This letter reflects the opinions of journalism junior and Mustang Media Group member Connor McCarthy. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
With President Jeffrey Armstrong’s recent decision to indefinitely suspend greek life, it is time to stand up and defend ourselves. As a community, we continuously and wholeheartedly condemn the actions of the few individuals that tarnish the image of greek life, but like always, we are punished.
Why? Because greek life has become the scapegoat for issues that plague our campus.
We are beaten around as the schools punching bag and we are expected to stay silent in the hopes nothing we say will be misconstrued by the media. And yet the media still attacks what we do and chooses to ignore the positive impacts greek life has on the community.
I am someone who is in greek life and a member of Mustang News. In fact, I was a big part of taking away a greek life beat as I felt it was biased and purely looked for flaws within our community rather than equally shedding light on its benefits.
I do agree with them — those in greek life are privileged. We have opportunities given to us others do not. But having privilege has become a mortal sin on this campus. As someone who recognizes my privileges, I’m aware the struggles of others that don’t have the same. However, I, like the rest in greek life, am generalized as, a white cisgender, heterosexual male who is homophobic, racist, sexist and xenophobic.
But I do not fit the stereotypes of a fraternity man. I am a mixed raced, homosexual male who is in a Jewish fraternity. So those who claim greek life is ignorant about cultural issues, they are wrong. They claim a double standard. Those who are not in our position are ignorant about where we come from and what we do but claim they know everything about us.
It hurts, even more, when our president is part of those who use a logical fallacy to appease those who threaten to take him down.
What happens when someone on a sports team does something controversial? Do sporting events get canceled? When a club puts up a wall that allows offensive and threatening comments, does Associated Students, Inc. suspend all club operations? No. Only greek life is punished.
Armstrong is a weak leader. When his image and his school is negatively put in the national spotlight, he blames us for his failures.
Like Armstrong, the media in San Luis Obispo is weak too. Recent opinions by Mustang News’ editor-in-chief and The Tribune’s editorial board failed to make educated claims about our community. They continue to paint a negative image of who we are based off ignorance which they claim we as greeks have about minorities. Once again, that’s a double standard.
I do recognize the failures and controversies surrounding greek life. Our community does need to work together to be the role models on this campus and on campuses around the country. But we cannot be silent. We cannot let others blame us for problems that persist beyond our chapters.
We know we work hard through our philanthropic events to raise thousands of dollars for those in need. We spend hundreds of hours giving back through community service. We are not just groups that “pay for our friends,” we are groups that try to make a positive impact on our school and community that just happen to be friends.
Being a part of greek life should be as much of a privilege as it is to be here on this campus. We are selected to be a part of this higher education institution. So why is the perpetrator not receiving punishments for the acts he committed?
Isn’t that why we go to a university? So we can have more privileges later on in life that we can give to our children?
So when one of us in greek life makes a dumb decision, we will not let the weak leadership of administration pull us down or the ignorance of others tarnish what we do.
*This letter has been edited for clarity.