A Public Service Announcement

It has been made clear that Stevens Institute of Technology is unaware of the current state of affairs regarding intolerance within its fraternity life. I am an observant participant in the actions of fraternities and their members–active, dormant, disaffiliated, and alumni.
Writing this, I am angered that houses are used as a physical shield to hide hazing rituals.. I am angered over the use of deplorable language that is encouraged by members of these organizations. I am angered people will only ever see the effort the fraternity community at Stevens puts into masking their racist hazing activities with community service and philanthropy events. As a student at Stevens I can concur that being in a fraternity is a big waste of time, unless you’re interested in perpetuating racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior and actions.

Firstly, I am aware that there are members who do not personally use derogatory, or insulting language, but these members are also willing to look away when these words are targeted towards other individuals, even when those individuals are their own brothers. Secondly, I am aware that there are more members who claim the idea that having discussions about these topics is the encroachment of “PC culture” on their brotherhood that they have kept safe of all political correctness and hold these offensive acts and words as beaming examples of free speech. Lastly, I am aware that many fraternities on this campus believe they promote an  environment which is open and accepting to all, but fail to see the hypocrisy through their actions. Through firsthand experience with this matter, I have arrived at the conclusion that Fraternities will continue to shelter the scum of our campus and therefore must be overhauled or removed. If it wasn’t clear, my experience in this community has shown that Stevens fraternities do not have any regard for the following groups of individuals:
1.      Minority Community Members (Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native American Students)
2.      Religious Minorities
3.      Women (Who are not in sororities)
4.      Members of the LGBTQ+ community.
5.      People with physical or mental disabilities
For all students who wish to find an environment of acceptance, you will not find it in the Stevens Fraternity Community. A word of advice if you’re a member of the communities mentioned above, don’t give these drug and alcohol consuming, party houses the benefit of the doubt. You will be disappointed. Do not join with the intention of changing the behavior of low-key racists. They don’t want to change. I myself have heard the words: “Nigger”, “Faggot”, “Cunt”, and “Spick” being used loudly and proudly within the walls of a fraternity, and seen firsthand the reluctance to admit that this language is in any way questionable. Do not seek to join a space in which you and the morals you hold will not be respected.

  • AJ Kowal

    “Being bigoted and derogatory is wrong, so I’m gonna be bigoted and derogatory towards this whole community!”

  • bobgio

    Pretty big generalization to make about all Greek life on campus. Sorry your fraternity brother boyfriend just dumped you.

    • Gavin Harrison

      OR you can realize this is an anonymous letter to the editor, not written by anybody on the stute, and you are exactly the kind of person this article is about

      • bobgio

        I’m not in a fraternity you uneducated pussy

        • Brian Sullivan

          Ha got em. Nice bob

  • Jorge

    Dear anonymous,

    I am a proud member of groups #1, 2, and 4 (as listed in your op-ed). I can confidently say, with extraordinary certainty, that your personal experience within the local Greek Life environment is wildly aberrant from what is experienced by a large portion, if not the majority, of members of the Stevens Greek Life community.

    I agree that “mileage may vary”, and some members of Greek Life may have an overall negative experience, including those described in your article — some members do choose to leave Greek Life (for a variety of reasons). However, your depiction of the state of Greek Life at Stevens is wildly incorrect and exaggerated, to say the least. Our local chapters are being recognized at a national level, by a myriad of organizations, for their excellence in operations, from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective.

    Lastly, Student Life has done some incredible work within the last couple of years to correct some of the behaviors described in your article. Before you even formally accept your invitation to join Greek Life, you are submerged to a number of workshops and pseudo-training sessions. Should an event such as the ones described in your letter occur, we are encouraged to speak up and not fear retribution. Unfortunately, your letter completely negates to acknowledge this, and I would encourage for you (and/or anybody reading this letter) to hold an active dialogue with administrators in Student Life.

    I will end with this: the national media’s perspective on Greek Life constantly negates to acknowledge all the good that comes from being member of a greek-lettered organization. The Stute shouldn’t follow suite. Instead, The Stute should recognize all the good that our local chapters do within the community, and acknowledge the immense amount of work and time that both Student Life and our local chapters have dedicated to banishing the media’s perspective of these organizations.

