I won’t lie, I’m in a fraternity and I am sick and tired of being judged. I’m tired of being asked if I consume massive amounts of alcohol on the weekends or if I’ve ever committed sexual violence. I’m tired of people not believing that I’ve never smoked weed, gone on an acid trip, or taken pills to help myself study. I’m tired of potential employers asking questions about whether I frequent kegs on the weekends or cheat on my exams, instead of asking about my internships with Fortune 500 companies and data startups.
What’s even scarier is that this plague is not just common with random employers and uneducated raffle, but with Rensselaer students. Are they so ignorant that they don’t realize what they’re doing, categorizing 25 percent of the student body this way?
I’m not going to focus on what a fraternity is, but on what it is not. A fraternity is not a place where students drink more than the average RPI student or do drugs until they faint. Fraternities are not places where the sole goal of every member is to hook up with every girl in sight. In fact, I would like to point something out; many of these Greek-deniers are probably guilty of having done these things too.
They’re guilty of underage drinking, drug use, and every other ailment that plagues college campuses. They just don’t see it themselves since they’re too busy immersing themselves in their own naive narratives. The problem is not in the begotten oak walls of Greek houses or the poor heating of the freshman dorms, it is within ourselves. We are the problem.
Our prevailing mentality does everything but solve the problem that is a rampant culture of alcohol consumption, drug use, and disrespect for women’s rights that is found on every college campus across the country. RPI students tend to think we’re above that, that we’ve moved on to something better. The criminalization of fraternity members for engaging in activities common amongst the general populous is not acceptable, and shows that we are in fact not ready to deal with the issues facing our own campus.
Open your mind, RPI! Problems don’t go away through talk, but through diligence. Many of us are engineers. We should know this best. Just like we’ve helped solve the most pressing engineering problems of the 19th and 20th centuries, we must continue in our legacy of free enterprise and innovation to strive towards something better—an inclusive campus accepting of people of all nationalities, genders, sexualities, and fraternal affiliations.