Lebron James."

25. "It's an avocado, thanksssss..."

26. "Mother trucker dude, that hurt like a butt cheek on a stick."

27. "Watch your profanity."

28. "I love you bitch, I ain't never gonna stop loving you, biiiiiitch."

29. "What are thoooooose?"

30. "I smell like beef."

31. "You better stop."

32. "What the F**K IS UP KYLE?"

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34. "Two bros, chilling in a hot tub, 5 feet apart cause they're not gay."

35. "So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

36. "I wanna be a cowboy, baby."

37. "Why you always lying?"

38. "Nice Ron" "I sneezed, oh, what, am I not allowed to sneeze?"

39. "I'm washing me and my clothes."

40. "Honey, you've got a big storm coming."

41. "XOXO, gossip girl."

42. "Shoutout to all the pear."

43. "A potato flew around my room before you came."

44. "Chipotle is my life."

45. "Look at all those chickens!"

46. "YOU BETTER STOP."

47. "I like turtles."

48. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, watermelon, INSIDE A WATERMELON."

49. "Deez nuts, HA GOT EM?"

50. "F**k you, I don't want no ravioli."

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No Matter How Much You Flaunt Your Letters, Greek Life Does Not Define You

Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else is doing.

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As a student at a university with a major sorority and fraternity presence, I know that those unaffiliated, like myself, can't help but wonder if there's something that we're missing out on. Seeing everyone walk around flaunting their letters can make a non-member feel a little left out. I have been told straight to my face "you're going to regret it if you don't rush." But, in all honesty, I don't.

Now, don't get me wrong, being a part of a sorority or a fraternity sounds incredibly fun. With formals to hold, fundraising events to be a part of, "sister photo shoots" to have, and socials to go to, there never seems to be a dull moment for a Greek life member. Not to mention, those affiliated say they have made their absolute best friends through their sororities or fraternities. My friends that are a part of Greek life are always gloating about it, and I can see why. I joined my past roommate at one of her sorority formals and I genuinely had a ball being able to dress up and pretend it was prom again.

However, as wonderful as all of this is, you don't need to be a part of Greek life in order to have THE college experience. Having letters on your shirts does not mean you are any better or any worse of a student than those without them. The letters do not define you.

As an unaffiliated college student, I have still been able to find my group of "forever friends," join clubs, spend nights out, and get an education (since that is, after all, what we're all here for). As cool as it is to be able to stick Greek letters on the back of your laptop, for me, it just leaves more room for stickers of Harry Styles.

Thankfully, college is a lot different than high school — there aren't really any cliques or status rankings. So, if you aren't a part of Greek life, that does not automatically put you at the bottom of the social ladder. At the end of the day, your affiliation does not matter at all. Instead of using a sorority or fraternity as a resumé booster, unaffiliated students can fill those blanks with other work, internship, volunteer, or extracurricular opportunities.

Sure, being a Greek life member may allow you to network and get connections for future careers, but it isn't the only way to do

so. Employers will not pick those in a fraternity over those who are not. They simply look for well-rounded individuals who are involved in something.

So, whether or not you're a part of a sorority or fraternity, I applaud you for making your own decisions and hopefully taking the college route that you wanted to. It does not matter what you are affiliated with, as long as it makes you happy. Otherwise, you aren't missing out on anything special.

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