GREEK LIFE COLUMNIST
My name is Eric Hetland and I am a senior double majoring in political science and education. I am a head RA, a senior class officer and a proud member of Phi Kappa Psi. Over the next few weeks, I will write about Greek Life, its members, events, and most importantly how Greeks are perceived on this campus.
Why are these articles worth your time, you might ask? Over 20 percent of Beloit College students are Greek. More students identify as Greek than any single club, academic major, varsity or intramural sport. For such a large group on campus, it is often stifled and woefully misunderstood. As my own experience has shown, most Greeks feel marginalized or judged in an intellectually condescending way. We are too often seen as weak minded individuals who need to pay to have friends, submit to peer pressure, and do not take our academics seriously. Fraternities specifically are perceived as “douche armies” that promote and relish in misogyny, sexism, and hazing that involves binge drinking.
Clearly, misunderstandings are prevalent. Thus, as liberal arts students, we should strive to think beyond misinformed stereotypes and instead think critically about the perceptions we have of our peers and how those came to be.
In all likelihood, you have noticed the abundance of rush week advertising, from Kappa Delta’s records spinning in the wind to Phi Psi’s color posters. Since first years cannot join a Greek organization until their second semester, these students will have a good understanding of our campus and of the different Greek organizations by now. If your friends are considering joining a fraternity or sorority, be supportive. If you are considering joining, please come out to one of the many rush events being offered. Simply put, students who go Greek at Beloit do not join Greek organizations. They join because of the people in Greek organizations. The ideals, character, and culture of the people in each of those Greek organizations appeals, or does not appeal, to the aspiring Greek.
Greek Life has a very positive effect on this campus and on the lives of those involved. For many Greeks, it is the reason they have stayed at Beloit when times have gotten tough. Therefore, I invite you to come along with me this semester as I explore the secret life of Beloit College Greeks.