Stereotypes; an understood generalization of a group or type of people.
Most people say they don’t listen to these negative titles and assumptions, but they’re nearly impossible to ignore, and odds are, you’ve been characterized into a stereotype before. I can remember them starting in middle school. If a girl hung out with only guys, she was seen as a flirt. If she did anything with those guys, she was seen as a slut. If someone had good grades and always turned homework in: a nerd. If they did the opposite, they were stupid.
I’ve tried my best to ignore stereotypes, especially as I came to college; even some colleges have stereotypes, or more so, a reputation. I attend a small, private, liberal arts university with high standards when it comes to academics. You probably wouldn’t assume this from what I just said, but the summer before my freshman year, multiple people told me it was a “party school,” but let’s be honest, they are very few universities that aren’t.
Again, I ignored the reputation the school had because I knew there was so much more to this amazing place than partying. There are several classes, programs, clubs, and volunteer opportunities, of course there is more than just going out on a Friday night! But, like any stereotype, people only focus on the negative, and that’s all they see, all they remember.
Just about everyone has been stereotyped by someone at some point in their life, but why? Why do people only choose to categorize groups negatively even though there is so much positivity around them? It’s human nature. We look at a cluster of people, find common flaws, and label them as such. I never felt too stereotyped, or at least one that bothered me, but then I joined Greek Life.
When someone says they are in a fraternity or sorority, a handful of things come to mind: Booze, drugs, partying, bad decisions, and weird looking symbols on T-shirts. Thanks to movies like "House Bunny," "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising," or "Animal House," Greek life has these reputations. The only things these movies portray are partying and promiscuity, and play a large factor in viewpoints like such:
As you can tell from the headline, an incident occurred at Drury. In the official report, it states that a male and female attended a party, left together, and back at his apartment he raped her. A few days later, the above article came out (linked below) which takes “a look at drinking on Drury campus.” First off, it shouldn’t matter if alcohol was involved or not, rape is still rape. Along with that, the article moves right into talking about drinking and Greek life, even though neither of involved persons were in Greek life, and the incident did not occur in a fraternity house.
About half way through the article, it says, “It was not immediately known which fraternity or fraternities, if any, were involved in the May 6 party.” Personally, I was confused as to why Greek life was brought into this situation when there is clearly a bigger problem on hand. Greek life in general has such a strong reputation for drinking, and that’s how most people perceive Greeks. It was an easy, pathetic angle for the article.
One stereotype can cause a negative and false reputation that only grows stronger by connecting them to problems like in the referenced article. So even though Greek life, specifically at Drury, has a higher GPA and involvement in other organizations than non- Greeks, benefits children’s literacy, fundraises and educates breast cancer awareness, helps Isabel’s House, a crisis nursery to prevent child abuse and neglect, and houses patients and their families at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the only topic discussed is Greek life and partying. We are more than party-goers, despite Hollywood’s movie agenda. We help the community, despite media headlines that say we don’t. Greek life breaks their stereotype, now it’s time for others to realize it too.