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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Greek Fight

If you've read any of my columns since the Trustee Initiative was announced, you probably know at least one thing about me: I am a firm believer in the positive aspects and influences of the Greek system at Dartmouth College. Every time I sit down to write a column, I tell myself I'm not going to write about the Greek system yet again. I've said my piece, people know where I stand, it's time to move on. But, deep down inside, I am a boring, scared little man who leads a rather dull and uninteresting life. So if I want to prattle on about the same topic and make the same thinly veiled attacks on the Trustees for six months, please humor me -- it's either that or write really sappy columns about how much I love it here.

One thing you might not know about me from reading my recent columns is that, as much as anyone, I love good ol' down-home wrasslin'. And that's essentially where the whole Initiative issue has gone. What might have been a wonderful, eye-opening experience in social augmentation is now little more than a street fight.

In one corner, you have the pro-Greek camp; in the other, you have the anti-Greek camp. The two camps have been training for decades now, just waiting for the bell to ring in round one. The bell rang last winter with the announcement of the Initiative and President Wright's bold claim to "end the Greek system as we know it." Up until now, the two groups haven't thrown many punches; they've just sort of danced around the ring trying to get the crowd involved. But this previous week some jabs were thrown.

The Dartmouth printed an article with the headline "Students rally against CFS system." Well, I thought, here comes some action, now the fight begins. But, upon further inspection, the student "rally" against the Greek system amounted to little more than name-calling and proverbial eye poking and hair pulling. People like Josh Green threw some below-the-belt punches, somehow claiming that his voice and the voice of the anti-Greek movement has been largely suppressed since last winter. Well, I can be an idle spectator no more. I'm throwing my hat into the ring.

If Josh Green's voice is suppressed, then I shudder to think how loud and just blatantly wrong the voice of someone who isn't suppressed must be. I mean, let's not forget that this is the same Josh Green who ran the Student Assembly, met with Trustees on countless committees, and gave "informative" lectures to freshmen about the Greek system, something he decries without really being a part of.

Fact: Josh Green is against the Greek system and is not a part of it. Fact: Freshmen are not currently allowed in most Greek parties, not allowed to rush, and therefore have not been able to experience the Greek system fully. So, why not have a case of the blind leading the blind? While he may complain that his voice is suppressed, Green somehow broke those shackles of suppression long enough to indoctrinate freshmen with his negative views on Greek life.

Green also said, "People feel intimidated because the people who are defending the Greek system have been defending it in a very loud and aggressive way. Is it really worth it to speak out when you're going to get bombarded with hate mail and get ostracized?" But what he fails to see is that the only reason the pro-Greek reaction seems loud and aggressive is because it rides on the backs of the majority of the student body.

If 80 percent of the people are for something and 15 percent are against it, chances are the 80 percent is going to seem loud and maybe that's intimidating to some. Maybe the threat of hate mail fears people, especially people without the motor skills necessary to hit "option D" on their keyboard and instantly delete the hate mail. So yes, maybe the resounding support the Greeks have and deserve on campus intimidates the small minority. But no one can claim that the minority is silent.

I don't know much, but I know that nowhere else in the country right now do students have the opportunity that we have now. Good or bad, the Initiative allows us to take the reigns of our social options. James Wright's standing around with millions and billions of dollars in his pockets, ready to throw in any direction.

And every single student has been given the opportunity to voice his or her opinion as to where that money should go. No one's voice has been suppressed. I'm tired of hearing that. Anyone can write a column, blitz an idea, or meet with a committee. Pro-Greek, anti-Greek, it doesn't matter what your stance is. You can either look at this as an opportunity to divide the campus with name-calling and finger-pointing or you can stand up and make your voice heard and speak out for the things you believe in -- it's up to you.