Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


The Arm reached way too far

Ceeps not the real criminal

Please stop letting the days go by

Frat beliefs inaccurate, misguided

Frat beliefs inaccurate, misguided

Re: "Fraternity friendship at what cost?" Jan. 25

To the Editor:
Upon reading Mr. Jones' letter regarding fraternities and their operations, I found it to be very misleading and extremely inaccurate.

Initially, as a Western student with no precise knowledge regarding fraternities, I too used to hold many stereotypes against these organizations, similar to Mr. Jones. So I decided to see what they were all about and I became involved in the "fraternity rush" with a particular fraternity. Throughout this experience, I became ashamed of my initial beliefs, in the same manner that Mr. Jones should.

The question raised by Mr. Jones, "Does Mr. Bycraft forget that the reason you come to university is for an education?" is quite rhetorical and rather silly. Western students are well aware of their main priority at university, which is to receive the highest level of education possible.

However, only certain students are able to realize that education extends beyond the scope of the classroom and continues through other activities and organizations, such as fraternities, that require them to become active and social. Therefore, the initial claim of Mr. Bycraft's, that fraternities ready people for the real world, is not faulty at all.

Also, to answer Mr. Jones' question, "Would I be correct in guessing that a large portion of the $900 fee goes toward alcohol?" – no, you would be incorrect. If you are not convinced then let me ask you a question – how do you expect the members to be active in skiing, snowboarding, basketball, hockey and even skydiving with a large portion of $900 worth of alcohol in their systems?

The claim that "Paying money for social contact, even if it does not 'buy' the friendship, should not be necessary," is very flawed.

It is unfortunate that an individual may not be able to join as a result of their financial situation. However, fraternities must charge a membership fee in the similar fashion that hockey teams, swimming clubs and other recreational activities must charge a registration fee. Can it be said that these athletes and participants are purchasing their friends as well?

In closing, Mr. Jones makes a valid point in stating that "even when writing columns or satires, the journalist must have concrete research and proof, so that he or she can make the point in a valid way." Therefore, the validity of Mr. Jones' letter is not very convincing. It seems to be just a summary of all typical and untruthful stereotypes, unfortunately associated with fraternities, that was written and prepared without any sufficient research.

Justin Autea
Administrative and Commercial Studies I

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