Just to begin: I know this post is a bad idea. I know that a good 90% of my readers are members of Greek organizations. I also know that I don’t give a shit. With that said…
Last night I wound up on StuffBlackGreeksLike. The June 5th entry featured an angry email (I like anger) from some indignant chick demanding her picture and comments about her be removed from a previous post that was apparently a literary suplex of her moral character. I was naturally intrigued by what was said to make her so angry, so I read on to the post in question – something about ‘Making Ghosts.‘
Figure 1: Stuff Black Greeks Hate – This Chick
The ‘Making Ghosts’ post is the most insanely cryptic thing I’ve ever read, which is impressive considering that articles like this one make perfect sense to me. Strange proprietary words like ghost, perp, yard, line, and BGLO were scattered casually throughout the page as if the author and those in the know were tacitly thumbing their noses at those who were not.
But the reason this enraged me wasn’t because I had no idea what was being talked about. It was because, while reading it, I couldn’t help but imagine a bunch of 9 year olds who’d formed a secret club beating up on some chick who was ‘pretending’ to be a member. There’s honestly something very…juvenile…about the whole ‘treehouse’ juju surrounding fraternities and sororities (which for brevity’s sake I’ll simply refer to now as GOs – Greek Orgs).
The biggest gripe I have with GOs is that they claim to be social organizations while their very existence relies on practices that are fundamentally anti-social: secrecy, exclusivity, rivalry, and other things that appeal to sociopaths. Many GOs make inordinate demands on the time of their pledges during a time when students are most likely to drop out, and when it comes to black GOs I simply think they should know better and be more socially responsible. Then, of course, there’s the fact that shit like this happens:
Figure 2: …..Why?
Since I was genuinely curious, I figured I’d look around on Google for a list of benefits of joining GOs as told by Greeks themselves. After 4 minutes of groundbreaking research…I couldn’t find much benefit, especially for people that don’t have a socially awkward nature. The top benefits listed were:
- You get to meet new people (I fail to see why you need a GO to do this)
- You get to participate in community service activities (I fail to see why you need a GO to do this)
- You may get to live in a frathouse (So what?)
- You get to treat new pledges like shit once you’re a member (ok, psycho)
- You participate in ‘secret’ Greek events (I’ve crashed several of these so-called secret events, which always just turned out to be a barbecue or house party or some shit instead the Priory-of-Sion-type goings on I was hoping for)
- Stomp Dancing*
This pales in comparison to what I view as the downside of joining a GO:
- During your pledge period, you typically have to kiss the asses of people who don’t even deserve respect from their own mothers
- Your pledge period has a very good chance of fucking up your freshman year, particularly if your major demands more than a pulse to succeed
- You often have to learn intricate and inane rituals, codes, speech, handshakes, and other childish bullshit
- You often have to adopt tiresome rivalries with other GOs for no other reason than “it’s tradition”
- Elephant Walk
- You have to attend national or regional conferences where you meet a bunch of Fake CEOs, douchebags with master’s degrees, and other people that God is chomping at the bit to wipe out with a second flood
- After you graduate, you have to fish the oceans of your soul for reasons that your GO is still relevant to you, or anything at all
Figure 3: The only fraternity that ever mattered
*Even I’ll admit that Stomp is cool. If, however, I catch my son Stomping, I will murder him. Stomping is an intricate, coordinated dance that takes a fairly long time to learn to do well…and it’s all time my boy could have and should have spent studying or wrestling grizzly bears. I’ll be damned if my boy is going to be flipping burgers with his degree in ‘general studies’ because he wanted to “stomp like an Iota”