Monday, June 29, 2009

It's all Greek to Me...

Once upon a time there was this girl who attended Loyola. She liked to write awful things about the Greek life at Loyola. I (along with all my Greek brethren) was offended by her columns. I chose to write back.

I'm re posting the articles and my letters to the editor. Enjoy.

Individuals achieve greater good

by: Dzifa Job
It is spring and many have rushed and more still have pledged their time, energy, and a great deal of money to particular organizations. Classification has become so natural to us that we willingly band ourselves together into cliques to make such a process easier without ever asking why. We adorn ourselves with sweatshirts claiming that we are a critically thinking university, yet we never question the inner workings behind the events around us, and the part we play in perpetuating them.
Why do so many of our young men and women willingly align themselves to groups that have no defined purpose? Why does an institution of such caliber have bands of people parading themselves under such pseudonyms as "pretty girls" and "sporty girls" in assorted colors, transforming this campus into a mini tribal society.
Tribal societies never end well. Think of the conflicts in Rwanda/Burundi or between Serbs and Croatians. These were people who looked exactly alike yet chose to divide themselves along lines that most Westerners would find ludicrous. Never mind the fact that we make similar distinctions without questioning why we feel the need to do so. Indeed, it is because we refuse to question ourselves that so many blindly walk down these multi-colored pathways.
I say blindly, because it is a rare case when one can find a seasoned veteran or one of the newly converted who can give clear reasons as to why they embarked on this journey in the first place.
However, if these organizations do indeed allow some within our midst to fulfill goals that they cannot achieve on their own, I dare say that all this division does more harm than good. None would disagree when Martin Luther said that we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.
If it is indeed lasting change that we desire as a reward for our service, it will not happen by chance. Lasting change can only be effected by a group of determined individuals, united by a common purpose, which is clearly delineated. If service to all of mankind is indeed our aim, why, then, should we feel the need to exclude others from the process either on the basis of race, sex or lack of the necessary financial resources.
So too, if some organizations cater to the Epicureans at heart-people who will forever be more excited by the thought of young pledges giving lap dances than finding some way to help abused children should band together and have one big orgy every now and then and be done with it. Think of how much further each of these groups with common purposes would go if they were united. They could charge the same amount of fees and contribute more to the surrounding communities, or consume not only beer but their choice of fine liquor at their frequent orgies.
If we believe that as long as our minds are enslaved then we are not truly free, then we must shake off the colors that enslave us and embrace each other as a true community. Thinking not only of what drives us as individuals but of more effective ways to achieve the greater goods we all desire.

Greek Life is more than "Orgies"

I am writing in response to Dzifa Job's Jan. 30 column concerning Greek life.
As a freshman, I joined a Greek organization. My goal? To have fun and make friends. Shockingly, it wasn't to give lap dances or attend orgies, as Ms. Job believes it is. In my career as a Greek, I have never attended an orgy; this isn't Animal House, it's Loyola.
I found fun, friendship, and more. When I became a Greek, I became a part of a community. The National Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternal Council, two governing bodies for all Greeks, have councils consisting of delegates from every Greek organization and is very united.
Ms. Job claimed that Greeks lack "defined purpose." Philanthropy is a defined purpose. Greeks raise money for different organizations and support each other. You can find someone from every Greek organization at Gamma Phi's Softball Tournament, Theta Phi's Grass Volleyball Tournament, Alpha Chi's "Take back the Night," and Delta Gamma's Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Greeks unite during Greek Week to raise money. Past benefactors include Pediatric Aids and the Red Cross. They were happy to receive thousands of dollars we collectively raised.
Ms. Job gave the suggestion that we disband and become one organization with one goal. She suggested that we shed our multicolored shirts and the "mini-tribe" mindset. To counter her suggestion, I only need one word: pride. When we don our shirts, we do so with an enormous amount of pride - pride in knowing we are part of a group of people who share our ideals and strive for the same goals we strive for.
Finally, we are not clubs. Not everyone can meet the standards necessary to achieve the goals set by Greeks. Ms. Job said, however, that Greek organizations are exclusive on the basis of race, gender, and financial status; I will address these issues.
The issue of race is moot, as I am a minority and a Greek. The issue of gender also is irrelevant, as there are organizations that both men and women can join. Finally concerning the issues of financial status; these organizations require money to operate. Dues are nothing to be ashamed of, but rather Greeks proudly pay dues, because they know that they fund the interests that they have dedicated themselves to.
Greeks share a pride in knowing they are members of groups that promote high ideals and yet are united in promoting the Greek purpose.
~ Tina Cordova, Political science junior

