Voices

COLUMN: Greek life is not for me

When I was an impressionable youth, I formed my first opinions on Greek life while watching movies like “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds.”

The frat house was a place to pass out after a day of drunken exploits, and the sorority house was where all the half-naked pillow fights took place. College itself was an activity that got in the way of drinking and partying.

After five years at Central Michigan University, I have learned that Greek life is not just a never-ending Ke$ha song. “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds” were based on inflated stereotypes, and many modern fraternities and sororities participate in community service activities and have standards for the academic achievement of their members.

Even with that in mind, I still don’t think Greek life sounds appealing.

Getting along with two or three other people of your choosing in an apartment for an entire school year is hard enough, so I can’t imagine trying to deal with a larger group of personalities in a sorority/fraternity house.

Also, I can’t imagine that a frat/sorority house is the best environment for doing. I’d feel like an antisocial recluse if I holed up in my room to do homework while everyone else was having fun. Sure, I could go to the library, but that would get old pretty quickly during the winter when there is eight inches of snow to trudge through.

With my luck, all of my major homework assignments would coincide with major parties, and my GPA would fall below the minimum standards of the fraternity. My frat brothers taking outdoor recreation classes would scoff at my academic ineptitude, and I’d be an outcast, cursed to aimlessly wander around campus like Odysseus before finding another home.

Hypothetical scenarios aside, I think I’ve always been too introverted for Greek life. As a transfer student from community college, I never lived in the dorms, but I imagine I would have really hated that environment. I only have a few really close friends, and I like to keep other acquaintances at a distance.

Greek Life would force me to be disingenuous. I’d have to call some person my “brother,” even though I probably wouldn’t recognize that same person in the grocery store 10 years down the line. I’d also have to “pledge” to something, an activity I don’t enjoy, unless there’s an American flag involved.

Perhaps, if I ever make enough money, I can form a Greek organization for introverts. Every person would have their own room for doing homework, and socialization would not be encouraged. On second thought, that sounds kind of like a prison, so, never mind. If you’re an introvert like me, just find an apartment.

73 Comments

  1. This is the most obtuse editorial I have ever read.

    I was Greek for three years and went alum my senior year of college. I loved every minute of it, but decided that I needed to focus on other activities my senior year because I am a person that gives my heart and soul into everything I do…and I do A LOT. I needed to cut back on all of my leadership activities while I got ready to graduate.

    Greek life provided me so much. Were there bad experiences and bad parts? Sure. But for 90% of the time, I was ecstatic with my experience. I was able to make friends that are now spread all over the world. I have people to go to for support in all 50 states. And all of those women, I trust with my life.

    I was able to have leadership experiences that have made me ready to run my industry and my career.

    I was able to meet some of the most interesting people on earth that will run this world in just a few short years.

    I was able to join study groups with women and men that are MUCH smarter than I am, who made me smart and knowledgeable in ways I could never get from a text book.

    Am I an extrovert? Yes. But there are times where I LOVE being in my room by myself and that never affected my time in Greek Life.

    Greek Life makes people better. It isn’t for everyone, but for those that want to make a difference in this world, it is. While you are talking to your 3 friends, I am catching up with my 50. While you are sitting on your computer in your bedroom, I am out changing the world.

    Before you make assumptions, I have an idea for you. (For ANYONE that wants to write an editorial and be a real journalist.) Spend a few days in Greek Life. See what it is really like. It isn’t like the movies…life rarely is. Go spend a week with a fraternity or sorority to see what really goes on beneath the surface and then tell me what you find. And if you find what you just wrote, I will respect you even more.

    I feel this way about any group. I would never talk about a CMU Athletics team or organization without really trying to understand it. I thought greek life was for sluts and idiots when I got here, but I was challenged by a friend to attempt to understand it before I judged it.

    Just a thought!

    • Off topic says:

      You just implied that only extroverts can change the world. Can I point out how “obtuse” that is?

      Perhaps we introverts just find it possible to change the world through innovation and talent, instead of relying on networking and nepotism in our worldly endeavors.

      Or… and this is just a thought… perhaps the world needs both in tandem to effect real change, and saying things that suggest a superiority of one over the other is just plain old stupid.

      • I never implied that. I was just expressing that extroverts aren’t idiots in Greek Life. We aren’t just about partying.

        I have a right to what I said. I too was an extreme introvert at one time in life. I still felt that I could change the world then as I do now. What’s wrong with feeling confident in any form?

        • Off topic says:

          Whats wrong is your making sweeping generalizations in the exact same manner as you decry CMLIFE for doing.

