Recently, many universities have been cracking down on Greek life and, seemingly, trying to eliminate it. In fact, an article just published this week in The Atlantic instructed universities on how to get rid of fraternities. According to some institutions, hazing is defined as anything that could make a PNM or a current member feel uncomfortable. Seriously? Dressing up for chapter makes me feel uncomfortable. Running the obstacle course during Greek Olympics makes me feel uncomfortable. Giving presentations makes me feel uncomfortable. Using gross frat house bathrooms makes me feel uncomfortable. These are all things I sort of have to do, some even by the direction of the university itself. Honestly, I think it’s time for a reality check here, because guess what, colleges? LIFE is uncomfortable.
At our first jobs, things aren’t always going to be comfortable. We’re young and stupid, and we’re going to make mistakes–a lot of them. In the real world, we’re going to encounter numerous disasters and watch our work get torn apart. In my opinion, being in a sorority has helped me learn how to pick up the pieces and keep moving on. Mess up terribly in a skit? Belt out the wrong words at Greek Sing? Walk in the wrong room during recruitment? After graduation, Greeks should be pros at fixing screw ups on the fly, despite embarrassment or criticism. Even when a mistake was not my own, I learned how to support and console my sisters. The truth is, being “uncomfortable” builds character.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making sure Greek ladies stay safe and healthy, but the rules and regulations have crossed the line. PNMs are not allowed at the houses on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the semester leading up to recruitment. No boys are to be permitted inside sorority houses. All campus parties must be registered events with paid, licensed bartenders present. Greek housing must have routine administrative checks twice a week. Any alcohol found by security will be confiscated and dumped at the scene. All Greek philanthropy events must be appropriately themed and approved by administration. The list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but these rules stress me out. What happens if I get caught breaking the rules or if I get fined–or worse, if I get my house kicked off campus? I feel like I’m starting to lose out on my young, wild, crazy moments.
Not to sound corny, but we’re girls, and we just want to have fun! We want to drink. We want to dance on tables. We want to have scavenger hunts and weekend bucket lists and relay all our hilarious stories to our sisters at Sunday brunch. We want to play Edward Moscato Hands and brag about being the first to finish, no matter how awful we feel the next day. We want to do a naked (or partially naked) lap, because even though we suck at beer pong, we still have fun playing it. We want to build bonfires on fraternity front lawns in celebration of the big win. We want to walk from house to house, armed with our red solo cups, not having to worry about security chasing us down. We want our current members to keep our traditions that were created decades ago alive. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with any of that.
So, colleges, can you please stop trying to take away everything we have? Can the media stop focusing on all the bad things we do and start highlighting more of the good? Can you allow us the responsibility to take care of our own houses and plan our own events? Can we just go back to the good old days, when being “uncomfortable” wasn’t considered hazing? Can you give us a chance before using any excuse to create a new rule or banish another house? When I talk to alumnae from years ago, they always have the greatest stories. The best part? They were actually ALLOWED to have fun. I just want to have my own crazy stories to share when I go back. Is that too much to ask?