If you get into situations where differences need to be settled, Fight Club-style, ideally it should only involve the two people having the dispute — no third, fourth or fifth wheels, as in the case of a 19-year-old member of ASU’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon who was allegedly beaten Sept. 2 by several members of a rival fraternity. The student required significant medical attention.
It’s a shame that incidents like this have soiled the reputations of fraternities. People shouldn’t be slinging mud at fraternities, because without them, colleges might feel like high school all over again, only more expensive.
Blame these individuals who ruin all good things about Greek Life. Each great fraternity has many years of history and alumni who have mastered the college rules and have worked too hard for a small unruly fraction of their group to ruin things.
We think about fraternities the same way outsiders of our school think about ASU. We get the stigma of being just a party school, a college with high admittance rates and little academic pride.
You can either accept that and become the stereotype, or you can choose to attend ASU with the intent to confound those stereotypes.
This University believes in accepting as many people as it does, because it wants to provide opportunities for those who want to change their lives for the better. I hope you believe that as well.
If you mess around and can’t handle it, what happens? You get kicked out, and the school still takes your money. You’re shrugged off, like the dirt on one’s shoulders.
If I mess up during my time here, that’s on me, and I will own up to it. Nobody should blame the University if I fail to make something of myself.
Similarly, we should back away from this constant insulting of entire organizations.
That should be the main problem for the leaders of organizations such as fraternities whose purpose is to continue to build a new class of leaders each semester. If there is doubt cast upon your credibility and professionalism because of organizations with which you associate, that can be difficult to counteract.
Not every member of Sigma Phi Epsilon told two girls who got burned to go away because someone threw vodka into an open fire. Not every member of the discontinued Sigma Alpha Epsilon came up with the idea to drop their brother off at a hospital with a Post-It note on his chest. Not every member of Pi Kappa Alpha decided to push someone into an elevator and beat him to the point where he needs facial surgery.
We shouldn’t tell entire fraternities that they need to grow up simply because some members have (allegedly) done terrible things. It’s the screw-ups who slip through the cracks and believe boat shoes and pink shorts are all they need to make it in college.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @TaeQuangdoh