By Victoria Cullinan
“Are you on the list?” was the brutally repetitive phrase that echoed throughout Union’s Frat Row this past weekend. With the passing of week five, the social policy that had prevented our freshmen class from being allowed at Greek functions was finally lifted. However, another rule requiring our names to be present on a guest list took its place. The primary goal of the list system is to limit the number of freshmen going to on-campus frats on the weekends in order to discourage first-years from drinking. However, from what I witnessed this past weekend, the use of lists seemed only to further stir agitation and discontent among us freshmen as well as upperclassmen.
The easiest way to be put onto one of these lists is to have an in with a member of the frat/sorority that you wish to enter. Students with older siblings or relatives are considered the lucky ones because they have the connections needed to get them in wherever they want to go. Also, freshmen students who play sports here are more likely to get into frats because they befriend upperclassmen through their teams. For the students who don’t have these connections, however, getting into frats is much more difficult. This makes the use of lists discriminatory, because it leaves students who don’t have a special connection at a disadvantage. It is a horrible feeling when you are on the list and one of your friends isn’t, putting you in a situation where you must decide between the two. Forcing students into these kinds of stressful situations isn’t fair. This weekend, many freshmen were left angry and disappointed when they were turned away from frats simply because their names were not on a piece of paper.
By the end of the night there is a high probability that friends will be separated and that students who are turned away will end up making poor decisions, like excessive dorm drinking. As a result of these policies, many freshmen have even been threatening to transfer schools. Of course, college shouldn’t only be about the social scene, but whether or not the weekend social opportunites are exciting and inclusive has a huge impact on first-year opinions.
The weekend should be a time when students have a chance to step back and relax from the stress of classes and homework after a long week. It is also a time when there are potential opportunities for us to get a taste of Greek life and to casually socialize with upperclassmen. The implementation of the list system has been a tease; it made our class think we could finally get to experience Greek life when, in reality, not everyone can. Instead of having a positive impact like it was designed to, the use of lists has, so far, only resulted in additional stress and feelings of rejection and disappointment among our class.