#StandUpToHarvard

#StandUpToHarvard

Harvard sanctions banning fraternities is a national issue, not just a Harvard one.

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In 2014, I walked onto the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an eager freshman. I knew I wanted to get involved on campus and with something meaningful, but didn't know exactly what that would look like. Coming from a rural town, Greek life was not something I thought about initially. Because of the negative stereotypes associated with it, I was planning on staying away. After I got on campus, I discovered that Greek life immediately checked lots of the boxes I was looking to fill and shortly after, found myself pledged to Sigma Chi.

While some may try to stereotype fraternities as purely social organizations, those inside and outside the Greek community should try to understand the true purpose and lasting benefits it provides. Specifically in Sigma Chi at Nebraska, that true purpose is centered around our three great aims of friendship, justice and learning. Those of us who partake in the process not only find those perceptions untrue but find the experience and affiliation to offer much more than we ever anticipated.

However, Harvard recently played into this stereotype. Harvard implemented sanctions – which took full effect with the Class of 2021 – that banned single-sex organizations. The sanctions threatened that any student who participated in a single-sex organization would be disqualified from holding any campus leadership positions or getting endorsed for outside scholarships.

Harvard taking away an individual's choice to join a fraternity sets a dangerous precedent and takes away student's ability to participate in something with national and lasting benefits.

My time in Sigma Chi has brought me so many benefits, but the most important of these must be the life lessons. Being in a fraternity has taught me how to work with a team toward a common goal, challenge my brothers to be the best version of themselves, and how to be the best version of myself I can be with their help. Although these lessons started within my own chapter, they were amplified through my involvement on the international level. Serving as one of Sigma Chi's two undergraduate representatives to the executive committee has showed me what it means to be a fraternity man on a macro level. Constantly, we're looking at ways to not only improve our members and communities, but how to do so in a safe and inviting manner. Without fraternities, none of this would be possible. My fear at Harvard and other colleges/universities is that by setting this precedent, many bright, young leaders won't have the opportunity to have these life lessons and be prepared to serve their communities.

Recently, a collection of sororities, fraternities, final clubs and a few unnamed college students filed two separate lawsuits challenging the sanctions. They allege that Harvard's policy violates a number of laws and policies, including federal anti-sex discrimination laws, Title IX and the United States Constitution.

Fraternities give us the opportunity to be a part of a lifelong commitment to develop leadership skills, grow intellectually, give back to the community and cultivate lifelong friendships and networks. By joining a fraternity, a person is committing be held to the standards of their Greek organization and uphold those standards for life.

Sigma Chi has touched my life at the deepest level. Many brothers and mentors within the Sigma Chi world are responsible for the man I am today, and I owe them greatly for that. Although I will never be able to repay the debt I owe to them, my hope is that through serving as a mentor to undergraduate brothers while an alumnus, I can at least have an impact on future fraternity members. Whether it be by serving as faculty for our leadership training conference, assisting my local chapter as a chapter advisor, or simply making myself available to the organization at large, my commitment to Sigma Chi is of life-long duration. The same can be said about every one of our brothers.

Harvard's actions take away an otherwise positive opportunity for men and women to find an organization that they can thrive in.

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Calen Griffin is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, serving as the undergraduate representative on Sigma Chi's Board of Directors and has served his chapter as its Scholarship chairman, Treasurer, Vice President, President and campus involvement chairman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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11 Different Relationships From 'Gilmore Girls' And The Profound Lessons They Each Taught Us

"Where you lead, I will follow..."

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"Gilmore Girls" is a fabulous show that I am OBSESSED with. Comedy, heart-wrenching moments, love, an adorable town filled with some crazy characters. What could be better?

Not only does "Gilmore Girls" make us laugh, cry, smile, and more, it can also teach us so much about life and love and everything in between. There are relationships between family, friends, and significant others, and plenty of lessons within them all.

Here are some of my personal favorite lessons that I've found within "Gilmore Girls."

