Jan 30

No is Not an Option: You Must Join

No is Not an Option: You Must Join

By Courtney Mays

Many college students every year decide to join a fraternity or sorority. Undergraduates join Greek life for a variety of reasons: some are looking for adventure, others are following their friends, and some simply feel a strong compulsion to wear t-shirts with giant Greek letters on them to every school activity. Although the reason for joining may vary, these students all share a strong driving desire to go through various degrees of hazing and/or ritual in order to learn about the organization and prove they have what it takes to belong. Despite their yearning to join, not everyone makes it in; running naked across campus, memorizing over 20 songs about sisterhood, and standing in one’s underwear as people circle the parts on your body that are too fat and need to be improved is not for everybody. Even if you make it through the pledging, members must now go to weekly meetings, pay large annual dues, dress up in formal dresses at an alarmingly high frequency, and participate in a number of activities that members are not always thrilled about or risk being ostracized from the group. Some people find all of these “team building” and “sisterhood sharing” exercises to be a bit much, but, if you ask others, they will tell you it was the best time of their life and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Often the latter will do this as they scream some motto at you; such as, alpha epsilon beta forever, whooooo!

Up until now, most universities have allowed students to figure out for themselves whether or not the Greek life is the right life for their life, but some colleges have decided to mix things up a bit. A group of people have come together on campus and decided for all that everyone should join up. As one might imagine, this has not been universally embraced. Some have objected, saying they do not have the money to pay the required dues. Others have stated that they do not have time to attend all the required meetings, parades, and other required activities. Finally, some have gone as far as to shout their absolute refusal to join any such group that has such a long history of engaging in immoral and illegal activities. Despite all of these protests, a number of colleges have decided to ignore the throngs of protestors and make it mandatory for all professors to join unions.

A few professors have stated that they should not be forced to join a union as a condition to work at a college. They disagree with unions automatically deducting dues from each of their paychecks. The idea of attending union meetings as well as marching and chanting in the streets is not viewed as a keen idea by all of the academics. The thought of joining an organization that has a history of being associated with organized crime, shouting down those who disagree with them, and actual use of violence to win an argument is appalling to many scientists that value open and honest debate. Finally, the idea of preventing students from trying to improve their lives by learning in the classroom because of a union strike is just too revolting an act for most.

The unions counter that they are a positive force in the lives of their members and improve the overall company. But if they are so great, why is it mandatory to join? If it was as great as they claimed, would people not voluntarily join? College girls are willing to bend over and be repeatedly swatted by a paddle to join a sorority. How many union pledges are bending over and shouting “thank you sir, may I have another?”



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