Friday, September 26, 2014

Clemson Greek Life Controversy

Clemson Greek Life Controversy

Clemson Greek Life Controversy

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 02:09 PM PDT

As a sophomore Greek girl who loves nothing more than to go to a fraternity party, function, or mixer, I completely support the universities decision to indefinitely suspend fraternities. While I realize the hazing rumors are without evidence as of right now, the death of Tucker Hipps was during or in a close time period of a new member athletic training. While I am very disappointed that mountain weekends are cancelled(considering I just finished painting a cooler that costed around $150…) the university made this decision for our protection and benefit. As much as I love tailgating and frat lots, someone just lost their life, not to mention the numerous complaints of intoxication and sexual misconduct against fraternities in the past few weeks. Last week all IFC social events were suspended and we were warned that if there were any more complaints Greek life would go through a lot of changes. Early Monday morning, Tucker, a pledge, passed away.

While the incidents leading up to his death are unknown, even if he had passed due to causes COMPLETELY unrelated to Greek life, would it not be a good idea to suspend all Greek life events for a time period out of respect for losing a Greek family member? We are constantly reminded that Clemson is family. The Greek community is also a family and when one of us falls, all of us fall.
Students are concerned as to why they are suspended if their fraternity had nothing to do with any of the incidents within the past few weeks. However, this is an ignorant and selfish outlook. We just lost a family member, and yet, we are still concerned with the 10,000 dollars our organization might lose because mountain weekend is cancelled..

As of right now, I would like to encourage all those in Greek life to quit sharing articles criticizing the university's decision to suspend fraternities. It makes Greek students fit into the classic stereotype of over-privileged, selfish, and ignorant party kids who cannot make it through one weekend without thinking about getting drunk. However, I know most fraternity and sorority members do not fit that mold and are concerned with more than their social events. I understand that before this incident only a certain number of fraternities were being investigated. I also understand that the other fraternities are only innocent bystanders who are not also reaping the consequences of an unfortunate event. However, the weight of Tucker's death is heavier than losing social events.

I would also like to address comments like "Clemson is not a school without Greek life." I go to the best school in America not because of Greek life, but because of my family. We are rated the 3rd nationally for having the "happiest students" and 2nd for where students love their college according to the 2015 Princeton Review. Only 25% of students are in Greek life; therefore, that other 75% must love something about Clemson other than Greek life to receive these rankings. I genuinely believe Clemson is the best college on Earth and the only place I would ever want to go not because of Greek life, but because of the Clemson community. While I understand Greek life can have positives through philanthropies, the negative of losing a life will always have priority over any positive effects through Greek life. If not having Greek life would have saved Tucker's life so that he could live to graduate college, have kids, and grow old with his wife like the rest of us have the opportunity to do, wouldn't you want that for him even if it meant sacrificing social events?

Greek life can create an atmosphere where negatives like hazing, underage drinking, and sexual conduct can be easier to come into contact with because of the pledging system and easy access to large parties that can sometimes grow out of control. I understand that all of these issues are not just greek life problems, but college life problems, however, it is easier to have these problems when there are bigger parties involved. While I am a supporter of Greek life eventually returning to its previous state, there NEEDS to be changes to avoid these negatives. I love Greek life and I want our community to show that we do care about each other. That we do watch out for our friends. That the brothers do care about their pledges, and most importantly that losing a member of of Clemson Greek Life family is far more important than any social events that might be cancelled. The best way to regain control in this situation is to suspend all social activities until we can find a way to party, have fun, and do what college students do without long lasting consequences.

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Wounded Warrior Bike Ride on Cape Cod

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 12:57 PM PDT

Today the Wounded Warrior Project held a bike ride in Falmouth MA. Wounded soldiers rode modified bikes down the Falmouth Shining Sea bike path leaving North Falmouth and riding to Woods Hole. Unfortuntely they were supposed to then ride back to North Falmouth but it started raining so hard they had to call the ride and ended in Woods Hole. The photos were before the race.

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Journey is the destination

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 11:04 AM PDT

Winding road through a beautiful fall foliage..taken during a hike last fall at Harriman state park NY

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Oktoberfest 2014 - In with the Crowds

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 05:16 AM PDT

Munich, Germany - Oktoberfest draws a huge crowd daily, of not only tourist from across the globe, but locals who come to the Weisn for the fair like atmosphere. Here is a time lapse look of being one with the crowds.

Video by Matt Swinden

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Kulala Wilderness Reserve - Namibia

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 01:05 AM PDT

The beautiful Kulala Wilderness Reserve in Namibia.

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