          3 Freinds. Computer in the bedroom. Lack of confidence.

          Your describing the other using introvert stereotypes, all the while comparing it against extroversion/greek life as the end-all be-all for changing the world and making an impact in life.

          And finally, if feeling confident in any form were such a virtue we wouldn’t constantly tack “over” on the front of “confident”.

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      “It isn’t for everyone, but for those that want to make a difference in this world, it is.”

      This directly implies that only Greeks can make a difference in the world.

      “While you are talking to your 3 friends, I am catching up with my 50.”

      You are implying here that more friends = better friends. It’s about quality, not quantity. Your whole “I have more friends than you” attack is petty, at best, and does not seem to encourage anyone to think of Greeks as the benevolent students you claim them to be (and are acting as a representative of). Instead, you sound like all of the kids who bullied me in high school–shallow and unfeeling.

    • I_Was_A_Teenage_McCarthyist says:

      This is the most obtuse article you’ve ever read and you’ve been at Central for Five Years?

      This false community crap must really tug at your heartstrings

    • Nick Taylor says:

      Please stop objectifying people; when you are talking about people, use the word “who”, not the word “that”.

  2. I don’t do this silly online fighting. I have my right to my opinions and I felt that this writer made snap judgements about a life he doesn’t know. That’s okay, he has his own right to his own opinions too! And so do you! I did not mean to make any type of hurtful remarks. Your tone applies that you are miserable offended by my comments, I am so sorry for that.
    Lets just focus on the positives, we are both chippewas that appreciate the first amendment!
    Have a great weekend! :)

    • I made a few grammar mistakes…darn iPad!
      “Applies” should be “implies”
      “Miserable” should be “miserably”
      It will drive me nuts! :)

    • You don’t do silly online fighting, but then proceed to bait responses? A bit hypocritical, just like your original comments.

      • Off topic, I am guessing you are the one who wrote this? You are getting a little defensive with every comment Kelley has said. It is true; Greek Life isn’t for everyone, but as students at CMU, we should all be supportive of each other. I think people are just upset because this article portrays Greeks in the wrong manner. Sure, sometimes we party and like to have fun, but isn’t that the majority of students at CMU? Greek Life is so much more than what people think or what the media shows about Greek Life especially at CMU. We are a community that supports not only Greek Life, but the whole Mount Pleasant Community.

        • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

          “Sure, sometimes we party and like to have fun, but isn’t that the majority of students at CMU?”

          It’s this mentality that is what made me come to loathe my time at CMU. I was one of those freaky students who went to CMU to get an affordable education. I took 18 credits a semester, worked my ass off, and never saw the inside of a Mt. Pleasant bar in the entire time I was a student. Some of us don’t want to waste a single minute of the time we have had to fight tooth and nail for.

          And why should I be supportive of all CMU students? Because you say so? I can pretty much guarantee that there are students at CMU who do not support me. CMU has Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party members, anarchists, and everything in between. The fact that we all go to the same school does not mean I have to support those whose opinions are in direct contrast to my own interests.

          It’s university. We don’t have to pretend we’re all in it together.

        • Off topic says:

          I’m really not the person who wrote this. What’s more is that you all seem to have missed that I never disagreed with your criticisms of the article. I never said so, but I even agree with all of you!! Go figure! You may have noticed I made my name OFF TOPIC?!? Gee…
          My “off topic” point was that Kelley is using hypocritical generalizations in her defense of greek life at the expense of introverts. Her entire argument was that CMLIFE was using unfair generalizations of greek life. Like someone else pointed out, it’s small, petty, hypocritical, and inaccurate. It even plays into negative stereotypes of greek life. You should all be ashamed of such small minded ideas.

  3. 1) Your use of words such as “imagine”, “with my luck”, etc., suggesting you are simply pulling from your own experience, which, if I were to guess, is that you have never even talked to someone who is Greek, let alone give them a chance to explain why they are so passionate for what they believe in. Maybe in the future do some actual journalism before you attempt to turn away people from an entire community? I would have at least respected hearing debatable testimony from each side, but maybe I expect to much from this paper.

    2) you will be required to “pledge” yourself at every job you attempt to get,with training periods and orientation. Get used to it. If you are implying “hazing”, you can rest assured there are organizations on campus that will fervently defend their image, their new members, and the view of Greek life as a whole by not implementing hazing into their new member program.

    3) it’s not about introversion or extroversion, its about finding a group of guys or girls you enjoy hanging out with, who consist of the same morals and thoughts. I was once an introvert for my first semester, but after meeting my brothers and sisters in Greek life, I slowly began to shift into a more extroverted individual. It’s easy to spend your college experience without going Greek, and many people decide to do that, but its when you step outside of your comfort zone and take a leap that you otherwise wouldn’t have… That leap makes the rewards all the better.

