Walk a mile in my Greek shoes

Echelle Avelar, News Editor
Echelle Avelar, News Editor

This is addressed to all non-Greeks and faculty. I think that I am a fair person who thinks things through, weighing every situation for its pluses and minuses. I try not to jump to conclusions. I am a hard worker and I feel that my accomplishments speak for themselves.

But lately it seems that everyone, especially students, seem to be jumping to some very harsh statements about who Greeks are and about who I am.

I decided to join Iota Delta on an open bid, after declining it my freshman year and realizing that this opportunity should be given the same amount of thought as any other situation in my life. I had never really known anything about Greeks and the “Greek Life,” but as an outsider I had seen the typical on-campus sights.

And if you would have asked me two semesters ago if I would want to be in a sorority I would have laughed and said “No way!”

If you live on campus or just hang out here enough you will soon begin to see the grossing spectacles of girls sitting in herds at the spot with their sisters kissing their cheeks and giving long hugs as if they haven’t seen each other in years. But when you get down to it they have just had a meeting together the day before.

The thought made me sick back then.

I took a chance and put aside my premature prejudices and started to judge the women in the sorority as people, whom I had already began to associate with as friends, instead of looking at them as just a group.

I do not think you have to change to become a member of a Greek organization, or any organization for that matter. Just because you wear the same letters does not mean you will change.

Many people told me I would change, but what does that mean? Why do I have to change? Well, despite what everyone expected, I am still the same person.

I will not begin to preach to you why you should join Greek life because I will be the first to admit it, being Greek is not for everyone, just like playing for the football team is not for everyone, just like being on the debate team is not for everyone. It takes a certain individual to be in any sort of group.

But like every group, organizations are actually made up of individuals, with each person being their own person filled with imperfections and talents. Greeks are organizations just like athletic organizations, and so on. But I am an individual as well. I did not give up my identity to the sorority as people will think all Greeks did. I picked my sorority because of its individuality. We are individuals who are different in many ways. We do not drive the same car, wear the same clothes, or speak the same lingo.

There are, now four other organizations on this campus that are Greek. But because one episode happened to the Greek community, it is not time to shun Greeks. The Greeks on this campus have done a great deal for this school and this community. We have had fun events, we have had community events, we have helped sponsor organizations.

We are a big part of this school despite what people will want to admit. We are 20 percent of this campus and that says a lot. In my sorority alone, six women are staff members on the Campus Times, three are active members on the Associated Student Federation (ASF) Forum and three are on various sports teams on the University campus. This shows our individuality as well as our diversity.

So do not say that Greeks are this or that, if you do not really know what it is all about. I do not pretend to know what it is like to play baseball or be a member of ASF because I never have been. So until you walk in my shoes you do not really know how it is to be me!

Echelle Avelar, a sophomore journalism major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at avelare@ulvacs.ulaverne.edu.

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