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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

I heard through the Greekvine that the Greek community needs a makeover. Apparently some silly television show filled with sex and sex and beer - oh my! - bruised their peach-like reputation. I put together some slogans for them. Here's my top sorority slogan: "To-ga, to-ga, to-gather under the bonds of sisterhood is a wonderful idea." It says, "We're a little formal, but we're here for the party, too." They can thank me later.

This "silly" television show cleverly named "Greek" on the ABC Family network has come under intense scrutiny by members of the (surprise!) Greek community for their supposedly inaccurate and negative portrayal of sororities and fraternities. An article in Monday's Alligator described the controversy, and Christine Bainer, president of UF's Delta Delta Delta Sorority, and Michelle Shimberg, international president of Delta Delta Delta and a former member of UF's chapter, spoke out against the show's stereotypical depiction.

I did a little research and watched the show. I make it a point to be thorough. I also wanted to mock what I assumed to be a cross between "Dawson's Creek" and "One Life To Live." A little side note - on a corny scale of one to 10, one being sincerely enjoyable and 10 being cringe-worthy, shows aired on ABC Family usually rank about a nine.

As I watched this near cringe-worthy show where the acting made Paris Hilton look like an Oscar-caliber actress, I felt enlightened. I knew I had the solution to mend the fences between ABC Family and Greeks across the United States. OK, ready for my golden words? "Greek" is, get this, fictional! Remember when Laura married Luke, her rapist, on "General Hospital"? Yeah, sorry to break it to you, but that was fictional too.

We all like to make the members of the Greek community out to be villains, but I agree ABC Family exaggerated the negative aspects of Greek life. It's entertainment, though. What do they expect? As much as group studying and leadership activities make for great plotlines, I think ABC Family opted to go the other way.

As for Greeks - stop acting like ABC Family hit you with a below-the-pledge-pin punch. We all know you'd love to hold an image comparable to a Make a Wish Foundation with a keg, but you really haven't earned that right either. I'm not trying to turn the tables here. I'm just shifting them slightly.

I see your giving and role-model potential, but many times it's masked by your superficial, discriminating, holier-than-Tim-Tebow behavior. As someone who experienced sorority recruitment firsthand, I'm going out there on limb, jumping into a pit of rabid dogs and saying appearance is heavily weighted in the process. Inside sources say that as admission standards go up, looks go down among recruits. You can fight me all you want on the subject - I'm a certified red belt though - but we all know the truth, and sorority recruitment means Judgment Day is upon you. I'm pretty sure when you enter a sorority you don't take a vow of celibacy. And pledging in fraternities doesn't involve volunteering at local alcohol abuse centers.

But this isn't a Greek-blasting session. I enjoy Greek people. Some of my good friends are Greek. Being Greek doesn't make you a worse or better person.

Maybe I don't have a winning slogan on my hands. But I do have some advice. Note to the Greek community: ABC Family didn't start a holy war against you. We know you're trying to uphold your purer-than-glacial-water image, but try being honest for once. And everyone else prone to criticizing the Greek community - grab the nearest Greek and take a long, judgmental, comparative look in the mirror. You might find you're both human.

Stephanie Rosenberg is a junior majoring in journalism.

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