FIJI Is Not The Only Chapter To Blame For Cultural Appropriation In The WSU Greek Community

FIJI Is Not The Only Chapter To Blame For Cultural Appropriation In The WSU Greek Community

One chapter shouldn't take the fall for the entire residential Greek community's complacency.


Washington State University is in the headlines once again, and, in true WSU Coug fashion, it is not for great reasons.

Last Monday, a video posted to Twitter spread like wildfire. The original video was taken down, but the damage had already been done.

#FIJIISLANDER2018 was the hashtag. The video? The men of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) dancing in grass skirts, serenading women in different WSU Panhellenic sororities. Immediately, Twitter users took sides, some claiming the video was nothing more than a group of guys having some fun, but the majority of students called the fraternity's actions out for what they were: cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is where people from a group that oppressed or oppresses another group mimics or represents cultural artifacts or manners of the oppressed group in a way that expresses or reinforces psychological elements of the racist ideology inherent in the colonialist project responsible for the oppression (x).

In simpler words, cultural appropriation is mimicking and mocking other cultures.

The men of FIJI were doing exactly this — mocking and mimicking Pacific Islander community.

For WSU, a university that follows mottos like "Cougs help Cougs" and claims a key component is "building global understanding," this blatant ignorance and disrespect is not exactly the image that should be associated with the Greek community, which makes up 1/4 of the WSU student body.

The Greek community was quick to respond to this offense, issuing statements and promises to do better, to be better. The WSU Interfraternity Council released their statement, which partially read:

Their actions represent clear examples of cultural appropriation which does not align with the values of the Interfraternity Community, or Washington State University (WSU). The Interfraternity Council condemns these and all acts of cultural appropriation regardless of the intention behind them.

Which is great and all. I love to hear IFC calling FIJI out and condemning this kind of behavior. The men of FIJI do need to be educated on their cultural incompetency, and they all should apologize to the communities on campus that were harmed because of this video.

However, FIJI is not the only chapter to blame.

The entire WSU Greek Community is to blame as well.

The other IFC chapters who have performed similar serenades are to blame.

The Panhellenic chapters who have laughed and encouraged the behavior are to blame.

The Greek students who mock and disregard the UGC and NPHC communities are to blame.

The Greek students who refuse to acknowledge their privilege in being white, straight, able-bodied, male, Christian — they are to blame.

I was in a Greek chapter for almost three years. I was to blame. I laughed when the boys came and did ridiculous dances and sang to us. I did not call anyone out for wearing grass skirts. I did not find the harm in mimicking other cultures. I saw the humor, I enjoyed it, I moved on. I realize my wrongs, and I am glad I am in a place where I can now see all the damage my own complacency wrought.

Not every chapter is bad, and not every Greek member is in it for popularity or the party scene. I know amazing men and women in chapters who complete hours and hours of community service, who donate time and money to wonderful philanthropies, who are leaders in the community, who are going to go on to do amazing, beautiful, life-changing things.

But I also know the culture and the community of the WSU Greek system is incredibly toxic. It is blind. The system rewards ignorance with "top" status, with more funds, with a reputation on and off campus. The nightlife rewards it with exclusive parties and special benefits. The leadership refuses to report hazing, sexual assault, students in crisis. It's a mind game, one that ends with kids dropping out of college and dying.

This isn't just the WSU Greek community, it is all the chapters across the U.S. That's a whole other problem in itself.

Maybe this incident with FIJI is the wake-up call the WSU Greek community needs to change. I can think positively and hope this is the final straw. But I am also not naive enough to think this is where the conversation ends and that all will get better from here.

The WSU Greek community does not get to point the finger at FIJI, make an example of them, and carry on with normal operations as if nothing happened. That's what they did with DU. It's what they did with AKL. It's what they do with every single chapter who has the "misfortune" of taking the fall for everyone else's mistakes.

Nothing has changed. Who's next?

You can do better, Cougs.

Image Credit: Instagram // @fijiwsu

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The 23 Srattiest Girl Names And What They Say About Each Girl

In response to "The 23 Frattiest Guy Names And What They Say About Each Guy."

It's like a switch in the brain for guys: you hear a certain name and you associate that name with a srat (srat=sorority) girl. We all know a Sarah or Courtney that has made a lasting impression in our memory, for good or bad, bad reasons. Without further adieu, a countdown of the srattiest girls you've ever met.

Disclaimer: none of this is meant to be serious. This is all in good humor and all of the below cases are extreme exaggerations — well, some of them anyways

23. Katie

Pretends to be sister friends with all of her "favorite" sisters, when in actuality she hates everyone and regrets joining her sorority.

22. Lauren

Comes to class on Friday and never fails to brag about how much she drank.

21. Jessica

Only one thing in the world makes this girl absolutely happy: chicken nuggets.

20. Kaitlyn

Girl in the sorority who owns the most Old Row shirts by a landslide.

19. Mary-Catherine

Born and raised in the South, with a smile that will melt your heart and the voice of an angel. But don't cross her.

