Pledgeship 'suspension' poor solution to greek problems



I recently stumbled upon an article concerning the suspension of the Interfraternity Council. When I read the word suspension, I automatically assumed that it meant a month or two of deceased pledgeship activities, but as I read further, I realized that is was only for eight days. This is not a suspension; this, ladies and gentlemen, is a break.

A break that is long enough to let all bruises, cuts and evidence of sleep deprivation fade away before pledges go home to their families, who probably expect to see them in the same condition in which they were dropped off to school. What I find even more appalling is the careful cover-up of the intended motive of this “suspension” by blanketing it under the quote: “We felt the new members needed to be rested up for their families.”

As I sat on this thought for a couple of days, I stumbled upon another article that was an update of the story. This article goes into detail about a “last-minute” meeting between the Interfraternity Council and the American PanHellenic Council presidents, along with the administrative personnel of Greek Affairs and Judicial Affairs hours before the announcement was made about the previous mentioned IFC suspension. It stated that only announcements were discussed, but announcements are usually put in newsletters, not “last-minute meetings.” This is not a coincidence, and nobody is fooled.

The inner workings of the greek system here at the University are always something that I fail to understand. All the politics involved could probably give Washington, D.C., a run for its money. Sadly, the ones pulling the strings eventually make it into Congress and electoral positions, but everyone has to start somewhere, I guess.

I wonder when an actual investigation of hazing and other illegal activities in the fraternities will yield some results, instead of new houses just sprouting up every semester. By results, I mean chapters being shut down, not slaps on the wrist and empty threats. There is a lawsuit being brought against a fraternity, basically claiming a former pledge was beaten, yet the fraternity is still throwing parties every weekend. So, maybe we have to wait for two lawsuits to be processed before any action is taken.

I understand that the greek system of The University of Alabama is infamous; it brings a lot of students, with their tuition, to the school, and the alumni of these sororities and fraternities make sizeable donations to the school. However, does a huge check excuse physical and mental harm done to human beings? There is not a price on dignity and life. Of course, there has not been an incident of death reported, but is that what has to happen for action to be taken? I pray not.

Amber Patterson is a sophomore majoring in marketing and public relations. Her column runs weekly.

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