  • Yarden J. Elkaïm-Flatow

    Lisa, I’ll be the one to give whoever wrote this piece the benefit of the doubt, in that some people like to grossly exaggerate behind the veil of anonymity. I’ll take the liberty to assume that you didn’t write this and are posting it on behalf of someone with this, marked, opinion.
    To whomever harbors this angst, you need to broaden your feeble little mind. Anecdotal evidence is far from adequate grounds to extrapolate your shitty experience to a whole community of people. Writing this article makes you as bad as the people you wish to highlight.

  • Beezington

    You are entitled to your opinion but why don’t you take a step back,get off your high horse, and look at this objectively. Why do you have to care about how others conduct themselves or what their opinions are. If you don’t see eye to eye and don’t agree with them then keep on living your life and don’t let it affect you. Everyone is so wrapped up in being politically correct and get all bent out of shape over every single thing. Just grow up a little and stop throwing a fit over every “politically correct” issue under the sun. Also, lumping every single person affiliated with Greek life into one category is pretty harsh don’t you think? Try and be a little more unbiased next time you sit down to write a letter about whatever the next earth shattering issue you’re infatuated with. You are entitled to your opinion but just because you don’t see eye to eye with others doesn’t mean the way they conduct themselves is wrong.

  • AJ Kowal

    “Being bigoted and derogatory is wrong, so I’m gonna be bigoted and derogatory towards this whole community!”

    • Stephen Kowal

      I agree with you. When I was in Stevens a while back, even then I never seen, heard or experienced that at all.

  • Kristen Buglio

    Wow, this is really fucking closed minded and utterly bullshit. As someone(a female not in a sorority) who frequents the frats here I can say that I’ve never encountered this kind of environment at any of them. Hell, I was even rushing a frat(yes, a real frat, with a house and everything, yes, as a female) for a while until I decided to focus on my studies. So for anyone reading this don’t let some butthurt SJW freshmen ruin your experience at Stevens.

  • zoedahoey

    I feel the need to address this as a female. This article/letter/whatever you wanna call this is, for lack of better term, bullshit. My very best friends are members of Greek life (both female and male) at Stevens and I have rarely encountered such vulgarities in my three years here. For every shithead, there’s three great guys that are trying to be part of a community. Don’t lump a whole society in with one POS because he fucked you over

  • Mark Garrity

    It must be really easy to blindly attack the entire Greek community with wild, broad, and unfounded accusations. It’s even easier to do so anonymously. I’m sure that you have recently had a bad experience with a Stevens Greek, and I’m sorry about that. But I have no idea who you are, who you are accusing, or really any details about why you are so mad. If you are “an observant participant in the actions of fraternities” and actually have this strong of an opinion then you should have the stones to attach your name to that opinion. Also, you should have reached out to the head of one of these organizations with whatever the issue was and maybe they could have helped you solve it. Condemning the entire Greek Community anonymously over a Stute article is low. You are a coward.

  • ThinkTwice22

    Each Greek organization attracts different kinds of people – to place the entire Greek community under one umbrella is ignorant and slanderous. Perhaps there is an issue at one fraternity, or even just a few people in it.

    I’ve seen multiple fraternities at Stevens accept and embrace LGBTQ brothers/sisters and people from all races and backgrounds. In the same way that politically correct people preach to not judge the majority by the minority, you should not be judging an entire community by the bad actions of a few.

  • SkankHunt42

    Na you really are definitely good. Stay woke with being salty about not being invited to any of the parties. Plenty of these houses work hard and play hard. They rage and also serve the community so go sniff a smelly one for me

  • Henry Paul

    And in writing this article, you indicted the very behavior and “morals” you intended to defend.

  • Alex Bunny Divinsky

    “I am angered people will only ever see the effort the fraternity community at Stevens puts into masking their racist hazing activities with community service and philanthropy events.”

    – So, you’re making a claim about what happens inside a Greek house, even though it’s obviously clear you haven’t been involved with one, so can’t possibly know?

    – Fraternities and Sororities do A LOT for the academics of undergraduates. When I was an active member, our house held open study sessions and quiet hours during mid-terms and finals weeks. We brought in industry chemists (alumni) to teach chemistry, TAs and recitation teachers to teach calc, and so on. That’s *JUST* my house; I studied at a few other fraternities which had equally respectable environments for studying.

