Is Greek Life How the Media Portrays It?

Greek Life In 2019 Is So Much More Than Just Drinking And Hazing, But The Media Never Talks About That

You really don't know what it's going to be like until you're in it yourself.

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My heart sank this when I saw that the ex-Baylor fraternity president was indicted on 4 counts of sexual assault.

And he wouldn't even go to prison. It infuriates me when I read headlines like this.

I see way too many headlines of sexual assault and hear even more whisperings because people don't want to talk about "sensitive subjects" when it comes to assault and toxic masculinity.

While it pushes me to fight for more awareness of sexual assault in college, I have to think about how incidents like this (and I know, there are so many) impact how Greek life is seen by the majority of the population. Many campuses do not have Greek like because of their negative reputation and association with sexual assault; also, the colleges and universities do not want the hazing that comes with these chapters.

When looking at Greek life only through the lens of the media and what they are portraying, fraternities and sororities go against everything I stand for.

Before rushing, I was so afraid of the judgment that I knew would be coming from these sorority chapters. I had heard that many chapters, especially in the South, only cared about money or hazed their pledges. However, my experience in my sorority has been completely different than that. It sounds like a cliché, but I made connections and found friends I never would have. As a member of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Virginia, I have found nothing but love and support from my sisters. Before I even knew my sisters well, they welcomed me with open arms. So where is this image of Greek life in the media? Obviously, I am not in a fraternity and can only speak from my personal experience, but I have also seen the brotherhood among my friends in fraternities. It's so much more than just drinking buddies or people you get through hazing with. I have met awesome guys that care about each other and care about the reputation of their chapter.

So I want to change the reputation of Greek Life.

It was so different than any of the stories I had ever heard. But part of changing the reputation of Greek life is changing Greek life. At chapter last week we talked about how we can make the rush process less superficial. I've seen guys call girls safe rides home and helped them find a friend so they could find a way home safely.

While the reputation of Greek life isn't the best, part of what we can do to change it is fix what's actually broken so we can be more than these immoral acts.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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He May Be Part Of The 1% Now, But Bernie Isn't A Hypocrite

Having wealth doesn't expose your morals, how you handle it does.

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders released his tax returns three months after joining the 2020 presidential race as a Democrat. The self-labeled Democratic Socialist has built his platform by advocating for a smaller wealth gap, and fighting against tax cuts for the rich.

With a gross adjusted income of $561,293 in 2018, Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, are now squarely in America's top wealth bracket. And for this, some are calling him hypocritical. He is now part of the group that he so heavily criticizes. While Sanders' books have generated a good deal of wealth for himself, he isn't the part of the 1% that are contributing to the income gap problems of today.

Sanders didn't inherit his money. In fact, he has spoken about the fact that he grew up in a family that "lived paycheck to paycheck." Unlike most wealthy people of today, Sanders had to make his wealth through hard work, despite the adversity of growing up in economic insecurity.

In 2014, Sanders and his wife's income was just $205,271, less than half of what they make today. It was the 2016 presidential bid that so intensely raised his income. Since then, Sanders has published three books, "Our Revolution," "Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution," and "Where We Go From Here." Sanders has stated that he made an average of about $848,000 in both 2016 and 2017 as a result of book sales. O'Meara Sanders took in around $106,000 in 2017 from a book that she wrote.

Due to his family's financial struggles, while growing up, Sanders has said that he "know[s] the stress of economic insecurity." He recognizes that in his adult life he has "been fortunate" and he has said that he is "very grateful for that."

It's not morally wrong to be rich and self-made. It is wrong to be rich and use your wealth to continue to gain more wealth. But, Sanders is helping the less fortunate. First, he has been one of the most influential forces to advocate for the lower class in the modern era. Second, Sanders and O'Meara Sanders gave $18,950 to charity in 2018 (which is certainly more than can be said for most of the 1% status Americans).

Here is the thing, Sanders came from a low-income household, has worked as an activist all his life, ran for president, published three books, and is now running for president again. He is the epitome of the American Dream. He is what Americans should strive to be. Now, Sanders is fighting so that others can have the resources and abilities to do the same.

Bernie Sanders is not a hypocrite. If anything, the news that Sanders is a member of the 1% should increase America's trust in him. The fact that Sanders has not strayed from his platform and promises, even after joining the millionaire ranks, proves that he is prepared to practice exactly what he preaches. If he raises taxes on the wealthy, he will lose money. His wealth has not corrupted him, he is fighting against himself. He is proving that the wealthy are able to, can, and should use their wealth for good, and fight for the less fortunate.

He proves that the Socialist party doesn't consist of just a bunch of poor, lazy millennials. He proves that the Socialist party is for everyone who wants a more income equitable America. He proves that even 1% can be a Socialist.

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