Volume 93, Issue 16

Friday, September 24, 1999


Setting the record

401 the highway to recovery

Beach tank a peace preserver or murdering machine?

Beach tank a peace preserver or murdering machine?

Join the anti-conformity club

Join the anti-conformity club

I'm not much of a joiner.

Clubs, fraternities, teams, special interest groups, associations, cartels – none of them really do it for me. And yes, I'm aware of the irony which stems from the fact I volunteered for this newspaper, however, I really had to be pushed to do that.

As I wade through the hurricane known as clubs week, it comes to my attention that Floyd has nothing on this behemoth. There must be a club for every insignificant interest out there. From monkey-spanking to professional wrestling, it seems the gamut has been covered.

Is our species really that co-dependent? There are certain activities I enjoy, shows I like to watch, yet I suddenly don't say to myself, "wait, I need 20 other people who share this particular interest to further my enjoyment."

Think about it – fraternities, sororities, clubs – groups of that nature are actually very shallow. They accept people for reasons which are completely superficial. They are essentially saying, we like you because you think in a manner we recognize, or because we have an interest in common, or a similar goal.

The other day a friend told me that a couple of years ago, she was walking through the atrium during clubs week when a representative of an Asian student's association handed her a pamphlet and asked her to join. This person went on to say that the group was about breaking down barriers and welcomed all sorts of people into their club. Upon telling this person she was not of that ethnic background, the club member promptly removed the pamphlet from my friend's hand and uttered the word, "oh."

It's the exclusionary and specific nature inherent in all these groups that really hamper people from getting to know each other on a level which goes beyond, "hey, you like Preston Manning? So do I! Let's be friends."

It's particularly baffling when people belittle others because of their associations. I don't know how many times people have made snide remarks because I'm a student at Western. Guess what? I don't give a shit. My identity or self-worth is not tied to the school I attend, it's only a small part of who I am. Conversely, I don't understand why any Western students would put down other schools – get a life.

Here's something all the joiners should try on for size – join a group in which you have absolutely no interest. Live dangerously, hell, see if they even accept you into their fold. The point is, discover whether you can relate to someone on a plane that transcends common ground.

And before I forget, The Gazette is looking for volunteers, so come on up and join us.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999