Michael Locke

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Medium's mockery uncalled for

I think it is appropriate for me to diverge from my normal topic of conversation for just a little while this week. If you have been following my column throughout this school year, you know I am obviously a member of the greek community here at the University. Furthermore, I am a member of the Rutgers Interfraternity Council, which is a board of greek leaders who coordinate the efforts, philanthropies, goals and other events related to the fraternity community here on campus. In the past several years, the IFC has worked very diligently to become a stronger and more respectable greek community. My articles in this column over the past several months have been written in the hope that non-greek students and faculty realize the merits of fraternity life and the strides we have taken at the University to alter our image to reflect our actions.


Hazing in historical perspective

With finals just around the corner, every student on campus seems to be entering the busiest part of the school year. This is probably the most exciting time of the year for most of us, and it is my personal favorite. But a tragic event that occurred more than three years ago and over 3,000 miles away recently resurfaced in the national media, further tarnishing the good name greeks around the country have desperately been trying to repair.


Reducing stress through service

Every year, it seems that the busiest non-academic part of everyone's semester is also right around the time midterm exams begin piling up, paper deadlines approach, lab reports must be compiled and stress levels rise through the roof. For the fraternity men and sorority women at the University, the beginning of spring brings with it the Rutgers Dance Marathon, which is predominantly supported by the efforts of greeks, the Interfraternity Council's Spring Service Week, which is a week of non-stop service and philanthropy events, and the culminating weeks of most executive officers' tenures. However, you don't have to be in a fraternity or sorority to know that this time of year taxes the mind and drains the body. Powering through it all is the only way to succeed but there are plenty of ways to reduce your stress levels, balance your chi and survive these pre and post-spring break weeks of insanity.


Why greeks are better students

The Rutgers Interfraternity Council has recently voted to approve its own student stimulus package. This package includes $2,500 worth of scholarships for worthy University students, both greek and non-greek. Never before has there been such an outpouring of support from the greek community to reach beyond the walls of our individual chapters and offer a tangible reward to students who deserve recognition for their service to the community and record of academic excellence.

Columnist Michael Locke

The greek dichotomy

As you have probably figured out by now, my purpose in writing this column is to elaborate on the themes, missions, attitudes and cultures of the various greek organizations at the University. In previous weeks, I have discussed some of the great opportunities that greek life offers its members and the community at large. These opportunities extend far beyond the greek community and help create positive impacts in the general student population, the larger University community and the New Brunswick/Piscataway communities. Students from all campus constituencies benefit from the events, service projects, student activism and cultural awareness programs that greek organizations and greek students organize and host.


What are you rushing into

With a new semester comes a new recruitment season for Rutgers fraternities and sororities. For the first-year students who have had a semester to settle into college life and adjust to new schedules, now is the time to check out greek life and make an informed decision. For most people, greek life on campus is a big mystery. You might attend some parties, have a few friends who are brothers or who are thinking about pledging, but if you are like most people you never considered the reasons for checking out fraternities and sororities at Rutgers.


Despite criticism, greeks thrive

The fraternal experience at Rutgers is an often overlooked or misunderstood facet of campus life when observed by those outside the greek system. Fraternities on campus retain some secrets, but many of the activities that greeks organize and in which they participate are very public. It is therefore quite disconcerting to know that many students, faculty members and administrators retain an old fashioned view of fraternity men and sorority women that no longer predominates greek life in North America, and it certainly no longer exists at Rutgers University.


The election is over ... now what

By the time you read this, the votes will be in, the public will have spoken, the nation will have seen the most historic (and longest) election season in modern U.S. history come and go. That is, assuming the chads aren't still hanging, the votes have all been counted, and the hundreds of dead people from Ohio who somehow vote each year haven't caused too much controversy. But those issues aside, the new president will have quite a bit of cleaning up to do once he takes the oath and sits down for his first meeting in the Oval Office.


Forget the economy: the election itself has been a failure

There are so many things about this election season that should bother people, but no one seems to notice that our candidates as well as our national media have taken our attention away from the really important issues. We have become so inundated with reports of our failed economy and which tax plan will save all the average Joes that no one is talking about the bigger picture. Yes, taxes and economic recovery are very important, but the office of the president is not meant to direct economic or tax policy. In every presidential election the candidates promise tax cuts of some sort, and the American people jump at the chance to save a percent or two at the end of the year. These promises rarely, if ever, become reality; however, we soon forget about campaign promises as quickly as we've forgotten about the Rev. Wright and Charles Keating and as rapidly as people discarded their American flags when they went out of style.


The pledge selection process

With September behind us, the Rutgers community has comfortably returned to its normal routine. For the greek community at Rutgers, this routine inevitably focuses much of its attention on recruitment. All campus organizations must recruit in order to replace the loss of valuable graduates who once were crucial to the daily operations of the team, club or society. Perhaps it is this relatively rapid turnover that allows student organizations to progress at a rate far beyond that seen in commercial, political and other sectors. It isn't hard to discover the roots of this rapid progress. Unlike corporations, governments and even universities, the leadership of campus organizations is constantly in flux. These changes bring fresh ideas to the table and allow for a much more rapid integration of these new ideas than would otherwise be possible.

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