Greek responds to indy articleBy CAITLIN CHILTON
Contributing Writer The following article is a response to Khant Minn’s Feb. 4 article “Going Greek is good…”
Let’s localize the discussion for a moment. Being an independent at Georgetown does have its benefits. Ask anyone who’s Greek; they lived the independent life before they wore the colors of their organization. Ask anyone who’s Greek and they will tell you that some of their closest and most beloved friends were made in that time. Ask anyone who’s Greek and they’ll also tell you that their first semester as a member of a fraternity or sorority is one that they wouldn’t trade for the world.
To say that someone who is Greek pays for their friends has little ground. Ask anyone who’s Greek and they’ll tell you that if they’re paying for their friends, they don’t pay enough. To argue that sorority or fraternity life everywhere is riddled with people paying for their friends is irrelevant. We are at Georgetown College and here the type of Greek life we offer is rare and of the better breed. That is inarguable. There is also little ground to say that Greeks pay for their friends when there are dues to be paid to belong to any organization on campus, whether it is Greek, academic, community service or student life.
Any Greek will be the first to concede that independents may not have as many songs to memorize or secrets to learn. It’s true; you don’t have to participate in rituals to develop a sense of belonging. Ask someone who is a part of an organization that has not yet been initiated. They have no knowledge of ritual and build a sense of belonging simply by being a part of an organization that exemplifies the values they wish to hold in themselves. It may be true that being involved in one organization may lead you to prefer those who are in it with you. Why else would you have joined? That being said, taking pride in the same letters that you share with others is no crime.
It is certainly undeniable that competition exists between Greek organizations. However, what is the offense when that competition exists only to better the letters you wear? Everyone is exposed to this type of competition. You want the better grade, the first place ribbon or the championship ring. When you’re Greek, this type of competition is just placed into a different arena. For many, being independent has led them to become the people they always wanted to be. For many, being Greek has helped them grow more than they had ever hoped. Being Greek has the ability to open up more opportunities than you might have ever dreamed of, so does being involved in other aspects of student life that aren’t Greek. It is truly up to the individual to decide which type of life will benefit them most and there is no one Greek or independent that has the right to judge otherwise.
Student tells you to study abroadBy BECCA THOMPSON
I was reminded this afternoon walking to a meeting in the Oxford, England sunshine about Georgetown’s Songfest. Dream big! Color your world! “It’s a small world after all…” I started singing to myself walking down the sidewalk of broken cobblestones that are probably older than Georgetown itself. There are Georgetonians all over the world: alumni and current students (four of us, soon to be five) here in Oxford, one in London, one in Leiden (the Netherlands), one in Australia, and I am sure there are more I do not even know about. There were groups traveling to Australia and to London over Christmas break. There are groups going to Honduras and Chile and Brazil in the spring. There are Georgetonians everywhere! And why not? No, really…why not? Today, I believe it is more important than ever to realize that there is a big world beyond Georgetown, beyond Kentucky, and beyond the United States, and to go find it.
