To the Editor:

I'm not in a Greek organization, myself. Not because I have anything against fraternities or sororities – more because I don't have an extra few thousand dollars a year to spend on a social club.

I guess I assumed, given how fancy and expensive these clubs are, that they are at least somewhat enjoyable. But apparently I was wrong.

The life of a frat brother or sorority sister, I have learned, is filled with trials and tribulations. This population is oppressed and downtrodden. As I lived the carefree life of a GDI, some of my closest friends have been silently suffering.

Only, well, not so silently. I've actually heard quite a lot about how miserable it really is to belong to a club full of people that you have joined voluntarily and that you consider your closest friends!

I know this because this very publication, The Daily Beacon, has taken it upon itself to be a voice of this marginalized people. Just this week, the paper featured a full column about the oppression a columnist has faced as a fraternity brother. Nor is this columnist the only brave defender of Greek life in these hallowed pages. There was another piece about the same thing (from the sorority perspective – the male and the female are, of course, bonded by their shared persecution) back on March 14; a third on March 11; a fourth on Feb. 28; a fifth on Jan. 8; a sixth on Nov. 12; and a seventh, as a letter to the editor, on Sept. 13.

The biggest source of this oppression, apparently, is stereotypes.

It's just so hard, I have learned, when you join a club full of people who share your interests and with whom you deeply intentionally identify, to be told how similar you all are.

It's tough, when you belong to an organization that costs thousands of dollars a year and therefore necessarily have a higher-than-average income, to be told you are massively privileged.

I'm sure there are some GDIs who will protest that Greek folks do not face a lot of other persecution. They tend to make it pretty easily to the top of a lot of campus organizations, from SAA to SGA to the Editor-in-Chief-ship of The Daily Beacon itself.

But that's the thing about stereotyping, I have learned from these brave Greek columnists: it is so harmful that even when it's the biggest obstacle you will ever face in your life, it's obstacle enough to earn the sympathy of the masses.

In light of this, I propose a new weekly section of The Daily Beacon to be entirely dedicated to exposing the menace that is mean stereotypes of Greek people. That way, instead of having to scour the whole paper to find this week's article in defense of this marginalized population, it can have a dedicated, easy-to-find location. This will also rectify the fact that, occasionally, there was no anti-mean-Greek-stereotypes column in the paper at all.

Surely a publication of the Beacon's integrity can meet its goal of standing up for the persecuted Greek population every week of the year.

After all, what else can these persecuted members of well-respected, expensive, purely social clubs do to avoid these stereotypes? Nothing, short of quitting their Greek organizations. But if I've learned anything from these columns, it's that the hardship of enduring stereotypes, rough as it is, must be vastly preferable to the utter grossness of being a GDI.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Connelly

Kathleen Connelly is a senior in philosophy. She can be reached at kconnel3@utk.edu.