Stand aside child discipline and John McAfee, let’s talk about something important. Greek life. Wait, don’t turn the page. This is important we swear. We know you’ve heard it all before, and may be disenfranchised by the ongoing shenanigans of our “Greek life versus administration” showdown, but bear with us. Recent news has reached our ears, and yours, of the Triniteers’ 3 year suspension following an investigation of violations. Just in time for their 70th anniversary and Alumni Weekend.
While the information has been sparse on the exact details (see our front page story), the decision comes alongside an ongoing string of suspensions, bans and charter revoking, from the Pikes to the 2012 incidents. We aren’t trying to say the administration is going out of their way to attack fraternities and sororities, or even targeting specific ones more than others. Not quite. It’s just that they likely don’t want to spend the time having to do so. Time is money, and money is everything for any effective administration. If an organization, Greek or not, wants to or does — for lack of a better word — waste the university’s time, then its no surprise said organization will be dismissed. Sure, organizations should exist without having to justify said existence or have to simply comply with the administration’s goals and ideals, but should they exist in a form that primarily hurts those goals and ideals it’s likely they will face retribution. If the negatives outweigh the positives after all.
Whether or not the Teers’ suspension was justified is unknown at this time, at least from our viewpoint. Simply because the administration deems something wrong or issues a punishment doesn’t always make it such. If fraternities or sororities are responsible for heinous hazing or actions resulting in student harm or other forms of damage, we can likely agree that they must own the responsibility and punishments. But does that past history and mistakes constrain the future members responsible? Can they be blamed for wanting to continue their traditions and history, at least the “good” parts, even in the face of punishment? Why should those, innocent to the crimes, be forced to pay for the past mistakes of former members? The focus should be on rehabilitation, not on punishment. We’re in college. Let us make, and learn from, our mistakes.
But then again, at what point does rehabilitation cease to be viable? When is such effort wasted on its prisoner, possibly when they may even ignore such efforts? The answer likely differs from the administration to Greek Life to students and faculty. It’s the drawing of a line that’s important. Why punishments are given and why steps are taken needs to be outlined and open if anyone can hope to have an understanding and clear opinion on the matter. This doesn’t just affect Greek Life. It affects all of us at Trinity, alumni included. Our image, our reputation, even our connections and friendships. So pay attention. Voice your opinion. If everyone feels differently on the matter it is only more reason to try harder to make the line clear, and to make it a boundary that reflects everyone’s views to the best of its ability. Not everyone may be happy with certain decisions. Especially when such decisions intimately affect members of our community.
Unfair or not, the decision has been made. Now it’s our turn to voice our support our objections if we want to change anything. If we are to face punishment I’d like to face it in front of the whole campus, not behind closed doors. Issues are sensitive and timely, we understand. Let’s just not forget the impact of such issues and decisions if we want to have a real discussion on them. And the sooner the conversation, the better.
Whose head will roll next? O-Phis’? Kappas’? Maybe even the Gammas’? We think not. But there is a likely victim. Watch your backs Trinity Cat Alliance. Every dog will have its day.