By Bria Holness
As some of us may know, Spike Lee visited SU last week in the event of speaking with the student body about his career path and how he got to where he is today. He didn’t hesitate to share his own experiences to shed light on what students need to do to be successful in today’s world. In sharing his story, he also spoke about his own college experiences, including his experience with Greek life on his campus. He called it something along the lines of the “magic transformation.”
Lee said in his freshman year he was part of a group of friends who were short and puny, and essentially had no capability of scoring with the girls. However, in his sophomore year, some of those same friends pledged and the moment that they finished pledging (aka crossing) they all of a sudden were getting attention from tons of girls, “talking about I’m running 8 to 9 hoes now,” Lee said. At the end of the day, nothing changed about these young men. Yes, now they could stroll and “twirl their canes.” They could step, throw up a sign, yell a call, and were now officially branded with their Greek letters. But that made them desirable? Lee thinks this is a reflection of the women who are giving them this new and extra attention. He made it a priority to point out that this is shallow—and shows what really is important to these women.
But this doesn’t only happen to young men who join fraternities; women in sororities fall into this pattern too. Regardless of the fact of whether or not they were known before they pledged, after they pledge, they become an object of attraction and desire. This leads other people to feel like they’ve been left in the dust, which can in turn spark their own interest in Greek life.
This isn’t necessarily the Greeks fault, however; it’s the people around them who are shallow enough to find them more attractive because they have a “higher status.” Alyssa, a sophomore, things Greek life in college is translated into status. Another sophomore, who wishes to remain anonymous, agreed. “…People want to be associated with Greeks if they aren’t Greek themselves. They want to be able to say they talk to someone with a title,” she said.
Three frat guys, disagreed. They all claimed that girls treated them the same and that everything remained the same.
However, a female sophomore, who recently joined a sorority, and wishes to remain anonymous, says it depends on who it is. “I feel like for guys who knew me before, there’s no difference because they knew me before. But for guys who didn’t, if they didn’t know you before, they’ll try to get with you.” She also went on to say that if she goes to a Greek party, the first thing a frat guy will ask is “what org are you part of?” She stated that it’s just a part of Greek life.
But what about those who aren’t a part of Greek life and are looking for some attention at a regular, non-Greek venue? Does Greek life and its higher status still matter then? Jocelin, a sophomore, has a friend whose experience with Greek life implies just that. “She was at a bar with her friend and a guy walked up to them and was like ‘Hey cuties, what sorority are you guys part of?’ and when they replied ‘None,’ the guy said, ‘Um, never mind’ and walked away.” Does that even make the least bit of sense? So now when we go down our checklist of an ideal person of interest it’s tall, dark, handsome, and Greek. Last time I checked, people have more to offer than their Greek letters.
And what’s even crazier is that people have the nerve to complain about how Greek life has changed someone. Yes, their process into joining the sorority or fraternity may have changed them a bit but at the end of the day, they are the same person. What really “changes” them is the excessive attention they receive from their peers, the attention everyone believes is necessary to give them. As soon as these people cross, people look at them differently, in perhaps a better and sexier light and in a way, Greeks are unconsciously forced to fulfill this role. And it happens Every. Single. Time. People seem to forget that Greeks are people, too. Although it may be nice at first, they don’t deserve fake attention or to be chased after because now they can wear letters across their chests or on their bags or wherever else. As Jocelin stated, “It’s sad that people rely on things like this to be interested in people. Just shows how people are sellouts and are focused on irrelevant things.”
Like I said before, Greeks have a lot more to offer than their letters and people should be able to look past this superficiality to get to know them as people and not as Greeks. They were people before they crossed and they’re still people after they crossed. And also, they’re not Greek people; last time I checked those people live in Greece. They’re people with Greek letters and should be treated as such.