    You are right, Greek life isn’t for everyone… Primarily, those individuals such as yourself who have already formed their opinions and no matter what anyone says, they will not change them, regardless of whether their opinion was formed on an educated basis or not.

    • Off topic says:

      “3) [word wall]”

      Hey, you seem to get it! Good job! You even manage to make the point without belittling introverts.

      Your not such bad chaps after all.

  4. I don’t think you should have the authority to write on the Greek subject when you have never even given the Greek community a chance. You seem very closed minded and actually have no idea how the Greek system works. You form your opinions based on movies, really? Why don’t you leave the writing to someone who is actually Greek and knows what they are talking about.

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      As this is an opinion piece, I’m fairly certain that Mr. Ball is aware of his own opinions and, therefore, “knows what he is talking about.” You don’t have to have rushed in order to have an opinion on the system. It’s called a differing viewpoint. Deal with it.

  5. This should be in a blog, not a newspaper at an institution that strives to promote higher learning. Opinion based and biased, exactly the opposite of what you should strive to be as an ethical journalist.

    • Jeremy Ball says:

      Thank you for your comment. Columns, by nature, are meant to be opinion-based and biased. If this were claiming to be an unbiased article, I would strive to objective.

    • I_Was_A_Teenage_McCarthyist says:

      Central is facility for higher learning?

      and this is the “student run” paper anyway.

  6. You sir are an idiot.

  7. I am offended not only as an individual or a sorority woman by everything that this article implies, but also as a member of one of the OLDEST organizations in this country. Although everyone is very much entitled to their own opinion, this is just going way too far.

    Greek Life, especially at CMU, is very underappreciated for all that it does. Sure, there are stereotypes, but please name one group of individuals involved in anything (from an organization to a culture of people) that does not face stereotyping on a regular basis? Despite these stereotypes, it is the inside…the inner workings of the Greek community that outsiders don’t see (which is very clearly evident by the author of this piece) that makes Greek Life worthwhile. I am appalled that statements such as the ones in this article were even allowed to be published.

    I am one of the biggest introverts within my sorority. When I came to college, I was the girl that sat alone in her dorm room and didn’t talk to anyone, do anything, or even think that fun could exist. When I finally made the decision to go Greek, I knew it was going to be a challenge for me. But that’s what college is about….stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that are going to challenge and change you into a person that can one day impact the world for the better. Sure, it’s been tough to be the kind of girl that really doesn’t like people in general and being involved in an organization that is all about people and interacting with one another. But do I regret the decision to go Greek? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It has been one of the best things for me. Our chapter house is a safe haven for me a lot of the times, especially when there are troubles with my roommates or I just need to keep myself from being alone.

    Additionally, I cannot believe that this piece was allowed to be released to the campus public so close to the start of Greek Week. My question for the author is this: have you ever attended a Greek Week Mock Rock (they are open to students, after all)? Have you seen how quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly a group of fraternity men and sorority women can come together and spend a week learning how to work with one another for the greater good of the community? Each year, Greek Week raises money for a designated philanthropy, and each participating group gives 110% to help the group/person that the funds go to benefit. If the evidence of the commUNITY that we’re trying to build here doesn’t shine through, it certainly does by the end of the week, when these teams have the opportunity to showcase their hard work from the prior week in a mock rock performance that often times incorporates stunts, elaborate dance moves, and incredibly built sets. That doesn’t come together when people are partying or screwing around…it takes long nights, a lot of work, and like-minded individuals that want to accomplish something and make it the best that it can be.

    And as far as the idea that grades or studies would begin to fall away? Every woman in my sorority (as well as nearly every other Greek organization on this campus) is required to do weekly study hours and to maintain a certain GPA each semester. If these things aren’t accomplished, there are consequences. So no, you are not looked at as a loner or a nerd because you decide to stay in on a Friday night and study for an exam. It’s not frowned upon to be the sister that always offers rides because you don’t drink. I know, because in my sorority, I am that sister. And I’m not alone in it, either. There have been more occasions than I can count where I have bonded together with some of my sisters to make sure that any of our sisters that have gone out on weekends have been safe and have gotten to wherever they need to be without putting themselves or anyone else in danger. You don’t do that for just anyone. And when we do have gatherings with fraternity men? My sisters and I are required to be sober at our social events. It is about having fun and interacting with others in the community, not about seeing who can get the most drunk that night.

