In the overwhelming response to my last column, I was asked by several of my fellow students: “Why don’t you go off on the frat guys?”
I said I would, but I lied. They wanted blood after a few bad experiences and some trumped up stereotypes, and I told them that they couldn’t lump people together based on groups.
I’ve been to frat parties. I’ve been kicked out of frat parties.
In fact, I believe that the number of times I’ve been kicked out of frat parties is equal to the number of times I’ve attended them.
Maybe it’s my personality, maybe it’s not butter, or maybe it’s just them.
First off, I know that the term they prefer is “fraternity,” citing the negative connotation of the abbreviated “frat.” “Frat” implies “party boy.”
It brings up images from which our UNC Greek community is currently trying to distance themselves.
No Greek I know snorts coke.
But of course, we make stereotypes. It’s easier for us to associate actions with groups.
If one sorority girl sleeps around, we label her a “sorostitute” and call it a day. If one frat guy can’t keep it in his pants, we just assume that’s the head he thinks with.
We shouldn’t lump everyone together. One bad apple shouldn’t spoil the whole bunch.
Of course, there are the more visible cues that we associate with fraternity members: Shorts a few sizes too small, pastel colored wardrobes, Oxfords by day and Polos by night.
Not every member of every fraternity wears these, and most frat guys keep their noses clean from the magic white powder.
Some don’t, and that’s what we see. But most do. We shouldn’t give in to generalizations and stereotypes.
We should let everyone stand for their own individual merits and shortcomings.
To further illustrate the point, just look around frat court and sorority row.
Do you see mountains of crack? No. Do you see beer cans strewn about from last night’s party? Yes.
And when we make assumptions based even on these highly visible clues, there are still exceptions.
Exceptions like the sorority girls that didn’t go out to the frat parties Saturday night and instead drove their younger members to the State Fair.
Funnel cakes and meats dipped in chocolate are not stereotypical of a Greek Saturday night.
When we consider all these stereotypes of the Greek community, we know that some are true and some aren’t.
For example, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to refute the widely-held belief that Greek men only wear pastel short-shorts.
After all, the more thigh you show the more manly you are.
To those that believe this, I say the truth shall be known: Only some should be doing this.
Walking along Cameron, you can see the Greeks that make the stereotypes and those that don’t.
Some drink, few don’t.
Some snort, most won’t.
And most don’t wear shorts that are colored like Easter eggs — as they throw me out of their parties.
Justin Chandler Wilcox is a sophomore philosophy major from Hickory. Contact Justin at email@example.com