Egregiously irresponsible depiction of a minority group on collegiate grounds

Letter to the Editor

Dear Gabriela,

We know people will always disagree. Disagreement leads to two potential outcomes: the first, as your article demonstrates, is one of anger and exacerbation of differences. The second, and more positive outcome, is that disagreement can lead to constructive discussion.

It was difficult to read a scathing critique of our organization and the individuals it represents. It’s not that we haven’t heard such criticisms before; we have. The problem is that they represent a stereotype that many Whitman Greeks have worked to refute. We can’t help but feel that your attack was spurred by a lack of understanding or a negative encounter with the Greek system.

Unfortunately, your article failed to mention tangible changes you would like to see between Independents and Greeks. If you are interested in having a conversation with two members of Delta Gamma, we are more than willing. Hopefully we can enhance relationships between the Greek community and the rest of the Whitman campus (or at least between yourself and the two of us).

Keeping our sincere offer in mind, we reserve the right to purposefully refute your evaluation of the Greek system:

You said: “There’s also the too obvious feminist critique”

We say: To which “obvious” feminist perspective are you referring? There are many divided factions underneath the term “Feminism,” including radical, liberal, politico and socialist. We realize that you only have 500 words, but if you use a loaded term, explain how it applies.

You said: “The whole culture irrefutably is entrenched in reinforcing problematic cultural norms.”  

We say: Articles like yours serve to reinforce said “cultural norms” and stereotypes. You intended to antagonize and demean members of the Greek community, and in doing so increased the divide between yourself (as a purported representative of Independents) and Greek students.

You said: “I don’t have to attend Pio parties, sing Pio songs, wear Pio clothes, and…live with the Pio staff.”

We say: It seems you forget that Greek members choose to partake in any or all of these activities based on individual preferences. Perhaps if you knew more Greek members you would know that we have full autonomy in choosing activities, apparel and place of residence.

You said: “‘[The Greek system’s] role is to promote the pursuit of academic excellence, enrich the personal lives, and further the ability of their members to serve society’…Why promote an ancillary institution that actually undermines many of the college’s goals?”

We say: There is nothing wrong with the goals of the Greek system aligning with the goals of the college. In actuality, your article undermines all of these important goals. Not only is your argument vague and glib, but it does not enrich anyone’s personal lives (except your own?). Your article intended to offend, and didn’t provide a means in which Greek or independent students could better “serve society.”

You said: “I don’t feel pressured to take Jello shots in my jammies before bed.”

We say: Neither do we.

 

Love and sisterhood forever,

Sasha and Kathryn <3