    I have seen not only my own sisters, but the entire Greek Community at CMU come together to support a sister during one of the most devastating times in her life. I’ve watched the way that lives can be changed and people can be as low as they’ve ever been, only to have brothers and sisters by their side, reminding them that they aren’t alone and that they have places/people to go to. Greek Life is a support system, a way out of the darkness that so many people leave high school (or any point in their life) feeling like they will never escape from. I say this not only from personal experience, but also from watching and hearing the stories of my sisters and other friends that I have made involved in Greek Life here.

    Furthermore, I am offended by the term “frat,” which seems to be this author’s favorite way to describe the FRATERNITY MEN on this campus. A frat implies something disgusting and misogynistic, someone that spends their time boozing and spending their parents money. That is completely off base for the wonderful men in CMU’s Greek Community. They work just as hard as us women do, for philanthropies, building brotherhood, and also bettering our image to the rest of the student population, and to degrade them in such a way as calling them “frats” and “frat boys” is absolutely disgusting.

    Honestly though, it sounds like this author wouldn’t have liked Greek Life, and that’s fine. It isn’t for everyone, although I think that everyone would be able to find a home in a Greek organization. But there is no reason to bash an entire community of people that this author clearly knows nothing about, just because it “isn’t for them.” He clearly states that we are not like the movies and that we do good things for the community, but this article makes it seem like those good things don’t matter in the larger spectrum of things, simply because he can’t wipe his eyes of the stereotypes and misinformation that he’s encountered in his time here. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which letters I sport on my chest or which house I walk into…I know that if I ever needed something, any member of the Central Michigan University Greek Community would be there ready and willing to help me out….and THAT is true sisterhood/brotherhood.

  8. Anonymous says:

    To be quite frank, no one besides yourself on this campus cares if you don’t like Greek Life. We Greeks do not care if it is not for you: we accept and respect that. The anonymous person above me is 100% correct: this is more fitting as a blog post, not a column in a newspaper. The 22,000 students here do not care if one Jeremy Ball has opinions against Greek Life. There are much better topics that this space could have been used for, as well as the fact that you are not putting a positive light on Greek Life when you have no idea what it is like. Both introverts and extroverts have a place in Greek Life if they so choose, but this is a topic that should not be discussed based off what you see from the outside looking in.

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      This is what respect looks like? “No one besides yourself on this campus cares if you don’t like Greek Life.” Clearly you care a great deal about Jeremy not liking Greek Life.

  9. Once upon a time, I was ignorant too says:

    I challenge you or any other “professional” writer to check out the ALL of the organizations and what they are about before you make gross assumptions and generalizations like these (especially from no real experience with any). Some groups might fall into some of your silly assumptions, while most definitely will not. You can have any experience you want to have in Greek life, it’s all about what you choose to make of it. The houses are open to anyone interested, we all have rush events each semester- see you there.

    P.S. It’s a FRATERNITY, not a “frat”.

  10. Actual Greek member says:

    This is honestly the most ignorant thing I have ever read. You backup your “opinion” (which should never be in a newspaper in the first place) with no facts, no personal experiences, nothing. You basically go on a several hundred word rant about how bad greek life is, when you have no knowledge in the matter. No to mention you backup your entire argument with hypotheticals.

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      ” You backup your “opinion” (which should never be in a newspaper in the first place) with no facts, no personal experiences, nothing.”

      Yes, because no newspaper, in the history of journalism, has ever run an opinion piece. Oh wait…

  11. Don’t plan on getting a different job anytime soon, because I hate to burst your bubble but 99% of jobs you have to work with more than 3 people.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How did you get the position to write such an informative article? Your writing makes it so obvious that CM Life was lacking News when they allowed you write to this terrible article. Also next time you want to make accusations, do some research, you know nothing about Greek Life. Jeremy Ball you are the reason why society is failing with your very appointed articles, jeez even Western would not publish such mediocre work.

    • Scape Goat says:

      Three things:
      1. Columns aren’t supposed to be news-related. The existence of this article has nothing to do with whether or not there is real news for CM Life to print.

      2. What accusations were being made? I’m pretty sure all he said was “fraternities aren’t like the movies” and “I’m an introvert and therefore probably wouldn’t do well in a fraternity.” I didn’t see him accusing fraternities and sororities of anything.

      3. I am glad, however, that you were able to pinpoint the reason why society is failing. Thank you for that bit of wisdom, Anon.

