Fraternity bashing

Dear Cynic,

As someone who’s been published in the Cynic, I have to tell you that the Op/ed peice by Meyers Jay on the Greek System and Delta Psi in particular was an apalling piece of hack jounalism. His obvious lack of research or connection to the issue he was writing on makes me wonder why he wrote the peice in the first place. Let me give you a little perspective on Delta Psi and perhaps, more largely why someone may join a fraternity. In the 82-83 school year, my freshman year, my social circle was more likely to be at Slade than any fraternity party. In fact, I was pretty well resolved that I would never join a fraternity when I left for college. However, never being one to miss an opportunity to go to a great party, I did eventually end up inside 61 Summitt Street among a lot of guys who I felt very different from ideologically, politically and socially. But the beer was cold and the women were hot. As I talked with more and more of the hosts, I was intrigued by the level of diversity and respect that actually existed between the brothers and the energy and power that a collaborative, respectful environment was capable of generating. As I learned more about this group, I became more drawn to a group of people committed to something outside self, to building and maintaining and growing a common enterprise. I was the Dead Head liberal in a house with a lot of Reagan Republicans, but there was always respect for different perspectives and I never felt dismissed. As I grew into full membership in the fraternity the parts of the organization that I disagreed with, I had an opportunity to try and change. The power of what I experienced during my time at UVM and Delta Psi was a genuine lesson in not pre-judging an opportunity and remaining open to all possibilities to learn and grow. Mr Jay’s editorial is a “Yeah, what he said” to today’s social environment of political correctness in which the pendulum has swung too far and there are too many assumptions being made by too many people who have blinded themselves with regard to the possibilities that a structure of communal, other-focussed effort can accomplish. Because of this committment and this orientation and this energy Delta Psi will be back and, in fact hasn’t died, you just can’t see it right now.

Universities will always be ultimately threatened by fraternities as they challenge the institution for share of mind, heart and ultimately, alumni support. While the power structure at UVM has always paid the greek system lip service, their actions, attitudes and lack of support for this system suggest that they would be very happy if it didn’t exist at all. Don’t be so sure that being anti fraternity is a vote for tolerance and an environment where ideas can thrive.

Matt Gilhuly ’87