OP-ED: Greek organizations must repair image
A new school year brings with it many time-honored traditions that continue each and every year. Rush week is no exception. As evident by the countless signs that appeared last week, the Greek organizations on campus are again seeking new members.
I have many friends who are or were in fraternities and sororities, and I think that they do a lot of good on this campus. They often tout their philanthropic endeavors, and those efforts can be felt around our campus and community. However, I think that the good that they do can be lost in a less than stellar image they create for themselves.
Now of course, Greek organizations often get a bad wrap based on assumptions and stereotypes, which is not fair to them. What they should be judged on at SUU is their own actions at SUU, and the image they portray to the rest of us. This is where I find one particular problem with one particular group.
On Tuesday, I was walking to a class in the Science Center when I passed a sign for Alpha Phi. I was downright appalled when I read the text of the sign - it said, "Women should be two things, classy and fabulous."
Now, I have nothing against being classy and fabulous.
I strive for both myself and I often fall short. However, I think it is completely ridiculous to identify and list out just what exactly women "SHOULD" be. But if one were going to make such a list, as Alpha Phi has, it would be unfortunate if among the characteristics that a women should possess, intelligence, independence, hard-working or perhaps courage didn't make the cut.
I am not a feminist, per se. I don't always get things right in this area. Much to the chagrin of a certain vice president, I habitually say "guys" to refer to all genders. And of course I understand that this is not seriously what Alpha Phi believes women should be. That said, it's clearly the message that they are sending with their signs.
Marketing pioneer David Ogilvy once said, "Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image." Each poster and sign that an organization produces contributes the image of that group.
Perhaps Alpha Phi should reassess just what it is that their group is all about, and they want people to think about them.
© 2009 Dennis Busch