Your Turn: Negative feelings toward fraternities should not be held back in anger

This is in response to Russell Greim's "Rush week full of greed, lies, deceit." First Mr. Greim, let me say that I commend your interest in taking a position in a public arena. The forum columns often brighten my day with wit and insight, but yours is one of pent-up hostility that I, for one, I am pleased you have had the chance to purge.

As I am sure you are aware, not every member/organizational fit is a good one. The fraternity of which I am an alumnus has seen this situation occur a few times. For me personally, there was (and still is) no animosity. These former members simply went their way and I went mine. When our paths did cross, I would ask how they were doing, how their girlfriends were and say, "See you later."

Many friendships in life drift apart because of time and the circle of friends with which you associate yourself. This holds true to greek life. As far as a "lifelong bond," I am proud to tell you that I have been a groomsman to two of my brothers' weddings and invited to more weddings and bachelor parties than I can remember. I now ask how their kids and wives are doing.

Don't think that I am some flag waving, no doubt having, greek cheerleader. If there is anyone I am harder on, it is often fraternities. I agree with you that each young man going through rush should ask questions. All organizations are going to put their best foot forward for prospective members. Prospects should be diligent in their research endeavors and ask poignant questions.

Also, the gentlemen engaging in rush should ask themselves why they want to join a fraternity. If it is for parties, they may need to reconsider. This task can be accomplished living in an apartment or house during their college years. I have seen several fun groups of people form that way. There are also fewer rules restricting the types of activities in which you can engage, and fewer eyes watching you to make sure you behave.

Do greeks have parties? Yes, some of the most enjoyable - but not all involving alcohol.

Conversely, fraternities meet the needs of prospects interested in developing skills in teamwork, group negotiation, leadership and a variety of other abilities expected of college grads (but one or two projects during class don't cover).

Finally, yes, being in a greek organization costs money. Nearly all organizational memberships cost money. Wait until you see the prices of professional organizations to which you may someday belong. The dues for fraternities are actually documented and published information.

Research would have shown you the costs so that you could determine if this was within your budget. This money is used for the collective good of the organization, possibly covering costs for guest speakers, light bulbs or treating a sorority to a spaghetti dinner.

For as long as I can remember - and I came to Ball State University in 1994 - fraternities could not use pooled funds (i.e. dues) for alcohol.

So, Mr. Greim, I apologize on behalf of those who you feel lied to you and went against your personal and/or ethical standards. In the future, addressing these issues at the time - not letting them fester for years - will be your best move. Had you done so, it may have done a world of good for both you and that organization.

I can tell that this is something you have been burning to get off your chest for sometime. I hope that doing so in this public forum has been therapeutic. I wish you the best in your future, and keep up the good writing.


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...