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The column in the Sept. 22 publication, “It takes pride to be a ‘GDI’,” illustrated several valid points as to why the author perceives condescension and dismissive attitudes from the Greek community. I agree, such attitudes are not acceptable. Neville demonstrates a mature decision in deciding not to affiliate with a Greek organization, citing the need to plot a different path through college more suitable for his goals and interests. I applaud his sound decision making. But there’s one problem in his argument.

Neville cites the inability to justify spending money to obtain friendships as a reason to avoid the Greek system. He even goes as far to suggest that joining a fraternity would go against the principles of his upbringing. Let me be clear — those who decide to join a fraternity or sorority are not “buying” friends. True friendship can never be bought, and the Greek community recognizes this basic fact. No budget reads, “Friends – $3,285.”

Instead, dues are spent on things such as food, mortgages and/or rent, and utilities – items almost all students pay for in other ways. Those philanthropic events that Neville mentions and appreciates cost money as well. I concede that yes, some money is used on social events, but this is what being part of a social organization entails. Let’s not confuse the potentially valuable membership in a Greek organization as the easy way to finding friends.

Doug DeBaugh
Class of ’10

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