  13. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, sure. However, this “article” is a rant from someone who attended community college and obviously is a little bitter about his social standing. Look up ANY research regarding greek life and you’ll find that the majority of the U.S. fortune 500 companies CEO’s are members of fraternities and sororities, who seem to be doing alright – and I’ll also assume that their GPA was better than average. Look up grades for the entire greek community and you’ll find that we’re higher than than all campus average.
    I could go on for days. If you’re an introverted person, great. But your grammar skills are rather juvenile, and when you write things like this saying “frat,” it simply makes you look ignorant on top of this entire article which lacks a significant amount of valid information in the first place. Why don’t you write an article about the non-greek population and the stuff that we do and you guys don’t? I almost feel bad that people have to write things like this when you simply have no idea. Just remember, pessimistic people won’t make it very far in life. Think what you want, but I won’t be looking back on my tenure here at CMU remembering all of the times where I bashed on student subgroups and talked about how I was worried about my “GPA.” I’ve been a part of the greek community for 3 years and I’ve never had below a 3.0 GPA, can you say the same? Or are you too busy writing this gem?

    PS – Buy some boots to get through the snow, maybe your GPA will go up

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      Hey Chad, your bigotry is showing. Lots of students start out at community colleges before going on to bigger universities. It says exactly zero about their social standing. But it says a lot about your sense of the world.

      Wow… you’ve never had below a 3.0? And you’re PROUD of that?!

      Assuming that someone’s GPA is lower than yours because you don’t like what they are saying just shows how truly ignorant you are.

      I know what Jeremy’s undergrad GPA was and what his grad GPA is, and if they were mine to tell, this is the point where I would slap you in the face with them. Instead, I’m going to sit here and relish the fact that I can pretty much guarantee they are both higher than yours.

      So there.

      • Yeah here’s the thing Cherish…even tho there are some that start at community college and go onto bigger universities you’re not going to to really run into someone who went from like…IDK…schoolcraft to Harvard. You kinda missed the point.

        I think the laughable part is while you’re taking shots at everybody you’re missing the point that while others are making true valid points you’re just flailing to stick up for your friend.
        And I’m wondering how you can ‘gaurantee’ that Jeremy’s GPA is higher? Oh wait! You’re full of crap! Listen sweetheart, we understand, you’re either Jeremy’s girlfriend or you want to get in his pants. There’s nothing wrong with that, just don’t make a fool out of yourself like this on public forum.

        • Wolverine says:

          Hey… weren’t you the guy calling someone a pretentious douche…? As someone not the least bit douchey, you definitely seem qualified to make those kind of judgments.

          Really though, why are we arguing about community colleges versus universities? We all ended up at Central. Not one of us has educational superiority based on schools, because we all literally ended up in the same place…

    • Jeremy Ball says:

      Thank you for your comment. Columns, by nature, are meant to be opinion-based and biased. If this were claiming to be an unbiased “article,” it would be objective and fact-based.

    • This is an incredibly condescending comment and the logic is fairly irrational. Attacking someone’s grammar seems like a very childish way to approach an argument and gives the impression that you have nothing of real value to say. If grammar is so important to you, to the point where it is worth making an argument about, perhaps you should have proofread your own comment more thoroughly to avoid phrases such as “we’re high than than all campus average.” Additionally, comments like “If you’re an introverted person, great. But your grammar skills are rather juvenile” demonstrate flawed logic, because use of the word “but” implies a connection between ideas, but having “juvenile grammar skills” has nothing to do with whether or not a person is introverted. Also, I am failing to see the connection between owning boots and having a high GPA, but it was a cute attempt at trying to be clever…

  14. Your ignorance is my bliss says:

    I am not going to even type a paragraph about why it is apparent that you have no idea what you are talking about. I would much rather type one regarding your removal from CMLife. This was a very unprofessional post that has your name written all over it.

  15. Something To Think About says:

    Just one small thing to think about: This is a COLUMN. I’m sorry to those who are under the impression that a column is to be unbiased and un-opinionated because… That’s kind of the point. Also, no where does Jeremy state the “evils” of Greek life. In fact, he places emphasis on the fact that our Greeks do a wonderful job in terms of community service and academic achievement. Instead, he discusses the reasons why HE thinks he wouldn’t fit, and honestly, most everyone here is just proving his point.

    • Cherish Karasiewicz says:

      Believe it or not, I wanted to join a sorority when I started at CMU. I walked up and down the sidewalks during Greek Week and not a single Greek would talk to me. I wish I were making this up. I was new, shy, and unsure of how the Greek system even worked, but I wanted to try and be a part of it.