Having a place to call home is priceless, and I have been missing my old Kentucky home badly. There is not much better than Ale 8 and University of Kentucky basketball, especially when we are doing so well! And there is definitely no place like Georgetown. But there is so much world to see! Oh the places you could go… I do not think it is unrealistic to say that if everyone wanted to go abroad, everyone could find a way. There are so many international programs available just at GC, which Emily Brandon could probably help you out with, not to mention all of the independent programs you could find. Literally, anywhere you want to go, you can find a way. I have been dreaming of being here at Oxford since my senior year of high school when I visited GC and heard about the Oxford Program. Oxford is part of the reason I came to GC. Now, four weeks into my first eight week term, it is still hard for me to believe that it actually happened, that they actually picked me, that I am actually here frequenting the haunts of people like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
My father was an educator for almost thirty years and he always told his students (and his daughters) that you can have anything you want in this life if you are willing to pay the price. I paid the price to come to Oxford in hard work, some tears, and many, many written drafts, with the help of Dr. Price and Dr. Hadaway, but I did it, and it is so worth it. You can do it too! Consider spending some time abroad, and get involved in international activities at GC. There is so much world out there, so much culture to experience, so many foods to taste, so many places to see, so many people to meet, so many lives to be lived. To broaden your horizons, to expand your worldview, and to in general educate yourself about the world, there is no better way than to live somewhere else, and I do not mean moving across the state. In our evershrinking “small world” you have the opportunity, and you ought to seize it. Dream big! Color your world. What we learn, after all, is maybe 40% in a classroom and 95% in the world. Or something like that…
Manuvering the labyrinth of Valentine’s DayBy TIMOTHY BURGESS
Despite the belief near and dear to the hearts of many that Valentine’s Day was created through some unholy union between greeting card and candy companies and florists, it goes much further than that. In its earliest form as Saint Valentine’s Day, it dates back to the 5th century. But that’s probably not what most of us are interested in. We tend to be more interested in the nature of our modern Valentine’s Day.
Ladies, at this point, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to you. Perhaps through luck, or perhaps through years of strategy and wise maneuvering, you clearly hold the keys to the Valentine’s Day kingdom. You can feel free to skip the rest of the article, chuckle at Joel’s artwork and move on to the rest of the paper. You are the natural-born winners of Valentine’s Day. Enjoy your cards, flowers, chocolates from heartshaped boxes and avalanche of teddy bears from every boy who’s thought you’re cute from elementary school onward. You deserve every bit of the special treatment.
Now for the rest of us. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a very nicely decorated, packaged and marketed hand-grenade for males everywhere. And the pin is always pulled. You might be asking yourself how that could possibly be. First off, there is the intrinsically evil nature of the holiday. If you refuse to celebrate it, no matter how valid your points, your significant other (or future significant other) will probably not be thrilled that you’re skipping out on celebrating. Sure, you can drop the grenade and refuse to deal with it, but it’s still going to blow you sky high.
Which brings me to my second point: if you embrace Valentine’s Day, then you’ve just got this pin-less grenade in your hand year after year. You see, American Greetings and the National Retail Federation estimated in 2008 that Valentine’s Day generates roughly $16.9 billion and that men spend close to double what women do on Valentine’s Day. Thus, as a male celebrating this year, you’ll be adding to the lion’s share of whatever terrible sum is spent. This leads us even deeper into this labyrinth. You very well might be saying to yourself, “But I’ll just find a thoughtful, nice (hopefully affordable) gift for my significant other and the happiness it brings to them will make my life easier and happier in the long run. Thus, we all win.” Oh you poor, naïve soul. You see, if time was completely linear and Valentine’s Day was a single point in time, a single hurdle to leap over, your plan would be foolproof. Valentine’s Day, however, is more like the high jump—if you sail over the bar with ease this year, it’s just going to get higher next year.
Let’s say your girlfriend mentions in passing at some point that she’s never really liked getting flowers because they wilt so quickly. Then you, being the thoughtful person you are, purchase her a rose dipped in gold for Valentine’s Day. Your attention to detail has probably assured that you have safely cleared the bar this year and have tucked away some “Hey, I’m thoughtful and charming” points to use on a rainy day. You become pleased with yourself, complacent, months go by, and suddenly Valentine’s Day looms on the horizon again. What will you do to top your previous brilliant, inspired triumph of romanticism? Will you drop back and play the odds that your girlfriend secretly wanted to be born a Disney princess and take her to see the Cinderella Ballet? A safe enough gamble and you’ll probably clear the bar for another year. How long can you keep it up? How long before you drop the ball and your significant other is disappointed that you aren’t as “romantic” as in years past? Or how long can you continue upping the romance ante before your finances collapse under the strain?
I hope you realize how hopeless the whole thing is. We’ve been wandering through this labyrinth for too many years to find our way out now. All you can do is try to survive and hope you don’t run into the Minotaur. Or David Bowie.