Memes on Greek Life Rely on Hurtful Stereotypes

In the midst of the attacks on social sororities and fraternities on campus through memes, supporters of Greek life have vigorously defended the organizations. Christine Workman, Director of Student Engagement and campus-based Greek advisor, is an advocate of Greek life, but meme trash talking makes it difficult to focus on the positives linked to sororities and fraternities she so passionately describes.

“The Greek Community at McDaniel College is vibrant and active group representing almost 18% of the undergraduate population, with organizations who have been on campus since 1920,” Workman states.

Are you failing classes? Do you think you are good at everything? Are you truly a complete douchebag? Do you party like a complete pussy? Then rush Phi Delta Theta!

“In the 2010 year fraternities and sororities donated over 4,000 hours of community service and raised close to $40,000 in philanthropic funds.”

If you’ve fucked every guy on campus, you look like an oompa loompa, and you wear tight ass pants, welcome to Phi Sigma Sigma.

“I want to focus on the amazing work of the fraternities and sororities at McDaniel College, and not focus on anonymous comments that threaten or harm students.”

If you’re dumb, ugly, fat or gay and no other sorority will take you. . . Join Phi Alpha Mu.

“I am proud to be involved with the Greek Community at McDaniel College and am constantly amazed by their dedication and involvement in the campus community.”

Attention Greek Life: Stop hating on each other. We are all the same. Except the Phi Kapps… Those fuckers are weird.

The juxtaposition of Workman’s hard evidence and sunny outlook on Greek life and the crude, harsh statements made by McDaniel students raises an interesting question: To what extent should our opinions about Greeks be altered by memes?

Workman may speak positively, yet it is apparent from the 100 pages of memes on the date of publication, many of which are directed at sororities and fraternities or even their specific members, that some students simply don’t agree.

So where should we stand?

If we fully operate in the anonymous, online world of memes, then obviously the school only consists of hipster smokers who don’t wear shoes, athletes who can’t spell, and Greeks who wake up every single morning feeling like P. Diddy. President Casey has done nothing for us; Christine Workman’s opinion is void, and we should probably all transfer before we spiral into an abyss of depression over how awful Spring Fling was.

It’s apparent that those who are painting a picture of McDaniel with memes are using colors that are a few shades too dark.

In fact, many members of Greek life seem to feel that the memes have created a caricature so unrealistic that they either deserve no attention or should be welcomed as a joke.

“Haters make us famous,” explains sophomore Christine Jubinski, a member of Phi Alpha Mu. “We really just blew most of them off.”

Greek organizations seem to maintain this reaction even when memes accuse members of crime rather than being “backstabbing bitches” or “drunk sluts.”

One of the more startling memes, for example, says, “Pledge Phi Delt, receive lifetime supply of Rohypnol.”

The accusation of rape creates an image that, if taken seriously, would probably leave the Phi Delt house pretty empty on weekends and cause an onslaught of feedback from its members. An anonymous member of Phi Delta Theta claims, however, that he and his brothers found the meme ridiculous rather than offensive.

“It seems like a lot of jealousy to me,” he explains. “The fact that someone is willing basically to claim that we use roofies to explain how we get girls is laughable to us.”

Memes became hard to ignore or laugh off, though, when “Did you see the new one?” morphed into “Did you see the one about her?”

Kaitlyn Kivi, a freshman who just pledged Phi Mu this semester, thought the memes were funny when they were general complaints about the school and attempted to take them in stride when her new sisterhood began popping up on the website. It was when the attacks became personal that Kivi could no longer brush them off.

After posts that Kivi is the “fakest freshman around,” one meme asserted that the creators of the memes about her were Phi Mus themselves.

Kivi admits to taking offense to the claim, yet she maintains, “Phi Mu is the best decision I have ever made, and I hope others can see the strength and longevity of our sisterhood.”

The idea that memes have only strengthened the bond between members of sororities and fraternities further supports that the rest of the school should not take memes seriously or have a large bearing when we form opinions on Greek life.

After scrolling though page after page, though, it becomes apparent that some of these claims were formed long ago and reflect age-old McDaniel stereotypes.

As the anonymous Phi Delt aptly states, the memes “directed at all the fraternities and sororities are based on people’s misconceptions about ‘frat boys’ and ‘sorority sluts.’”

While it is a fact that the memes will eventually become less popular, there is no certainty that the stereotypes that fuel them will lessen anytime soon.

McDaniel is in a time of transition, and this year has been one of great change on campus. The memes signal that renovations to Glar are not the only changes we need to make. As the year closes, it’s time for the student body, especially those who made claims about Greek life or any other aspect of McDaniel, to reevaluate and form opinions based upon an honest appraisal rather than a borrowed stereotype.

3 Comments on "Memes on Greek Life Rely on Hurtful Stereotypes"

  1. great article! I'm really glad someone had enough courage to write about this and approach greek life about it. good job

  2. The Phi Kaps are kind of weird

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