After reading Ara Hagopian’s recent column titled “Don’t Decry the Greek System if You Use It for Your Own Gain,” I felt a flush of emotion: anger, sadness, shame and, ultimately, an overarching sense of disempowerment. As someone who holds multiple marginalized identities and actively works to reform my fraternity and the Greek system at large, I felt betrayed. I first want to challenge the idea that there is an option to “not participate” in the Greek system at Cornell. Any undergraduate student who attends Cornell interacts with Greek members on a daily basis, benefits from the financial contributions of wealthy Greek alumni and creates a professional network that is heavily influenced by the Greek system. Historically, these privileges were created by excluding people of color, the LGBT+ community, people of low socioeconomic status, international students, religious minorities and many others.
The behavior attributed to Zeta Beta Tau by the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board on Friday is abhorrent, and the sexist ideas underlying such behavior must be addressed within the University. The “contest” described in the report is an exercise in hazing and sexism, and shows a severe lack of judgement by those involved. Women are not points to be won. Using women and their bodies as a path toward higher social stature is unacceptable. The casual labeling of women as “pigs” is sexist and dehumanizing — and the brothers of ZBT should take a moment to think about how the women they objectified are feeling today.
Welcome back to Cornell, Spring semester edition. A legion of eager freshman are undertaking recruitment for Greek organizations. Students have begun to edit their resumes in hopes of joining their dream business group on campus. Early last week, I was sitting in Libe replying to emails when I overheard a freshman sharing how eager he was to join a selective organization on campus. He shared how “incredible” the people in this organization were, how “pumped” he was to go through recruitment, and how “excited” he was to be hazed.
I’ll preface this column by stating my intentions. I’m here to attempt to calm down these masculine macho men we see too often in many of the fraternities here at Cornell, and to approach this subject through my experience with it in the Marine Corps. That’s right, I’m a jarhead. During boot camp, we were legally and illegally hazed. The specificities of my treatment are best left unsaid because quite frankly, they were disgusting and atrocious, and absolutely insane, but there was some purpose to this hazing.
There’s a moment about halfway through Andrés Muschietti’s new film It, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, where the band of kids (“The Losers”) are discussing the monster that’s been haunting them. The monster is a being that takes various shapes but prefers that of a demonic clown, and the kids realize as they listen to each other that it has been appearing in the form of whatever they fear the most. Mike, whose parents burned to death, sees their charred arms struggling to get past a door; Eddie is a hypochondriac due to his mother’s emotional manipulation, so he’s stalked by a leper; Beverley, who has a sexually abusive father and is afraid of how the arrival of her period will challenge her father’s insistence on her remaining “daddy’s little girl,” faces a sink erupting in a fountain of blood. Finally, Richie, the comic relief of the group, is asked what he is most afraid of. In response, he pushes his glasses up his nose, shivers and mutters, “Clowns.” Rough luck, Richie.
Professional fraternities like Alpha Kappa Psi and Alpha Chi Sigma, provide an opportunity for Cornell students to combine their motivations for socializing and advancing their future careers into one pursuit. Alpha Chi Sigma, the chemistry fraternity, had 18 new pledges this semester where the typical pledge class includes seven to 10 students.
Students who want to join Alpha Chi Sigma are expected to have a social life in addition to a strong knowledge of chemistry.
“We don’t just want someone who wants to study all the time,” said Emily Majusiak ’09, the organization’s vice-master alchemist.
Slope Media Group is an incredibly impressive student organization for a number of reasons. Run entirely by students, in just a few years Slope has built itself up from nothing but a few kids with a big dream to a few kids with a functional multi-media platform, with which you can not only learn how to edit online video, broadcast live radio shows and publish a magazine, but go on to use these skills to say whatever you want to whoever’s listening (or reading… or watching).
For students who crave hands-on media experience and a forum to share their opinions and creativity with the Cornell Community, Slope Media Group offers one of a kind opportunities. Unfortunately, sometimes students have the forum but just don’t have anything to say.
As the spring semester at Cornell begins, annual recruitment week has come to a close. The rush class this year was comprised of a record number of freshmen, sophomores and transfers including 719 potential fraternity members. New members received bids to the Panhellenic Association’s 11 chapters and the Interfraternity Council’s 41 chapters.
The recruitment process was very different for boys and girls. The potential sorority members spent their days meeting sisters in each house and taking house tours.[img_assist|nid=34200|title=Behind the eight ball|desc=Doug Kuts ’09 plays pool at a fraternity’s rush event on Wednesday|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]