      Instead, I was treated like the unpopular kid I was in high school. I was ignored by the popular kids who, instead of wearing jerseys and cheer uniforms, were sporting Greek letters. That put a bad taste in my mouth for the Greek system, and nothing in my five semesters at CMU did much to change that. The Greeks I encountered were all the ones you find on Main at 11 o’clock Thursday night–blasting music and staggering down the sidewalk. The Greeks that I met in classrooms were disdainful of the only Greek letters that I ended up wearing proudly–those of my honor’s society.

      I am aware that many people find fulfillment in a sorority or a fraternity. But those people also seem the most threatened that others can find fulfillment OUTSIDE of those institutions.

      I would also like to point out, yet again, that not a single Greek in these comments has owned up and used their full name. Jeremy put himself out there and is owning what he said… why don’t you?

      • Sandra Dee says:

        I’m very sorry that you had this experience with the Greek community here at CMU. I’m not sure how long ago you were here, but every year it changes and we are always striving to become better. I know that most everyone who is Greek would say their life has been changed for the better because of it, because I know I feel that way, and so we like to try to get others to join and have this experience as well. However, we are all CMU students and share that bond and so you also attacking everyone else for their opinions isn’t very nice. I appreciate and honor your opinion for that is yours and I have my own as well. We understand this is an opinion piece but it does make assumptions with that the frat boys are all rec. majors but yet that’s a stereotype. Also, that academics are put aside for parties and just getting drunk and that is very far from the case. It would have been nice for Greeks to have a rebuttal that was put with this article so that individuals would not just read this and only see one side of this community. I hope that it also doesn’t deter others who feel on the edge about Greek life because I am one who fully believes that everyone can find their home in a fraternity or sorority here. I hope that you take the time to not keep bashing each person who posts their opinions to this opinion piece and maybe give Greek life another chance because it can be life changing.

      • anonymous greek says:

        No one cares.

  16. Cherish Karasiewicz says:

    Wow! Talk about Greeks flying off the handle! It’s an opinion column. It’s not hard news, folks. Calm down! And, for all of you being so proud to be Greek, I notice that none of you used your full names to comment/berate Jeremy. Stay classy, CMU.

  17. Liza Cudrow says:

    It’s an editorial, which is an opinion. Chill out bros, go to college

  18. I’m not sure why people are getting so passionately angry about this. Wasn’t the point he was making simply that he is too introverted for Greek life? He isn’t even bashing people who are in fraternities and sororities. Check out the third paragraph: “After five years at Central Michigan University, I have learned that Greek life is not just a never-ending Ke$ha song. “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds” were based on inflated stereotypes, and many modern fraternities and sororities participate in community service activities and have standards for the academic achievement of their members.” Not everyone has the type of personality that would thrive in a fraternity setting, and that’s literally all this article is trying to communicate…

  19. Kaley Norris says:

    They definitely took it too far. Some of your reasons (Introverted and such) were my concerns when I jumped, but I was able to find a place that allowed be to be that and more. The claims you make are true; differences in majors lead to nights where you would rather go out, even if it is with 2 people but you are forced to stay in and work. Greek Life can be for everyone, but most campuses don’t have the variety in groups to best fit EVERY personality. I admire you for standing up and saying it was a personal choice. Hell, you even complimented Greeks a few times and they were freaking out. While most Greeks don’t like the term “frat”, it unfortunately has its fit for some people/events/attitudes (Let’s be honest friends, there are fraternity parties and there are frat parties and they are very different things). I’m sorry to see that people of my community bitched at you for writing what so many people know is true. Greek Life is great, but it isn’t for everyone!

  20. Whoever let this article be published has dangerously low brain activity.

  21. Jeremy –

    I find it hard to believe that you are this INTROVERTED person but you write “columns” read by a large portion of the student population here at CMU.

    Write whatever you want, but for the sake of everyone, especially the greek community, write something like this and post it on a website that nobody reads. CM life gets bashed daily for the spelling errors, FALSE information, and topics which you all are clearly misinformed on. Say what you will about GPA and fraternities, but know that you can’t post something like this and not expect outrage.

    I acknowledge the fact that you did talk about stereotypical views of fraternities, and attempted to essentially “clear” any general assumptions about greek life had by many.

    If once in your time here at CMU you go to a recruitment event, or simply have a conversation with someone greek in regards to their experience – people may not care about what you write, because you at least got a glimpse of what it’s about.

    I am fully aware that this is “opinion” based, but why post something like this where you know it’s not even your place to talk about?

    We could sit here and go back and forth, but I guess it makes me laugh that all of the non-greeks (especially people in CM life), you seem to have your views on greek life and what have you, but most of you can’t even spell out the names of our fraternities and sororities. With that said, I guess I’m curious as to why you felt the need to post this.

