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Greek Forum Educates Pledges on Gender Gap

A panel of six UNC students answered questions about dating, sexual promiscuity and gender roles in society.

Sponsored by the Panhellenic Council and Phi Mu sorority, the program, Gender Gap, which dealt with the relations between males and females and the miscommunications between the two genders, was the first of four new-member seminars that new pledges are required to attend.

The room was noisy as more than 400 people tried to stake out seats in the crowd. The night began with an introduction by guest speaker Jackie Gilpin, a Gender Gap facilitator who has conducted this program at other universities.

Gender Gap is a national program started in 1989 to help students who have a difficult time relating to the opposite sex. The idea is to have a way for students to learn about one another.

The discussion was set up as a question-and-answer session with a panel of six students who were seated at the front of the room. The panel consisted of Student Body President Justin Young, Vice Chairman of Great Decisions Will McKinney, Theta Mu Xi President Beth Stultz, Zeta Tau Alpha pledge Lindsay Pate, Alpha Tau Omega pledge Will Robinson, and Student Television participant Stef Gordon.

Gilpin began the discussion by explaining why she liked the setting of Gender Gap. "It's sort of a he-said, she-said kind of thing, and I get to play Oprah," Gilpin said.

She also stopped to remind the audience, "We are not here to bash the female or male gender."

The night began with a question about the panel participants' idea of the perfect date. Answers varied from Stultz's response -- "I want a man with a job, his own car, and I want a man with some money" -- to Robinson's -- "I want a girl to offer to pay."

From there the discussion moved to differing views of sexual promiscuity in males and females.

"I think they're both negative. One isn't better than the other," Young said.

But the female panelists weighed in, saying girls have to live up to certain sexual expectations from their partners.

"No man is going to want a girl who has been run through how many times," Stultz said.

From there, the discussion moved to traditional gender roles. "Not all my girlfriends have to be Scarlett from `Gone With the Wind,'" McKinney said.

Young agreed, saying, "Why is it every time we got to go though the same routine of the guy asking the girl all the time?"

The night ended with the panel giving general advice about relationships.

Gordon summed up the topic of the evening, differences between genders in communication, by advocating directness and honesty in relationships.

"Say what you mean and you could get to the point quicker."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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