Opinion

On why you just can’t keep a good Greek down

Hi, my name is Christopher and I’m Greek. After the verbal assaults following Greek Week, I am almost hesitant to admit it. But no matter what you say about it, I love every damn minute of being Greek.

And you might be surprised, but it’s not because I love to party, and it’s not because I love to always be drunk, and it sure as hell isn’t because I need to be paying for my friends or feel “elitist” as most people charge.

Don’t get me wrong: my first two years at UM, I had the same thoughts of Greek life as almost every non-Greek student. But a simple note on my door from my first friend at UM changed my opinion. As I sat on the bed in my dorm and read “the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon applaud your accomplishments at UM” and asked me to check out the fraternity and what it stood for, I immediately dropped my barrier to Greek life and decided to give it a chance.

Thirty minutes into my quest to learn more about fraternity life, I was astounded by all I learned about SAE on its national website. Who’d have guessed that all fraternities had values that they stood for, especially values that were congruent with my own life like SAE?

The point of my life story here is that I had been letting my biased interpretation of Greeks influence my vision of what Greek life really was; I was truly ignorant and content in that lack of knowledge, like most students.

Two years after deciding that I would give up my anti-Greek stance, I have met 40 of the most dedicated scholars, athletes, philanthropists and best friends I have ever known. And that is just in my fraternity, one of the 29 Greek organizations on campus.

Despite coming from a non-Greek background, I can’t help but be furious when I read the comments of those that perpetuate the beliefs that we are “elitist” drunks or that Greek life is useless, mostly because I used to think that way too.

I could write paragraphs about the astounding statistics associated with fraternities and sororities, but that’s old. The important thing is that Greeks are just everyday students. When we aren’t wearing letters, we look the same, talk the same, act the same and do the same stuff that non-Greeks do, including being members of the 210 other non-Greek organizations at UM.

It’s OK not to be Greek, just as it is OK to be Greek. It took a note on my door for me to realize this. I just wish those who hate us because we wear letters to show our pride in the accomplishments of our organizations would drop their bias and stop believing the stereotypes.

No matter what, I will always be proud to be Greek. But more importantly, just like every other Greek at UM, we will always be proud to be ‘Canes; that’s why I wear my letters in orange and green.

Christopher Vasquez can be contacted at c.vasquez1@umiami.edu.

March 11, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Dewan Huell will be wearing green and orange for at least another year. Huell announced Saturday on ...

Their bats and gloves and baseball skills weren't enough Thursday night. Now, the Miami Hurrica ...

Florida State's recruiting trail hit Georgia last week, and while the #Tribe19 class is a focal ...

It's almost summer, time for college football players to wind down and chill out — every now an ...

Alumna and faculty member shares lessons and learning about racial identity in free parent community ...

Voters head to the polls in a historic election to choose the country’s next president. ...

From boathouse to marine research powerhouse, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienc ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

The Canes wrapped up a stormy weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary with their final two qualifiers f ...

Miami native pulls name out of NBA Draft process. ...

Stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexico may have delayed Friday's competition, but wind and rain c ...

Last season, Miami Hurricanes fans created, quite simply, one of the best home-field advantages in c ...

University of Miami senior Christian Langmo and freshman Adria Soriano were edged by Florida's ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.