18. Sarah

Sarah likes to wait until the last minute to get a date for her date party, then commence to complain about her date the entire night and ditch him as soon as she gets to the bar. Oh, Sarah.

17. Courtney

Embraces Wine Wednesday seven days a week.

16. Kate

Has a group of guy friends in every fraternity, but doesn't date any of them.

15. Emma

Captions an Instagram picture "Snapbacks and Tattoos," without owning any snapbacks or having any tattoos.

14. Madison, Maddie or Mady

Has been in a committed long-distance relationship for two years... and that's why she won't talk to you at a social.

13. Stephanie

Drinks one beer or one glass of wine, then pukes the rest of the night.

12. Emily

Has daddy issues and will tell everyone at the bar that she does.

11. Kristen

Eats two whole pizzas, four cheese burgers and 27 donuts a day and still manages to stay skinny. No shame in her game.

10. Megan

Dances on elevated surfaces at every social, and only comes down gently half the time.

9. Nicole

Out-drinks and out-shotguns any guy on the row in expert fashion.

8. Taylor

For sure drives the white Range Rover with blacked out rims and a custom license tag that say "TAYTAY1," with a venti, iced, Splenda-sweetened, vanilla latte with soy milk in the cup holder and Ray Ban aviators hanging from the rear-view mirror.

7. Rebecca

Red-headed, fire-breathing dragon in 5-foot-2-inch body.

6. Jennifer

On a beautiful sunny afternoon, she is in her room with the curtains blacked out watching Netflix with a bottle of wine and chocolate. She "don't need no man."

5. Rachel

Always complains about her grades and classes with attendance, but holds perfect attendance at Mojito Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday and Fried Friday.

4. Brittney, Britney or Brittany

For some reason every girl hates her, yet nobody can explain why.

3. Jenna

Mom status: achieved.

2. Molly

Always talks crap about Lexi, but definitely is not as cute as Lexi, nor does she try as much as Lexi does in anything.

1. Lexi

Fitness model, Instagram model, model of anything. Absolute 10/10 body, face and personality. Will definitely never, ever, EVER look your way.

SEE ALSO: The 23 Frattiest Guy Names And What They Say About Each Guy

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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So You're Thinking Of Rushing A Sorority?

I asked for one sister, and ended up with 200.


It almost seems like it was yesterday when I was a confused and nervous freshman going through the sorority recruitment process. Before I went through recruitment, I had no idea what Greek Life consisted of, or if I was willing to try it. All I knew was that a good majority of people at my school were involved because I would always see older students wearing different letters on shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and bags and didn't know what any of them stood for.

But if you're a freshman reading this and you're considering rushing, my advice is that you 100% do it.

It's okay if you're unsure about the process like I was because that's how everyone else feels at first. When I first got to college, I wasn't even sure if I could see myself fitting into a sorority. I didn't peg myself as the typical sorority girl that's always seen on TV or in movies, and I didn't know if I was willing to go through an entire process to pretend to be someone that I wasn't. But once recruitment came around, I decided to put myself out there and sign up, because I wanted to try something different that was outside of my comfort zone.

Little did I know that this would change everything for me.

Rush was long, tiring, and probably one of the most confusing two weeks of my life. I had met so many girls in different houses, and I was constantly on edge whenever I was waiting to hear back on which houses I had gotten called back to go to for each round. Throughout rush, I kept telling myself to just trust the process and that everything happens for a reason, which is probably the most important advice for any PNM.

In the end, I was lucky enough to receive a bid to a house that I could not be any more happier in. I found a house where there was no exact replica of the same person, and I felt like I could truly be myself. Whenever I was walking to classes, I now knew 200 new faces and felt that the campus didn't seem as big and scary as it used to be during my first semester of freshman year.

Just from rushing and joining a sorority, I have been able to meet so many incredible, strong, diverse women who have changed my life. I've met girls who have gone through similar struggles I've been through, and they've helped and healed me on how to keep moving forward. I've met girls who are an inspiration to me with all of the work that they've put forth both inside and outside of our sorority, and who make me want to accomplish more. I've met girls who I can laugh with about the craziest, tiniest things, and who I can also go to if I feel like I'm at my breaking point. I've met girls who are always down to go out to get dinner, or even go on a late night Wegmans run. I've met girls who are open and accept me for who I am, and who are supportive of everything that I do.

I've also been able to become more involved on campus through my sorority, which is something I extremely value. From philanthropy events to community service, I've learned how much impact one person has on the world and how much good that person can truly do. I've also gained more perspective and respect for my sisters whenever we all go to support them at an outside sorority event they're participating in because I get to see a new and different part of the community, as well as witness all of their own hard work I hadn't known about before.

It's almost been one year since I decided to rush, and I'm so thankful that I went Greek. If you're on the fence of rushing, I strongly recommend that you do it, because it will change your life. It might seem confusing and stressful at first, but don't worry, because that's how it's supposed to feel. In the end, everything will all make sense, and you 100% will not regret deciding to go through recruitment.

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