Frat-Houses and My Money

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To the editors of Western Kentucky University’s College Heights Herald:

I’m no Greek. I’m an American. And in the America, I grew up in, if you want a nice house to live in, that’s great, but you pay for it yourself. Heck, my grandfather built his own house. And I think a Greek Village is a great idea. Two reasons: Most of the people who like the Greeks are Greeks, so let them be as together and communal as they want to be. Second: Most of the people who aren’t Greeks don’t much care for them. Reasons vary. I fall into the group that doesn’t care for the party lifestyle that characterizes Greek life. Still there are others who find it comic to pay for friends. Also there is a faction of people who take offense when the see the T-Shirt slogan “We aren’t cocky. We’re just better than you.” There are many other reasons. But none of the people who don’t like Greeks want to be around the Greeks all the time. We’d rather the Greeks stay in a Greek Village. The principle is similar to a medical quarantine.

There have also a few falsehoods circulating, which concern the Greek Village. The first one, as far as I know, originated from President Gary Ransdell when he said that Western just paid “$40 million for 30 percent of our students.” This is a lame way of covering up an even wilder scheme. He, of course was referring to the 30 percent of students who currently live in dorms. I don’t live in a dorm, but I used too. The two guys I live in an apartment with also used to live in a dorm. Far more than 30 percent of students at Western live in a dorm at one time or another. The $40 million to fix up dorms helps every student who doesn’t commute every year. And this is a vast majority of freshman, hence a vast majority of the student body. Next, anyone who wants can go to a football game, basketball game etc. Students get in free. And there may be lines at Preston but everyone is equally welcomed to use the facility. However, not everyone is welcomed to join a fraternity. You have to “measure up” to their standards. You have to be “cool” or whatever it is they think. You have to be picked. And you have to pay extra. Western doesn’t pay for students to be in fraternities. Fraternities aren’t run by Western. They do their own thing. Which is fine. Let them do their own thing. Or if they choose, let them do a University thing. It doesn’t which they do, as long as its one or the other.

So here is what the whole thing boils down to. If they want Western to pay for their housing then they should adhere to Western rules concerning things like alcohol, checking guests in to their living quarters, room checks, parking passes, and of course the financial obligation to paying somewhere between $1000 and $1500 per semester to Western (as does everyone else who lives in housing that Western has paid for), then that will be just great. Build more dorms. Call it the “Greek Village.” Call it “Partyland.” I don’t care what its called. It’s just another dorm. But it seems to me that the movement is to finance up-scale houses for a small minority of students with money paid by every person who pays to get an education here, whether they can participate in Greek organizations or not. And that is just wrong. Wrong is the only word to describe it.

And if the proposal goes through, it will be because our President, who usually does a good job, is a former SAE who wants to give his “brothers” a big gift – bought and paid for by you and me.

Nathan Smith