Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Enough About Greek Life

            Let me begin by saying that I think sorority rush is awful.  You know what else I think is awful?  Job interviews, astronomy lab, the New York Yankees.  In this incredible land of free speech, everyone is entitled to an opinion.  There are plenty of reasons to be against sorority rush, just as there are reasons to dislike just about anything.  The Emory Wheel has every right to publish an editorial denouncing recruitment, but that doesn’t make it good journalism.
            There are so many problems with Greek Life that are worth writing about, and the Emory Wheel never fails to cover the institution’s latest shortcomings.  It’s disappointing, however, to see such a lame and untimely editorial about an issue that has existed, largely unchanged, for years and years.  If this article was published in 2005, or even 1985, its relevance would undoubtedly be exactly the same.
            I’m tired of reading about old problems.  Emory treats Greek Life like the rest of the world treats, Israel vs. Palestine.  Instead of seeking solutions, we spend all of our time and energy articulating and rearticulating the same exact issues.  Just as no one is arguing that the situation in Israel is ideal, I don’t think anyone believes that Greek Life is perfect.
            The problem with The Wheel’s latest jab at sororities is that it’s weak.  The arguments are both unoriginal and stale.  The statements put forth were charged enough to elicit a response from the sorority women they offended, but lacked any sort of solution to improve the system.  If recruitment “disempowers women,” this editorial certainly did nothing to empower them.

            Humor me here; if the overwhelming sentiment is that Greek-Life is toxic, as The Wheel (not to mention the American media) continues to make it seem, then why haven’t we come up with something better?  I’m afraid it’s because we haven’t tried.  As much as I hate to say it, sometimes actions speak louder than words.  The fact of the matter is that The Wheel won’t change Greek Life, for better or for worse, at least not with editorials like this one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


            I’ve spent much of the last week collecting sheep, building roads, and making enemies.  Don’t worry; it’s not as crazy as it sounds.  We played in high school before basketball games, and apparently so does the Green Bay Packer’s offensive line.  The name of the game is Settlers of Catan.
            Think Monopoly meets Risk but shorter and more competitive.  Three or four players fight to collect resources, build settlements, and score victory points.  The result is about an hour of intense gameplay.  Rivalries emerge, as friendships are broken.  Negotiations and trickery are not only allowed, but encouraged.  Catan is no joke.
            Still, the mechanics of the game do not explain why I’ve forgone many a night out to sit around a coffee table and quarrel with my friends.  The allure of Catan is difficult to articulate.  It’s like a drug; exciting, entertaining, and highly addictive.  One taste of victory is usually all it takes to keep players coming back for more.
            In the past week alone, I’ve taught about half a dozen people how to play.  Throwing the old board game in my bag before my 10-hour drive to Atlanta may have been a last-minute decision, but apparently it was a good one.  Settlers has already become a staple in our household.

            Whether you’ve never played before in your life, you haven’t seen the board in years, or your latest conquest was just yesterday, Catan is definitely worth an hour of your time.  It doesn’t take a whole night to play.  It doesn’t take an expert to win.  It doesn’t take a nerd to enjoy.  Settlers of Catan is a game for everyone, so come by and play anytime.