Re: “Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” (The Fro Code, Sept. 1)
ALTHOUGH I FOUND the article “Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” generally witty and well written, I did find the blurb on “The Newly Pledged Fraternity Brother or Sorority Sister” somewhat offensive to a very identifiable and active group of people at the University of Ottawa.
Let me start by saying this: Yes, admittedly, it is a surprise to some that the Greek system is alive and well in Canadian universities. That being acknowledged, this surprise should lead to a sense of curiosity rather than an outright rejection of the system as a whole, as was encouraged by the blurb.
Internationally, the “Greek” society is a hugely successful group of people. For example, 85 per cent of the Fortune 500 executives are “Greek” and the Honourable Jack Layton was a member of an esteemed fraternity that has a chapter at the University of Ottawa. To say “befriending someone in a fraternity or a sorority is a risky business” is the equivalent of cutting yourself off from a world of not only friends and interesting people, but resources.
To write that our Greek members may be “prone to secrecy and disappearing acts” is also an injustice, as what university student can legitimately reconcile all of their relationships with all of their different groups of friends? I propose that the “secrecy” may simply be relations that you have with some friends, but that you do not have with others (do you gossip about one group of friends with another? Or even speak to the same issues?). At this point, the writer of the Fulcrum article may be confusing “secrecy” with “privacy.”
As for disappearing acts, although Harry Houdini was in a Masonic fraternity, I have yet to meet a fraternity brother who can disappear—or a sister, for that matter.
As per the “T-shirts covered in strange letters,” I think that the writer of the article should think back to any mathematical discipline he or she has studied—he may be surprised to see that various Greek letters appear on a regular basis.
The blurb being thus addressed, I want to restate my discontent for the way in which the Fulcrum treated the individuals of the Greek community. Satirical or sardonic or otherwise, the article should have addressed “The Newly Pledged Fraternity Brother or Sorority Sister” in a more positive and open-minded manner.
Right now, and again in January, the sororities and fraternities of Ottawa compete for the best members: Not only the best partiers, or the best studiers, or the best dressed, but for people who live their lives with enthusiasm and integrity looking for brothers or sisters that share their ideals and their need for companionship. Sure, not every student wants to or should be involved in the Greek system, but why cut off someone’s legs before seeing whether they can stand?
Third-year sociology and philosophy student
and a proud sister of Nu Sigma Pi