Greeks still stereotyped in all mediums (Opinion)

As I was driving back into town a month ago and nearing my exit on U.S. 127, I saw a sign displaying an advertisement for a local restaurant called La Senorita. The image was of what you would assume to be a fraternity gentleman in a toga, with a slogan referring to how La Senorita had better drinks than a frat party.

The sign is no longer up, but it left me with this thought and opinion on Greek stereotypes.

Today you can walk into any movie rental store (or find online) the following movies: “Legally Blonde,” “Animal House,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “House Bunny” and “Old School.”

What do all of these movies have in common?

They all give a theatrical representation of Greek life—and movies are not the only place you can find them. You can see it in books and television shows too.

“ABC Family” had a longstanding show called “Greeks.” According to its website, “Greeks” is an original series by creator Patrick Sean Smith, and is a “dramedy” set at the fictitious Cyprus-Rhodes University. The show focuses on the social minefield that is the Greek system.

Shows and movies like the ones mentioned above are fictitious and made to have unbelievable scenes so that the investors and directors can make a few bucks. They do not care about how they are perpetuating already longstanding stereotypes that sororities and fraternities on campuses around the U.S. have to break down.

I am not trying to say that Greeks don’t always fit into some stereotypes because there is always a percentage that does.

Do we drink and party? Yes—but don’t most college students?

Does hazing happen? Yes—though it is illegal at most universities, including CMU. We just witnessed Alpha Chi Rho’s suspension until the fall of 2014 for its alleged hazing incidents.

But that is not all of what Greek life encompasses.

Instead of getting your ideas and thoughts about Greek life from a movie, book or TV show, I urge you to sit down with an actual person involved with Greek life on this campus. Talk to them, get to know them, and take the first step in breaking down the walls between campuses, Greek life and negative stereotypes.