Pledging to never rush: a criticism of Greek life at Tufts
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04
What are the reputations of fraternities and sororities at Tufts anyway? Some say they’re known for their sense of “brotherhood” or “sisterhood,” but why can’t you have the freedom to find close friends on your own? Some say they’re known for philanthropy, and, well, really? I’ve even heard the argument that sororities specifically can be used as a “feminist” form of female empowerment — but a true feminist would realize that sex alone is not something that merits founding an entire organization, which then (ironically) uses the sex of someone to discriminate against potential members. So what are fraternities and sororities really known for? Do you happen to be in the “gay” fraternity? The “hot b---h” sorority? The “date rape” fraternity? The “ugly … but-don’t-worry-they’re-REALLY-nice” sorority?
Greek life has become so integrated into our campus’ social life that it’s hard to imagine it without it. I am the first person to admit that men at Tufts who do not pledge a fraternity or who are not on a sports team may feel as if they cannot lead a mainstream social life. Perhaps if more and more “chill dudes” choose not to pledge, joining a fraternity would become less of a Tufts social requirement.
But ladies, I find you to be in a completely different situation at Tufts. Is being a part of that group worth the personal sacrifice? You WILL make friends if you are not in a sorority. And here’s a secret — those “super-exclusive,” “Greek-life-only” events magically open up to non-Greeks much of the time. There are so many alternatives to joining a sorority that could potentially benefit you more (or even just harm you and your sex less). Follow your own individual interests, as opposed to joining a group that literally reflects the way in which you conform to a collective identity. Let your campus activities speak about who you are, personally.
Are the Greek life organizations at Tufts known for their sense of community, philanthropy and member empowerment? Or has their major presence on campus been reduced to the occasional “charitable” party and Spring Fling shirts? In all, I am convinced that Greek life usually does much more harm than good. I hope that if more students come to view them in the light that I do, their impact on the social scene at Tufts will fade.
So for now, opt to be a Tufts “Kappa.”
Lauren Border is a junior majoring in Spanish.