To the Editor:

This is in regards to the Question of the Week segment in The Free Press that was issued Oct. 22, 2001.

Let me start off by saying that I was completely thrown off by the statements made by some of the USM students. In response to the question: Are you Greek?

We got an answer of six no’s and some rather irrational, uneducated reasons why they are not Greek.

According to the answers given by some of the students, the definition of being part of a Greek organization includes paying for friends, condoning violence to women, being a homosexual and also living with 20 people. Keeping the view of those interviewed in mind, think about those people we know who are Greek. Some famous Greeks include Kevin Costner, Drew Carey, John Elway, Bob Barker, Harrison Ford, Jim Thorpe, Cy Young and Melinda Gates (Bill Gates’ wife). All but two U.S. presidents since 1825 have been Greek, as well as many other government positions. Do the people on this list coincide with the stereotypes mentioned in the article? How about our professors? Did you know that many of our professors were members of Greek organizations when they were undergraduate students?

Did you know that the article offended many of these professors too? Did you know that of the six people questioned, I bet all of them have had at least one professor who was Greek but they just did not know it?

In response to the person who feels that all of us “reinforce” the violence to women, I would like to inform her that the Greek Women’s Council is very active with the Women’s Resource Center in bringing and sponsoring events to help educate against violence to women. Greek life in no way encourages violence to women. Saying such a strong statement that generalizes all Greeks can look very ignorant to those who are educated on the facts.

My sorority and the Greek Women’s Council, for which I was president last year, take pride in organizing events and aiding the Women’s Resource Center. At most events you will also find members of fraternities in support of women’s rights and also in hopes to continue to educate and prevent such acts from happening.

In response to paying for friends, dues goes to a national or chapter organization in order to pay for insurance. In the event that an accident occurs, the insurance company would pay for the bills. This is an effort to cover ourselves against a lawsuit.

In response to having 20 roommates, well I have three. Not all Greek organizations have houses. Those that do do not force you to live with them. Many do not have 20 people living in their house.

And lastly, in response to the statement “It never really interested me because I’m straight” I can only say that we all know that sexual orientation does not determine your eligibility to go Greek. Is Sebastian Griffin saying that all Greeks are not straight? Or are all homosexuals Greek? I do not know. But I must question the ethics of the editor and the author of the column to put something so unethical into a paper.

You are the voice of the students and their opinions, however ignorant and unsupported they are I understand, but you must remember that publishing such a derogatory statement will lose you your readers.

It is apparent that since so many politicians were former members of Greek organizations, that Greek life is a great start to understanding the responsibility of holding a leadership position in an organization. The knowledge gained through this hands-on process will help all of us in the future.

As a Greek, I am proud of who I am and my independent qualities. I am the total opposite of a carbon copy cutout. I have benefited from the leadership positions that Greek life has offered me.

I am offended by this segment and I think that maybe with the help of The Free Press we can educate the students of USM to the who’s, what’s and why’s of being Greek instead of reinforcing the stereotypes.

Lynn Bettencourt

Kappa Iota, Vice President

Senior theater major

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