Organizations that promote cruelty deserve punishment
Dzifa Job

Kipling once said "the female of the species is more deadly than the male" and in light of the accusations brought against members of Tri Phi, I do protest that these things are true.
In the games of cruelty, the brutal physical punishments boys can inflict always rank far second to the torturous mind games females are capable of playing.
Females are socialized to want to belong. An entire generation grew up reading "Sweet Valley Kids" and "Sweet Valley High" thinking what a wondrous thing it would be to have their girls there to protect them. People one could whine to when the world seemed to be against you - those with whom one could share the common fears of cellulite and abandonment over late night snacks.
That is the beauty of girlfriends, but alas, I think the price of belonging to any all-girl exclusive group comes at too high of a price.
Maybe I am jaded because I attended an all-girl high school and experienced firsthand how cruel girls can be.
It is the all-consuming fear that you will be excluded from all the coolest things, punished by the all-knowing eyes, which watch you but you cannot see. Your social life will be doomed to become that of a deracinated foreigner. Such an emotional strain is something that few can manage to cast asunder.
So when the fear of this is coupled with physical torture, I find it impossible to believe that the subjected individual is expected to pass muster.
Organizations that encourage such torture should not only be illegal on college campuses, but they should also be outlawed in the whole of modern society.
Or have we as a people decided to devolve into the wilds of prehistoric time with diabolic creations of a modern mind?

Sororities More than "All Girl Exclusive Group"
I am writing in response to the article published April 6 by Dzifa Job. It seems to me that Job has a very jaded opinion of not only the Tri Phis but also of Greek life in general. I would like to point out that Loyola sororities do not haze their members in any way or form.
Hazing includes mental hazing, that is taunting the girls or subjecting them to name-calling. Therefore, I am confused as to which "mind games" Job refers. She says, "The price of belonging to an all girls exclusive group comes at too high a price." I can think of many instances where this is not the case: all-girls high schools, all-girls athletic teams and the sorority community on Loyola's campus.
All the sororities have mottos that seek to enhance the very essence of womanhood. Their goal is to promote higher standards and ideals for women.
We can also see through the leadership positions that are held on this campus that sororities are doing their job. Many prominent campus leaders are members of sororities, and in no way are they playing the mind games that Job accuses them of playing. Rather, they strive to improve themselves and Loyola's campus.
While it is true that members of sororities may not always get along, this does not mean that they are cruel to each other. The members of sororities are sisters. This is a term that we do not use lightly. We are all bonded together by the ritual that we share and through the experiences that bring us together. Just as you don't always get along with your biological siblings, the same applies to sorority sisters. You know that they are always there for you; they comfort you in your time of need and share in your joys. I know that Job has a skewed vision, but perhaps upon closer inspection she would discover that sororities are more than an "all girl exclusive group" but a sisterhood of women.
~ Tina Cordova, political science junior

Around Town
NRA Range

Have you ever been?
It's a blast. One hour will set you back $14, unless you're a member, then it's $8. Membership is $10 and you have to pass a test.
It's a blast (pun intended).

From the Foodie in Me

Appetizer Idea:
Prosciutto and Hearts of palm.
Prosciutto is like bacon, only fancier. Hearts of palm are sort of like artichoke, only much saltier.
Wrap the prosciutto around the hearts of palm, it's a huge appetizer hit.

Grinds My Gears

Slow Walking People
OMG! Seriously, either walk faster, or stay tot he right as you walk. It's not rocket science, it's walking.

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