1. Lorelai and Rory: Be there for the ones you love. 

There are quite a lot of mother-daughter relationships you can find in and out of Stars Hollow. But Lorelai and Rory are different than any other, they are EVERYONE'S mom and daughter goals. They have an inseparable bond that nothing can break, they're best friends and tell each other everything. My mom and I are super close, but we can never compare to Lorelai and Rory — their inside jokes, fast-talking, and anecdotes are what makes them unlike any other mother and daughter.

Lorelai and Rory's relationship can teach viewers so much, but one lesson that is evident throughout the show is the importance of being there for the ones you love. Throughout the ups and downs, the heartbreaks, and the fights, Lorelai and Rory are always there for each other to lend a helping hand or give a shoulder to cry on. No matter what is going on in their lives, they are always ready to run to one's side with good advice and a cup of coffee.

2. Emily and Lorelai: Family is so important. 

Next, we have Emily and Lorelai. Wow, they are something. Their relationship is seemingly opposite than Lorelai and Rory, Emily and Lorelai rarely get along. Their conversations are scarcely friendly and love-like; it would be hard to find a chat between the two without passive-aggressive remarks and sarcastic words.

But, nonetheless, viewers can learn a lot from them. Despite their rough past and drastically different lifestyles, Lorelai and Emily still have a special connection. They care for each other and they continue to teach us that family is important; it's more important than past disputes and petty disagreements. When the worst happens or someone in the Gilmore family needs help, they are all ready to put differences aside and place their family first.

3. Rory and Dean: First loves don't have to be your only love. 

So Rory's first relationship was a good one. It's clear that Dean was the perfect guy to be Rory's first boyfriend, he was always kind and sweet. Their relationship was adorable and they were so good together... until they weren't. They find themselves drifting apart and wanting different things, which became very hard for Rory to process. She tried her best to hold on to her first love.

Rory and Dean showed viewers that though a first relationship may seem like the most perfect thing ever, it doesn't have to be the only love you ever have. They teach us that your first love can be absolutely heartbreaking, but it's okay to let it go and move on when the time is right.

4. Rory and Jess: It doesn't have to be perfect to be right. 

Oh, Jess. Here we have Rory's second boyfriend and he is most definitely the bad boy of Stars Hollow. He causes havoc throughout the town, yet there is something special we can all see in him. He is smart and intellectual and he cares about Rory. He wants her to be happy and he's there for her throughout it all.

Jess teaches viewers that though he may not seem to have it all together, he can still be the right match for Rory. he definitely has his flaws and it's clear that Jess isn't perfect, but when he and Rory finally get together, they click. Just because Jess doesn't seem to be the perfect fit for Rory, they find themselves to be right for each other.

5. Rory and Logan: It's important to have fun and let loose. 

Ah, Rory's last love. Throughout her relationships in the show, this one is definitely different from the others. Logan comes from a wealthy, stuck-up family and seems to get everything handed to him. When we first meet him, it's clear he isn't a relationship guy, but viewers soon find him changing his ways as he falls in love with Rory. He brings Rory into his world, filled with adventure and fun.

Logan teaches Rory something that is helpful to all viewers — it's important to take the time to let loose and just have fun. Logan brings Rory on countless adventures where she is able to experience things she would have never imagined doing. Rory often lives an uptight and scheduled life and Logan shows her that it's perfectly OK to let go and enjoy life every once in a while.

6. Lorelai and Chris: Don't allow yourself to be pushed into something wrong. 

Oh boy. This is a relationship that never really stops, they were together when Rory was born (clearly) and they find themselves running back to each other several times over the next twenty-something years. Christopher is always someone that Lorelai wants to love, but the timing and circumstances are never right.