    – Fraternities and Sororities do A LOT for the local community. Fundraisers are held regularly for great causes (Theta Xi, for example, raises money for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis at a national level), and most have an officer dedicated to philanthropy. A lot of these events spread across campus and get the rest of the Stevens community involved.

    I also wanted to point out your following quotes, which I take personal issue with:

    “As a student at Stevens I can concur that being in a fraternity is a big waste of time, unless you’re interested in perpetuating racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior and actions”

    “I have arrived at the conclusion that Fraternities will continue to shelter the scum of our campus and therefore must be overhauled or removed.”

    Man, talk about a pot calling the kettle black. It sounds to me like you’re exactly the type of person Greeks work hard to keep out of the system. From your seething frustration, it sounds like they’ve done a good job.

  • Dawn M Mooney

    As a former faculty advisor for Theta Phi Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega, I can say with all certainty that this article/opinion piece is BS.

  • Joe Lee

    As an androgynous gay adopted Asian that’s faced many social stigmas out in the world, I can safely say that this article is biased and spiteful. When I didn’t receive a bid my first year and after my studies began to pick up afterwards, I didn’t have the time to pledge in my later years. But I was ALWAYS welcomed in EVERY fraternity & sorority… PSKies, Sigma Nu, Lodge, Delta, Phi Sig, Delta Phi, OPi, and I’m sure the others would have been just as welcoming. So as an actual member of the minority community, I reject this broad pessimistic image of Stevens Greek life because I know it to be UNTRUE and I know the members are GOOD people.

  • Nina Zalah Sanchez

    You realize that there’s a whole Stevens community of multi-cultural greek organizations right? So your #1 you have listed up there is just not true. Being a sorority alumna (c/o 2011) and married to a Latino fraternity alumnus (c/o 2012) I know his fraternity did not and would never tolerate what you are saying above. They were also governed by the morals of strong family values, health/wellness, friendship, and academics throughout their pledging process and into active/alumni life. Most multi-cultural greek organizations are founded from the roots of black greek lettered organizations – and they exist for various complex reasons; a lot of which tie back to identity and independence. Educate yourself because greek organizations are far more diverse and purposeful than your handful of experiences above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meDvvboUYgE

    I strongly believe that my husband and what he learned as a pledge, brother, dean, president, and member of his fraternity made him into the respectable and admirable man he is today. He values different opinions, he respects me as a woman and as his wife, he is aware of different cultures, and he holds all college students to a higher standard of academics and leadership. Oh, and the majority of his national brothers are actually gay (#4)

    And as for my sorority, we have had a large number of sisters are exchange students from Malaysia where over 60% of the population practices Islam (#2); and most of my sisters had best friends that never joined Greek life (e.g. I was in the wedding of a college friend non-sorority woman last year (#3)). The most beautiful thing about greek life is that you become friends and family with people you would have never met otherwise. You learn tolerance and acceptance; because of this strange social experiment of having the choice of picking your sisters/brothers.

    There are over 200+ national greek organizations with hundreds more of local non-national chapters – and there’s no way you can generalize ALL of us into your poorly written 3 paragraphs here.

  • Brett M Lipschultz

    Seeing opinions like this make me, as an alumnus of Stevens, question the direction of the university and the quality of people now being admitted into the university. It makes me also question whether I should continue to support the university. I sure don’t want my donations to support people’s scholarships who label entire diverse communities as “scum.” With the large amount of Greek Alumni donors in the Stevens community who donate vast sums each year, seeing Stevens lose that type of support would be devastating. Also I ask this person to look around the campus and see the names on the buildings. Some of those names are Greek Alumni. What will they think of being labeled “scum” too? Also when taking a “stand” like this, it takes a lot more guts to put a name behind your statements instead of just “trolling” which is what this letter is.

  • Calvin Chen

    I left Stevens for a variety of reasons, one of which being too many individuals in the community were ignorant, intolerant, and perpetuated shitty negative vibes in general. However, I never found this to be an issue specific to or concentrated in greek life. at all really. as someone who was involved with multiple frats I really am confused as to what kind of experience the writer is talking about. No one can discredit their points about the environment at Stevens being relatively conservative without a proper focus on social causes outside of environmentalism. That said, saying that something is bad because it is a waste of time is the most pointless argument you could make.

