Gamma Gamma go away

By Christian Cullen, Staff Writer

Greek life is a fixture at most universities. Many people reading this likely have a friend or relative who is or was in Greek life. It’s not inherently bad to “Go Greek.”

There’s plenty of advertisements for movies depicting college where you would normally see fraternities and sororities shown in various ways: massive parties, copious amounts of drinking and strange hazing rituals. While some of this is fluffed up for Hollywood, these come from a real place.

When making my original college decision, the question of whether I should join a fraternity weighed on my mind. At the time, I thought I would rush just to see what it was like. Nowadays? I would stay far away from Frat Row. 

Recently, there have been conversations about Greek life coming to Xavier’s campus.

I’ll go ahead and get my opinion on this out of the way: We shouldn’t bring them here. I may not be currently in Greek life, but I have certainly observed it, and I do not like what I have seen. Rampant hazing, toxic communities and a hardcore drinking culture are all hallmarks of your common fraternity and sorority. They have tried to lessen these in recent years, but these aspects are ingrained into the nature of Greek life.

You don’t go Greek for the philanthropy; you go Greek for the parties and social status. There is also the question of where they would go; does Xavier expand further into Norwood? Do some of the houses on Cleneay or Wayland simply transform into fraternity or sorority houses? It seems more likely that, if Xavier were to add Greek life back into the mix, then it would be a pale imitation of what students see as common Greek life. 

I won’t say that all Greek organizations are bad or that every member of a fraternity and sorority is a bad person. But, the way their systems are organized necessitate toxicity.

For every positive experience someone has in Greek life, you hear ten horror stories about hazing or body shaming. For each philanthropic push, there are countless cleanups after expensive and ridiculous parties. Greek life casts a shadow over every campus; it is propositioned as something you must join rather than something you can join.

The mere idea of a fraternity or sorority goes against what Xavier aspires to be. Greek life is closed-off; you cannot be in two fraternities at the same time. It creates smaller, exclusive communities on a campus that strives to be all-inclusive. You cannot attempt to have a community of everyone while elevating these smaller, exclusive cultures on campus.

I do not see the point of inviting these organizations to campus when they both pose a danger and are not necessary in any way. Xavier is a small school where community is inherent. It does not need organizations like Sigma Alpha Epsilon or Delta Delta Delta when we already have the general community of the campus. 

This all seems very strange to me. I joined Xavier for its community because it is a place where I knew you could always find a group. We are a small liberal arts school, and we should lean into this identity, not run from it. This year has featured all kinds of potential expansion for Xavier, from a medical school to a football team.

All this feels like and appears to be a school trying to be something it is not. Xavier is attempting to be like other schools that may have more conventional or stereotypical college experiences. Xavier just needs to be Xavier.

Why add something to the mix that we do not need, especially when the consequences can be so dire?