On Fraternities and Sororities

  • Posted on Dec 01, 1978

12/01/78

Hyperactive kids, they say, are given uppers to slow them down, and slow kids are given downers to speed them up. It seems kids have nervous systems that are inside out, or upside down, so they are given just the opposite drug of what normal adults need.

In the same way, going to college makes some (maybe even most) people smarter, but for some college students, it has just the opposite effect—they get dumber as they get closer to graduation.

These students should be put on assembly lines or gas station drives to get smart, because college sure doesn't do it.

One system that fosters the growth of dumb are the Greek social fraternities and Sororities. These groups wax big on secret rituals, cutesy handshakes, drunken parties and bad music like "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi." They manage to take perfectly smart, sensitive freshman students and turn them, in just a year or two, into idiots who blather about pledge tricks, parties, formals, parties, brotherhood, parties, sisterhood, parties, service, parties and toga parties.

These poor Greeks gradually get so dumb they lose all sense of the world outside of their Alphas and Omegas.

Take the recent theft of 8,000 Northern Iowans on the UNI campus. Now any reasonably smart person knows that you can't stop news by stealing newspapers, right? I mean, even a C-minus student would know that. In fact, anybody could figure out who had something to lose by the publication of a stolen issue, and would trace the theft to those about whom the unflattering news story had been written. (Especially when that group called in and threatened to "stop publication" because of the news story.)

BUT THE Greeks, growing dumber by the semester, just went right ahead and threatened. The 8,000 copies of the Northern Iowan were stolen. I guess whoever did it hoped that no one would learn of the news story that told of a sorority being disaffiliated from the national, supposedly because of drug use in the chapter house. Of course, the news was examined twice as carefully because of the theft; indeed, the whole Greek system again has come under closer scrutiny.

As I say, if students in fraternities and sororities want to get smart, they've got to quit college and get into factories and gas stations. College is only making them dumber.

Before I get into trouble with all the Greeks out there for condemning all fraternity and sorority people as dumb, let me say no to that right now.   Some fraternity and sorority members start college smart, or half smart, and they get smarter as they go through, and it all works just fine. But they get smarter, that is they get a real education--but largely in spite of their Greek affiliation, not because of it.

If they embrace the Greek system, meaning live by it and for it, they can only grow dumber.  

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