Phew! The first wave of exams is almost over and I am practically worry-free. However, the Greek community of CSU cannot say the same. Recently, CSU Greeks have been battling their negative image even more than they usually do. The "Animal House" image is, in essence, a stereotype.
As I sat down and thought about it, I realized most of the stereotypes I have known in my lifetime are negative and untrue. And yet stereotypes are perpetuated by a select few, so they are still applied to the general population.
Take me, for example. Because I am a woman, I am weak, submissive, emotional and indecisive. Supposedly I'm good at cooking and cleaning, I'm not that good at sports and I'm a bad driver. I am also an American. According to the perceptions other countries have of us, I must be rude, not that smart and loud. I eat fast food all the time and I live either in a skyscraper or on a ranch. I dress like a cowgirl, I drink a lot of beer and I'll probably get murdered while walking down the street because American cities are so dangerous.
Suppose I were a gay male. I'd probably walk around wearing a man-purse and a tight t-shirt, talking with a lisp all the time. If I were African American, I'd eat a lot of ribs and collard greens and be really good at basketball. These all sound outrageous and silly. But they are stereotypes we use day in and day out. Most of them are hurtful and untrue.
The new Greek "I am" campaign attempted to pacify the ever-present partying image of fraternities and sororities. Personally, I don't pay attention to the stereotypical Greek image because I could really care less. I've never even been to a fraternity or sorority and I don't care what they do with their time because they have never clearly benefited or harmed me. Nevertheless, I do think it's commendable they were trying to break down the stereotypes and make a better name for themselves. Things seemed to be going great until, yet again, a select few decided to break some of the rules.
I would like to congratulate those who broke the rules. Not only have you ruined things for yourselves, you've also tarnished the image of your fellow Greeks who do follow the rules. Those who were punished deserve exactly what they got and shouldn't be acting like they're innocent. All of us at CSU are grown adults and should be mature enough to be held responsible for our own actions. It's only natural for us to be defensive if we are accused of something, but that doesn't excuse punishable behavior. If I were a member of the Greek community, I would be furious with my peers.
It is difficult for anyone to battle stereotypes. On a national scale, CSU has to battle an image consisting of rioting, partying, and alcohol deaths. The members of the fraternities and sororities who were punished did absolutely nothing to make this easier for us. In fact, they made it more difficult. The struggle to preserve an honorable reputation is now not only more difficult for CSU, but also for the members of the Greek community who did nothing wrong.
Megan Schulz is a sophomore technical journalism major. Her column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.