Rumors at root of campus life

LaShanda D. Maze, Features Editor

As I complete my second year at the University of La Verne, I look back and must reflect on my own personal campus times. Things have gone on, especially this year, that have just blighted my entire college experience.

No longer the naïve freshman, I look at events that occur at the University with cynical eyes. It is no longer the haven of fun I came in to.

On the outside we look perfect – the manicured lawns, the colorful flowers, the new library. We are here to learn how to become better human beings and help serve the world we live in.

The groups of sororities promise sisterhood for life and eternal friendship. Other friendship cliques claim to do the same but its easy to see that divisions develop even between them as the year continues.

Our small campus, with less than 1,000 undergraduates and much less than that who stay on campus, is driven totally, utterly by rumors. I remember hearing stories my freshman year of people having to leave this school because they could not take it anymore. They could not take the whisperings, the evil stares, the whole he said/she said thing.

I thought we left that in high school.

I guess not, because rumors seem to be the very pulse of this University. Nothing else goes on in La Verne. “I have no life of my own so I will talk about yours and not even have the dignity to come and ask you your side of the story,” seems to be the only attitude La Verne students have.

Since I have always had a laid back attitude, I tried to avoid the turmoil of rumors. I will admit I tried.

That is until I got slapped in the face with those who I thought supported me believing everything they hear.

It is a hard fall into reality.

A friend of mine that many may know, senior Joe Martinez, also realized this one day. As the president of the Inter-Fraternity Soriority Council (IFSC), many students look at him as the embodiment of Greek life.

A few weeks ago, in the heat of Greek Week, the IFSC was called to make a decision to save the integrity of Greek life.

Not a Greek myself, I could care less about these events. A decision though had to be made and Delta Sigma Phi was removed from the La Verne campus.

Somehow because of that decision many believed that Martinez had everything to do with the Delta Sigma Phi’s removal from campus and somehow he had wanted it that way.

Just walk to the Student Center where an array of colorful posters with uplifting messages on sisters and friends and everything else under the moon confronts you. Look a little to the right and you will see a poster that has been there quite a while now that simply states, “Phi Delta Theta supports Joe Martinez 100 percent.”

Simple, plain and sweet. Proof that although the decision to remove Delta Sigma Phi was a democratic vote with members of IFSC, one person was singled out as a target. Sure enough, soon after that poster appeared another one appeared stating, Delta Sigma Phi supports un-biased judgement 100 percent.

I do not make it a habit to police posters and make sure everyone is judged correctly; really I could care less. But Martinez is a friend of mine and I know a little more than what is on two posters.

My message is do not judge looking from the outside of what is within.

It takes a unique person to stand up for what he believes in despite the obstacles and the disapproving looks he may receive from once-thought-of-friends who turn out to be foes.

It takes a true individual to belong to an organization and believe strongly in its ideals, yet remain his own person.

And it is even harder when that person is made to stand alone.

LaShanda D. Maze, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, is features editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at mazel@ulvacs.ulaverne.edu.

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