September 21, 2018 | ° F

Targum social post seen as sensational, but not entire story


As Dan Corey suggested, I am writing to you directly rather than posting pettily on social media.

Is it so difficult understand the skepticism around the The Daily Targum's reporting on fraternities and sororities? I agree with you that the initial report filed was not sensational, but the tone of Dan Corey's op-ed worries me. He acts like a victim, as if the reaction is unreasonable and surprising. As student journalists, you know better than most how poorly greek life has been portrayed in the media this year. Recent scandals (University of Virginia, Oklahoma University, etc.) have cast a poor light on the community, and its members are naturally sensitive to negative media coverage.

Many readers have made sweeping generalizations about greek life in reaction to these stories. Greek life at Rutgers in particular is a large and diverse community. Not all greeks fit the same mold when it comes to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other characteristic. This is especially true at a school like ours which has 86 recognized chapters. When members of the media generalize greeks, it alienates many and puts them on the defensive. It is not right, even when directed toward supposedly "privileged" and "elitist" students. Prejudice is not exclusive to any community.

So once again, I think you are right. Readers' reaction to the Targum's initial post was reactionary and sensational. In my opinion, however, it is irresponsible to ignore the current climate in greek culture. Vilification by the media has created a paranoid and xenophobic greek culture in America, the effects of which are being felt at the University.

How absurd is it, that a pretty harmless post about emergency vehicles led to a sensational reaction, to a supposedly sensational article? It is really unfortunate that there is such a disconnect between the greek community and other students communities. I think it is a result of preconceptions, stereotyping, generalization and hypersensitivity going both ways.

Matthew Klein is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in classics.


Matthew Klein

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