    If your GPA is better than mine, awesome, good for you. Education is important, it’s why we’re here. If you’re introverted as you say you are, I would expect you to have a solid GPA.

    In the end, remember that although your comments are opinion based, writing things like this simply delegitimizes CM life because of the overall idea of what you are writing about.

    Everybody says that greeks are stuck up and that we don’t like non-greeks (GDI’s). Well, if you’re wondering why this is true in certain situations, think about what you wrote above and maybe it’ll click.

    Fun fact for you: The first fraternity ever founded (Phi Beta Kappa) was established in 1776, which if you’re up to date on your knowledge of U.S. history, you’ll know this was the same year this country was founded. Many members of Phi Beta Kappa (if not the majority) are Presidents, congressman, senators, and people who have done things for you and I which we should be thankful for. Many organizations such as the one above are responsible for producing members of society who do so much good for people like you, Jeremy.

    • You really should read the article again, friend. In no way does he imply that Greeks are bad people; he simply said he wouldn’t fit in with them. You’re so concerned about being stereotyped, but you did the exact same thing by saying things like, “I find it hard to believe that you are this INTROVERTED person but you write ‘columns’ read by a large portion of the student population here at CMU” and “If you’re introverted as you say you are, I would expect you to have a solid GPA.” Making assumptions about the kind of person that someone is based on one fact that you know about them is exactly what you are so outraged about Jeremy supposedly having done. From your comments, it would seem that your idea of an introverted person is a hermit who hides in their bedroom, never interacting with other humans, doing nothing but studying and schoolwork. If I were to read as deeply into your comment as you read into Jeremy’s article, I could find a way to be offended by your misconception of introverts… Think about what you say, please, and maybe try rereading the article to see if you might be overreacting.

  22. Why knew the Greek community even read.

  23. Jeremy Ball says:

    I’d like to know where in this column I said that all Greeks do is party and that all Greeks are bad people or students. I think it’s a little ludicrous for Greeks to deny that there are never any parties and that there’s no chance a big party wouldn’t coincide with the night before a hypothetical homework assignment was due. This does not imply that every night in a Greek house is a party, and some of the commenters seem bound and determined to create that stereotype out of what I’ve written.

    The purpose of this column was to provide the viewpoint of someone outside of the Greek community as to why one wouldn’t want to live in a fraternity (I apologize for my use of “frat”; I didn’t know it was viewed as derogatory) or sorority. I never claimed to have insider knowledge of Greek Life, and you’re really missing the point if you think this is supposed to be an objective article. All I said was that in any given social setting, it might be hard for socially introverted people to be comfortable.

    I appreciate the passion that this column has inspired, but I think personal attacks are not a useful expenditure of this passion. If you’re upset that a non-Greek envisions Greek Life in a manner that is less than pleasing to you, I’d encourage you to enlighten us non-Greeks in a civil manner (like Kelley or Brittany). Be the shining beacon of light that makes me want to take those Greek tours you’re offering, instead of encouraging me to run from your pitchforks and torches.

  24. There is no factual basis to anything in this article. It is clear no research was done on the Greek community beyond watching movies made years ago and not at our campus.
    All Greek organizations require a certain GPA and nearly all require monitored study hours. Currently at CMU, the Greek women’s GPA average is higher than the women’s average.
    Assuming all that goes on in fraternity and sorority houses is drinking and parting is ignorant. All sorority houses are dry- meaning no alcohol is allowed on the premises. Some fraternity houses are also dry.
    Where the idea came from that all fraternity men are RPL majors is beyond me. There is no higher prevalence of RPL majors in Greek life than there are any other majors.
    These are social Greek organizations. That being said, there are introverts in Greek life, as well. The purpose of Greek life is not to make someone better than someone else, is is to make yourself better than you were yesterday. Being able to socialize and build lasting relationships with 70+ people, is a skill that is useful and relevant for every career and every individual. Those in Greek life desire to improve themselves and their communities.

  25. Yeah buddy says:

    Don’t you think you should get your facts straight before blasting something so many of us value. Yes there is some dark spots to Greek Life but you should not base your entire opinion on those. I have made some of my best friends through this life and have grown to accept everyone even guys I would wanna kill sometimes. Yes we party but so do non greeks and we actually have the proper management to handle extremely situations does a typical party have that I think not. But besides the fact I just recommend you have something to back up your ideals before you blast something I will always love and care about! Thanks homeboy!

