Slow down, it’s not a rush

JULIAN WYLLIE | jwyllie@butler.edu | Opinion Editor

According to Butler’s student handbook, freshmen weren’t supposed to enter Greek houses until Sept. 8.

Nevertheless, plenty freshmen still found a way in, parties ensued, and no immediate harm was done.

If this is the case, should the university bother to enforce the rule at all?

In my opinion, they should, but students will have to be part of the solution going forward.

On one end, our student body is invested in the Greek system–more than most universities in the nation.

38 percent of Butler students are in a fraternity or sorority house, which is a higher percentage than Purdue’s 20 percent or Villanova University’s 25 percent, according to US News & World Report profiles of each university.

Still, the rules are in place to help incoming freshmen, not hurt them.

Becky Druetzler, Director of Greek life for Butler, said new students need time to acclimate to college life as a whole.

“Several years ago, the university convened an alcohol task force to look at several aspects of student life,” said Druetzler.

The committee was comprised of the former Dean of Student Life, Irene Stevens, and the current Dean of Student Services, Sally Click.

Faculty, staff, unaffiliated students and members of the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association were also on the panel.

“The idea of having a delayed visit to chapter houses,” Druetzler said, “was the suggestion of a student who was Greek.”

The rationale behind the suggestion was based on three issues.

For starters, there’s an onslaught of new students who come to Butler’s campus expecting parties every weekend.

Secondly, chapter houses are homes. They’re not eternal “party houses” for people to exploit.

And finally, new students should not be rushing to enter Greek houses.

From the university’s standpoint, a lot of time and effort is invested in Welcome Week programming, and that should be the focus.

The point is to help freshmen settle into Butler.

As a result, the policy restricting freshmen from entering Greek houses until the first full week of classes was implemented in 2011, according to Druetzler.

In hindsight, I think the policy is well intentioned and it generally fulfills its goals.

Junior Evie Schultz, president of Delta Gamma at Butler, also said she agrees with the policy.

“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “It gives students the chance to look at other opportunities on campus besides Greek stuff.”

Nonetheless, she said new students at smaller campuses may have a harder time finding their niche.

Without question, Greek organizations can provide a stable support system to those who want it.

If so, it may seem counterintuitive to hold freshmen back.

Despite the initial barriers, freshmen should remember that Greek life isn’t going anywhere; it’s actually getting stronger.

There’s no reason to rush into anything. Take the time to explore every facet of campus that fits your interests.

If Greek life is what you want to pursue, go after that with all your might, but remember there are plenty of other ways to stay involved at Butler.

In the end, all of the responsibility to manage incoming students should not be in the hands of Greek house officials and members. That isn’t fair at all. New students should respect the Greek houses for what they’re truly intended to be, homes for those who love and cherish their brotherhood or sisterhood.

This is coming from a person who has never been interested in pledging at all.

The truth is you don’t have to be affiliated in order to understand. A bit of empathy is all we need.

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