Throughout their many difficulties, Lorelai and Christopher teach viewers that you can't allow yourself to be pushed into a situation that isn't right for you. Lorelai's parents advocated for Lorelai and Christopher to get married from the time they were sixteen. Rory always wanted her parents to be together and Lorelai knew that. She wanted to please her family and friends and kept running back to Christopher, despite the situation often being wrong for her. Just because it's what other people want doesn't mean it's right for you, which Lorelai ultimately realizes.

7. Lorelai and Luke: Patience can lead to great outcomes. 

The classic "will they, won't they" relationship. I personally find it to be one of the best friendships/romances in the show. Luke is always there for Lorelai and Rory and he obviously cares so deeply for them both. Viewers watch Luke fall in love with Lorelai, despite the fact that he has to stand aside as she goes through several other relationships. Eventually, viewers get the satisfaction of Luke and Lorelai getting together after many, many years.

Luke and Lorelai's relationship teaches us that being patient and waiting for the right time can lead to something great. Luke was patient with Lorelai throughout the entirety of the show as he waited for her to figure her life out. He stood by her and supported her and Rory through everything, and finally, he got his shot at happiness with Lorelai.

8. Rory and Paris: Find people who push you to be your best. 

If I could reinvent myself as one person, it'd be Paris. Yes, she's a bit crazy, but the motivation and power within that girl are INCREDIBLE. She and Rory found themselves to be enemies, friends, enemies again, then frenemies, and finally friends again throughout their education at Chilton and Yale and beyond. They went through a lot together but throughout it all, Rory and Paris were always there for each other.

Paris continually pushed Rory to try new things, to put herself out there, and to be her best. Paris taught viewers that though it can be a little headstrong, it's important to find friends that motivate you to become your very best self.

9. Lane and Mrs. Kim: A tight grip can build a great bond.

Here we have another mother-daughter relationship, yet this one is unlike that of Lorelai and Rory and Lorelai and Emily. Lane and her mother, Mrs. Kim have an interesting bond. There's no doubt that Mrs. Kim is strict, viewers can easily see that through Lane's collection of hidden interests and a closet full of a world that Mrs. Kim doesn't agree with. They have completely opposite personalities and it's clear that Mrs. Kim runs a strict household and wants to keep a tight grip on Lane. She's clearly the "mean mom" of Stars Hollow.

Though it may seem that Mrs. Kim is way too strict on Lane, we can see throughout the show that Mrs. Kim just wants the best for Lane, always. She teaches viewers that a tight ship builds a bond of trust and love. Though she is undoubtedly very picky and hard on Lane, everything Mrs. Kim does is out of love. And in the end, we can see that it all worked out as Lane grows into a strong and successful woman. Because of this, Lane and Mrs. Kim grow to trust and love each other.

10. Rory and Lane: The right friendships can be lifelong. 

The OG best friends. Lorelai once described how the two became friends when Rory went to kindergarten and we see throughout the show that this friendship sticks. Through breakups, weddings, babies, and everything in between, Rory and Lane are always there for each other and connect as if no time has passed.

The beautiful friendship between Rory and Lane taught us that their lifelong friendship is just that: lifelong. They find themselves in very different life situations throughout the years but they are always there for each other just as they were in the beginning. It's different for every friendship, but if you find yourself with the right people, friendships can most certainly be lifelong.

11. Kirk: Be true to yourself.

Yes, Kirk gets his own category. He has a relationship with everyone in Stars Hollow and he is pretty much everywhere all of the time, he has even said that he has had "like 15,000" jobs, and viewers are lucky enough to see 62 of them. Kirk is pretty quirky and has something new to offer in every single episode. But he can teach us all a great lesson: be true to yourself. Kirk never changes and is always just as weird and goofy as he was when we first met him. He doesn't let anyone get to him, he is always just Kirk and he is happy being who he is.

There are obviously many more relationships in "Gilmore Girls," but these are some of the most teachable, in my opinion. Aside from the many different relationships, the show teaches viewers so much all while keeping us entertained. If you haven't watched it, I encourage everyone to choose "Gilmore Girls" to be your next Netflix binge.

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