  26. Gare Sartore says:

    Jeremy,

    As a member of Greek life on this campus, I have no qualms with your article. I respect your disinterest in Greek life and couldn’t possibly hold it against you. I can sit here and list off the things that Greeks have done on this campus, but making a positive impact on the community and being Greek are not mutually exclusive. I hope that wherever your passion lies, you are doing your best to better yourself and better your community. That’s what I believe the college experience to be about. You don’t need letters on your chest to do that. Thank you for your contribution to CM-Life.

  27. Frat star says:

    This dude is clearly not swole

  28. I_Was_A_Teenage_McCarthyist says:

    Seems like the greek members in this community have some baggage/guilty conscience phenomena going on.

    Overcoming stereotypes is never easy.
    You can always try being your own person instead of being made by a ridiculous crowd-sourced personality generator

  29. Blitzkrieg Von Albochen says:

    So, this is the column that’s got everyone’s buttholes all puckered up like snare-drums? Wow. You “Greek” people are touchy. Mr. Ball here, to me, seems only to point out the appeals of “Greek” life here, but then concedes that those appeals are not for him. What’s wrong with that?

    Yours,
    BVA

  30. People read newpaper’s columns because they enjoy reading about the paper’s columnist opinions. I honestly don’t care about your opinion nor do I enjoy reading what your grammatically challenged mind calls writing.
    Thank you for giving me one less media outlet to read on a daily basis.

  31. offending my major says:

    People don’t take outdoor recreation classes because they are easy and so they can party. I am taking them because someday I hope to open up my own camp or work at a camp for special needs children.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This article is exactly why CM Life has the reputation for being a “gossip magazine.” Next time your write an article, regardless if it is an editorial or not you should probably have at least some sort of experience or knowledge about what you are talking about. You sound extremely unprofessional and ignorant.

  33. FRATAGONIA says:

    Mr. Ball,

    I understand you had an assignment for your little ‘newspaper’ club. Good for you for making your deadline. The problem here is that you have little to no information that is actually true. I’m assuming you’ve never been inside a Fraternity house, let alone been invited to one, which most likely, you would have been accepted with a warm welcome. You see, unlike the ‘independents’ on this campus, we have class. It is demonstrated by the way we conduct ourselves, speak, and dress. Everyone has the opportunity to go Greek and not doing so is fine, but passing a judgement about organizations that have been around 150 years longer than your precious World of Warcraft, is not warranted. Also, in closing, we don’t need all of your English majors to join our organizations, we have pledges to proof read our papers.

  34. Nick Taylor says:

    I don’t like the myriad comments made by Greeks that state counterarguments to things that weren’t even said. The only facts that were stated in this column are positive attributes of greek life–community service, requirements for academic achievement, etc.–and some greeks even tried to use those things that were stated in the column as their own arguments. When you try to argue against something that wasn’t said, you just make yourself look like an idiot. If you are in a fraternity or sorority, please don’t get butthurt at Jeremy about things he didn’t even say in his column. Also, since we all attend or have attended college, please stop making CMU look bad by failing at grammar usage, especially if that is one of the irrelevant points of your argument; if you don’t know how to use a prepositional phrase or an appositive, please refrain from trying because it is pretty annoying. I know I could avoid the annoyance of reading these comments, but they are just too funny not to read, so please stick to grammar you know how to use. However, what is even more annoying is all this talk about GPA’s. Whether your GPA is higher or lower than Jeremy’s is irrelevant to how credible this article is (especially because it is an opinion column), to whether or not Jeremy could personally succeed in school as a member of a fraternity, and to the intelligence of everyone talking about this column. The original column simply states that Jeremy may not be able to keep his grades up and participate in the social events of his fraternity simultaneously. It most definitely does not say that members of Greek Life generally have trouble with their grades; in fact it says the opposite, and it seems to be one of Jeremy’s biggest issues with considering joining a fraternity.

  35. Matt Knopsnider says:

    Thanks for the opinion piece! Unfortunately I enjoyed the comments more than the piece itself. Even though I’m slightly horrified at the fact that people are commenting on it without understanding what it is. Like your column, it was an informed opinion piece that I’m sure you thought of before-hand and refined it to reflect you in the best way possible. These comments seem to not reflect the people in their best way and that’s too bad. I urge people who may feel offended by something or particularly passionate about something they’ve read or heard to take a moment and understand why they are feeling that way. Re-read or listen to the piece again, try to understand what it’s saying and why you feel a particular way about it, and then comment. We are all trying to further our education and part of that furthering process is taking time to reflect and refine. Take the lessons you’ve learned from your professors and teachers and apply it to the world around you, which can include columns such as these. Again, thank you Jeremy for an interesting take on Greek life!

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