Cut Your Local Frat Boys Some Slack From Stereotypes
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Student Life

Cut Your Local Frat Boys Some Slack, It's Unfair To Project Degrading Stereotypes On Every Member

Greek life is often scapegoated and portrayed negatively in the media, leaving misconceptions that are seldom addressed.

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Cut Your Local Frat Boys Some Slack, It's Unfair To Project Degrading Stereotypes On Every Member
Steven Plante
Fraternity is defined as (A) '"group of people sharing a common profession or interests'"or (B) "the state or feeling of friendship and mutual support within a group"
Merriam Webster's Dictionary

This last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steven Plante, the new president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter here on San Diego State's campus. We talked about the problems facing Greek life today, specifically the often undeserved negative outlook placed upon them.

Oftentimes, Greek life is scapegoated across the nation for various issues, whether it be harassment, hazing or substance abuse. But the reality is that for most people involved, there is a serious stereotype projected onto all members that is unfair.

Talking with Steven, I gained a lot of perspective on these issues given that I myself am not involved directly in the Greek community. Steven always knew he wanted to take on a leadership position in this fraternity since he began his rush process. He attributes it to the desire to belong to something bigger than himself, and after this conversation, I can see that he embodies several traits of a heart-led leader. We spoke about his goals to cultivate individuality within his fraternity and make all members feel included and important.

Now, San Diego State's Greek culture has seen some negative feedback—but overall the national climate surrounding fraternities and sororities are is much darker. I have no doubt that everyone has probably heard of some misconduct from something Greek-related, but it is important to note that these incidents do not proceed without investigation and consequence. We spoke about how many people have a misunderstanding on what a 'Greek gentleman' is. And, in an ethical context, pinning the poor decisions of one member from one part of the nation onto an entire group of people simply isn't fair. Like most groups that face discrimination, it is much easier to place a stereotype on a group to explain rather than focus on understanding in efforts to break down these predispositions.

After this conversation, I agree with Steven's point that Greek communities are an outlet for creativity and networking. They provide platforms for social skills, career readiness, and a place to cultivate and nurture lifelong connections. Our conversation flowed onwards, speaking about several of the amazing programs Pike, the nickname for Pi Kappa Alpha, executes that hardly ever receive a spotlight.

For example, this last month Pike hosted several events in philanthropy named "Warrior Week." All benefits from these small events and sales went to the Navy Seal Foundation, a group that provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and its families.

In addition to several other ongoing philanthropies nation-wide, these Pike men at San Diego State also partake in a mentorship program at the nearby Clay elementary where they assist troubled fifth graders. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) also runs various events such as "Seasons of Giving" to give back to the community.

All in all, it is important to note the endless positive aspects of the Greek life system. Though media attention tends to twist and extend the stereotype of what a sorority woman or fraternity man is, it is important to recognize that one member does not represent the entirety of the organization. So cheers to new outlooks and giving all those Brads and Chads out there a bit more credit!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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