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It’s not very often you find a student newspaper writer who isn’t bashing Greek life while smoking an e-cig during an anime club meeting. Student newspaper contributors are usually as GDI and liberal as it gets, but not this guy. This guy gets it. His name is Cullen Hamelin, and he’s not a geed.
Most of you are probably aware of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s new stance against pledgeship. This stance is so strong, in fact, that they’re abolishing pledgeship altogether. Anyone with sense knows all this does is remove liability from the national organization when something inevitably goes wrong, but what this represents is Greek life’s worst nightmare coming to fruition. It represents a precedent that even the worst pledges do not want to see put into action.
I was told many times as a new member that pledging is the most fun you never want to have again. Every single word of that is the truth.
In his article for Tennessee’s student newspaper, The Daily Beacon, Cullen explains how pledging isn’t just a haze-fest, but how it is more about earning your way into a community that will take care of you for the rest of your life.
Here are some highlights:
“So, without argument, these brothers are expected to trust, through a week or so of rush events, unknown new affiliates with a foundation close to their heart and immediately donate brotherly equality to — in relative time — a complete stranger.”
This is the fundamental issue with the entire revamp of SAE’s initiation process. It took me until damn near the end of my pledgeship to feel as if I truly knew each and every one of my pledge brothers. Imagine deciding whether or not a kid is a fuck within just a few days. It’s impossible, and it will cause more trouble than good in the long run. Not to mention, SAE–and any other fraternity that adopts this policy–will attract all of the kids who want to wear letters, but want to avoid putting in any work to earn them.
“Pledging is an individual’s opportunity to prove worthiness. It is a process to learn, to see and to become through desire. Obviously this 158-year-old process has some success, boasting a high number of Fortune 500 owners, political figures and even U.S. presidents.
It is not supposed to make a particular individual feel small, but rather provide comprehension on how much bigger the world is. A world that isn’t inviting like a parent’s arms, a world that needs brothers to help you through.
So, before the angry mob with pitchforks and fire charge toward me to “protect their sons’ well-being,” maybe consider that the pledging process is doing just that.
Don’t let the media transform earning your stay into becoming their prey. Respect is never given without effort, nor should it be.”
And there we have it. I couldn’t have said it better myself. No matter what we see on this site or in the media, pledges are not just our play toys for a semester–they are diamonds in the rough, which need to be further polished and perfected until they can be put to good use. Pledgeship is there to help new members gain a sense of loyalty and brotherhood. People naturally appreciate things much more when they work for them, and initiation into a fraternity is no different.
I highly recommend everyone read Cullen’s entire article, because it really is good stuff.
[via The Daily Beacon]