With the news of Kappa Sigma losing their house being received by the campus with an excitement usually reserved for stories about oppressive dictators being removed from power, I thought it would be beneficial to write this op-ed. Let me be clear, Kappa Sig made mistakes, and they were at the mercy of a University board that did not wish to grant them another chance. Yet, too many times on this campus I’ve seen people view the fraternity system through a binary lens: frats are composed of depraved, rude and insensitive people, while other places are composed of upstanding citizens. The problem is people who have this incorrect theory embedded in their consciousness tend to find facts that reinforce this “logic” instead of the other way around, which would be using information to formulate unbiased opinions. While a common argument is that we bring this reputation upon ourselves, I wish to challenge this assessment. For example, SAE has not had a sexual assault case levied against the house in the three years I have been a member; yet, somehow we’re the “Sexual Assault Expected” dorm. My freshman RAs used to “warn” me about how fraternity guys were rude and disrespectful towards women. For this reason, I, like many others, initially viewed the frat system negatively; that was until I came to the realization that a junior who chooses to live with all freshman and hopes to possess a strange paternalistic influence over them is probably less reliable than an actual member of the Greek community when it comes to discussing the intricacies of the community.
This is not to say that I don’t engage in what some would call fraternal activities. I often drink heavily, only perform exercises in the gym that enhance aesthetics and refer to anything Charlie Sheen does as “bro.” However, in my spare time, I’ve written two plays, I love spending Tuesday nights alone in my room watching “Glee” (Santana is my favorite character) and I lecture a techinical communications course through the Engineering Department. Don’t think that because you’ve heard hearsay over the years, come to an SAE party and had a bad experience or watched “Animal House” that you know the first thing about me, who I am, what I do with my time or my opinion and attitude regarding anything. Additionally, there are generally 300 men in the house when we have an all-campus party, and usually 50 of them are SAE’s. Therefore, there is only a 16 percent chance that a male you came in contact with lives in our house.
Every dorm on campus has a few bad apples, and frats are no exception. I’ve often heard, from various campus representatives, that members of a fraternity should be monitored by the notion of collective responsibility. This is a valid point; although, if one truly believes that you cannot judge an entire group by a few bad apples, then it’s necessary to be consistent. The day I hear someone state that Kappa Sig as a whole should be punished because of the behavior of a few bad apples is the day I would like to hear that same person argue that the mosque at Ground Zero should not be built because a few bad apples ruined the party for everyone.
I hope by now you’ve realized that the title “Diary of a Frat Bro” is a moronic sentiment. There is no such thing. This is my diary, and this is my opinion. I am just one person who makes up a greater community, and that community is far richer than most people would like to admit. If you want to get to know us, email me personally and come visit (in broad daylight, with a chaperone, and you can pour your own drinks if you still have anxieties). I’ll be glad to give you a tour and introduce you to 50 unique people hailing from 15 states and seven countries who decided to live together for the most basic of reasons: because we enjoy it. I’m not saying all criticism is unwarranted; I’m simply saying come figure it out for yourself.
Drew Karimlou ‘11