  • Sam Hyde

    “Firstly” isn’t a word, dummy.

    • Ashley Bromiley

      Yes it is?

  • Bryan Otis Long

    This is a rather interesting article to read as a former member of the Stevens’ Greek community and a person born of a multi-racial background (African-American, German, and Japanese). I believe the person that spent the time to anonymously submit this post has generalized the entire Greek community based on a few things that they observed; however, as history and the current political situation in the US has shown us it is a very bad practice to label an entire group of people with a limited understanding or inadequate research.

    While I was in my fraternity, we prided ourselves on being diverse as our membership included people from Russia, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Peru, Ecuador, The Philippines, Vietnam, America, and a ton of other countries from all over the world. Part of what unified these people and helped us recruit more of the same was our diversity of ethnicity as well as interests such as video games, sports, anime, music, and so forth.

    I have seen members of my fraternity help each other through depression, fiscal hardship (one of my fellow fraternity brothers loaned me $6,000 to finish up school), and even extreme moments such as helping one of our own that tried to take his own life. To label every member of past, present, and future Greek houses as a racist, bigot, or other derogatory term is short-sighted and insulting to all of the positive things these people do for others and themselves on a regular basis.

    It is not my place to give insights into other people’s lives, but several members of my fraternity pitched in and paid for the honeymoon for a close friend of the brotherhood because he and his wife did not have the funds to do so after paying for their wedding. The same racist, bigoted people you are describing shelled out thousands of dollars to send a Hispanic-American with no official affiliation and is Portuguese wife on a multi-thousand dollar honeymoon to Japan.

    Expressing your views as you chose to do above makes the radical and ignorant assumption that anyone you saw exhibiting this behavior only did so or does so because they are in a fraternity. However, as we can see in the world around us people who have these viewpoints have them regardless of what groups they are in.

    Also, the use of incentive language does not automatically make you a racist or deplorable person. If that were the case many great people and almost every average person who has used bad language would be inherently racist or deplorable. The power and malice in words stems from the context in which they are used and the intent for which they are used.

    The only valid and implied point in your statement is that the usage of certain vocabulary should not be used loosely or around everyone as it can be offensive. That being said, women sometimes jokingly call each other “b****” or two members of the same race may refer to each other using variant of a racial slur and in both cases people do not get up in arms. Lots of us have been angered and use harsh words to, but before broadly saying “if you said this, you must be that” you have to be mindful of your own implicit biases and potential hypocritical behavior.

    My big brother from my fraternity jokingly gave me a bucket of KFC, some watermelon, and a grape soda as a gift when I picked him. In return, I gave him a bag of rice. Outwardly both actions would be considered by you and those like yourself racist gestures, but I actually get along well with him, his younger sister, and other members of his family even after knowing each other for over a decade. I have even been to the home country of his parents, Vietnam, because of the appreciation I developed for the cuisine through years of interaction.

    Your overgeneralized assumptions ignore the fact that several fraternities have had gay brothers (one of our more active alumni is proudly gay), there are several multi-cultural organizations on campus, many Greek life members have physical disabilities (based on my fraternity – fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis) and mental disabilities (ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s, dyslexia, chronic depression).

    As for including religious minorities, a lot of fraternities make special accommodation to allow members of different religions to participate in events and be included in traditions. I am not sure which group you are demoting to being a religious minority, but at no point in my Greek career did we restrict who, what, when, or how people could worship. By interacting with different people of different faiths, a lot of us learned a lot about different cultural practices. I have been to a halal butcher to get meat that a Muslim brother would be able to eat when we had Thanksgiving. To support a brother that lost a family member several of us went to the funeral and pitched in money to have food delivered to and catered for the family.

    But you know what, even after reliving and thinking about four years of undergraduate Greek life and just a few of many amazing stories that helped me learn about different cultures and people, I guess I am still a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, vulgar, religiously intolerant “frat” boy.

  • Paz Efrat

    Wow! So you claim to have an issue with prejudice and hate, yet you just accused several entire groups of people of of some pretty serious things.

  • JavierKienzle

    I’m butthurt and everyone should know about it.

  • Typical K

    I’m sorry about your tendies.