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Last week I broke down an absurd anti-Greek letter to the editor of The Maneater, the University of Missouri’s independent student newspaper. The letter was basically a kid complaining that no one would talk to him, and he blamed Greeks for the lack of social interaction he experienced. It was pretty sad. Apparently, however, I was not the only person to find the letter ridiculous, and the author’s claims that his loneliness and lack of self-worth were the fault of his not being a part of Greek Life, outrageous. In fact, not only were other Greeks put off by the letter, other GDIs were as well. The Maneater published two responses to the original letter, both penned by students who are not members of the Greek community. The responses are both excellent, and considering their authors, just plain awesome. As if the original letter wasn’t proof enough that the kid who wrote it was completely full of shit, these responses certainly hammer home that point.
In a recent submission in Letter to the Editor, student Ryan Berry revealed his heart wrenching story regarding his experiences at the Annual Mizzou Blood Drive this year. I am currently a senior at Mizzou, and being the warm hearted person that I am, I decided to give a few words of advice to Ryan and those with similar feelings and attitudes.
I’m sorry to hear about your terrible experience at this year’s blood drive. No one should have to feel invisible, or unwanted. But, there are a few things that you should know if you want to prevent further social rejection.
First off, not everyone is going to ostracize you for the simple fact that you are not Greek. Not being in a Fraternity/Sorority doesn’t mean that you have to be cast out like a leper. Speaking from personal experience, in order to make new friends you have to actually socialize (shocking I know). This includes actually looking receptive to social interaction, i.e. not being glued to the screen of your cell phone, or maybe actually striking up a conversation with someone. There is no reason you should expect everyone but you to initiate some sort of gesture of kindness.
Next, you preach about how you were treated differently because of the way you dressed or looked. Newsflash, we live in a shallow day and age, and unfortunately this means that you have to make yourself look halfway presentable in order to become approachable. When was the last time you wanted to strike up a conversation with a Hobo? That’s what I thought. If you want to make a connection with someone, make an effort to look like you did not just roll out of bed. No one is going to want to talk to a kid that looks like he just wants to go back to sleep in his sweatpants.
Third, just because you think others view you as a lowly GDI doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends with someone that is Greek. How do I know this? Because I have friends that are Greek, and get this….I’m not in a Fraternity GASP. It turns out that if you are a genuine person, that makes an effort to be friendly you don’t need letters on your chest to make friends.
Finally, if you are going to donate blood, try not to whine and complain when the staff doesn’t meet your high expectations to glorify you for your good deed. If you are going to do something as selfless as donate blood to complete strangers, I would think you could go without needing to be the center of attention at the blood drive. And for what it’s worth, the four consecutive years I have donated blood, the staff has never failed to make me feel welcome despite the fact that I’m not Greek. But I also guarantee that I was never seen sulking around the Hearnes Center crying “woe as me” either.
—Derrick J. Price,
The “MU’s Social Rift Evident at Blood Drive” letter set me off. It has nothing to do with Greeks vs non Greeks. Greek members would say the same thing about going into a second-hand book store to donate books only to have the ‘eclectic girl in the wide-rimmed glasses'(since we are being stereotypical) ignore them or even worse, scoff at them and then write about it on her blog. I see it all the time and I’m not a part of the Greek system.
Secondly, Maneater, you are prepetuating this stereotype just as much, if not more than any student. Get a new headline or go give me evidence there’s really a cultural divide driven by members of the Greek community.
Guy who wrote this: I’m sorry you felt left out and felt bad after you did a good deed. However, if that’s all it took to make you feel dejected, you’ve got some internal issues to deal with, my friend. Why didn’t you say anything? Maybe the problem is you not speaking up for all the “ugly” guys like you out there. You remain “invisible” because you choose to stay silent, thats not anyone else’s problem but your own. I have no issues with anyone in the Greek system treating me like I’m lesser because I don’t act like I’m some loser with a sad vendetta. People like YOU make non Greeks like ME sick to my stomach because people like YOU make the rest of us look like that kid that didn’t get an invite to the party.
You could have been wearing Greek letters and those girls still wouldn’t have got you anything because of your meek presence. Pastel polos don’t make the man, the man makes the man… and you my friend have yet to let your balls drop.
[via The Maneater]