More exams, inequity in the classroom, Grecian news, and coffee backpacks

4:00 exams are still going strong. (Mechanics wasn’t too pretty–it’s a tough class, but we’ll get there eventually.) I’m pretty confident in my Economics exam. And Calculus is this Thursday–oh, boy, that’s tomorrow, isn’t it. Time flies.

Speaking of the Economics exam. Ah, don’t sit in the front row if you can help it. Pfft. I literally had about four more words to write to finish my sentence–and the TA quite literally just yanked the paper out of my hands. Ya wanna talk economics? The people in the back got to finish writing! Unfair distribution of resources! (Which is inequity, by the way, equity being fair distribution. Ha.) Anyway, I’m still confident in the rest of my answers. (Also, there was a question about Hamlet. GO, ENGLISH SKILLZ. although if you read the cover page of the exam, the answer was like. right there.)

On a more serious topic, there has been an incident within Lehigh’s Greek life recently–I’m hesitant to write about the topic, but alas, the subject matter is quite important to me.

One of the fraternities was recently charged with several counts of misconduct; there’s an update here. Included in the report is what I believe has been a repeated occurrence of direct negative bias toward non-heterosexual people–reports mention a “chant” used as a drinking song or drinking game that, from my observation, seemed to imply the member was gay if he did not drink along, or something to that effect; the report isn’t terribly clear on the specifics.

As president of Spectrum, and as an LGBT-identified person myself, this is particularly alarming. Despite that Lehigh’s Greek life is taking wonderful steps forward–Greek Allies is gaining momentum and support, and the president of one of the sororities has organized a Pride Walk (like a pride parade) around campus in order to garner support and show LGBT involvement in Greek life, which will be awesome–there is still discriminatory bias here. It still happened. From the reports, I personally do not think concluding that multiple members of this fraternity participated in this behavior over a longer period of time is unreasonable; people have reported this chant/song is sung on chapter members’ birthdays and other notable occasions, so it is not a once-or-twice problem. No reports of members standing up against it, or feeling comfortable standing up against it, have surfaced yet except for the report from the anonymous student who initially notified the police. I feel an implicit trust has been broken here, and as it’s impossible to tell who engaged in the chant and who did not, I’m quite perplexed when faced with what my appropriate reaction is or should be.

This isn’t a lost case, though. Phi Kappa Theta, I strongly encourage and welcome you to reach out to the LGBTQIA+ community and resources here on campus and elsewhere. I cannot speak for everyone, but I believe many of us are willing as ever to spread awareness of these issues–LGBTQIA+ folk are your fellow students, your friends, your family, possibly your fellow brothers, and that is never something to be ashamed of or ridiculed. Diversity of all kinds should be celebrated; I hate that this opportunity for contact arises from such an awkward incident, but I do believe we can all use this to build better, stronger bridges than before.

And to end on a lighter note, I need a new coffee mug. I bike all over campus, so I put my coffee in my backpack’s side pocket most of the time, but then… of course, I forget it’s there, throw my backpack on the floor/couch/my bed/etc., and it spills all over the books and papers in my backpack. My backpack has a nice smell of Starbucks’ Pike Place Medium Roast now, to which I do not completely object, but so does half my calculus homework, which is now stained a nice, delicious walnut color. -siiiigh-

Pacing Break is almost upon us. Keep at it, folks. You’re almost there!


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