It’s a Friday night, you’re texting your group chat about what your plans are for the night, and you’ve hit an impasse. Sure, you can go out to the bars, hitting 1020 and Mel’s towards the end of the night, but what will you do to pregame. There might be some parties in your dorm (most likely Carman) but those are a little blasé at this point. The beer pong and flip cup is definitively minor league, and you trust their jungle juice about as a far as you can throw it. Then suddenly it hits you. Just go to a frat party! Free alcohol? Check. Open flirting and a chance to score? Check. Absolutely zero responsibility for breaking things or messing up the place? Check.
The attempt to brush aside and minimize the presence of fraternity men on this campus is absolutely atrocious. When you want to “get turnt” on a weekend night, who is there for you with an open house and heart? We are. We slave away during the day, cleaning the place and mopping up, always trying to provide the best location for Columbia to have a good time. We spend hundreds of dollars for each party, gathering and organizing various types of alcohol, which is to be freely distributed to anyone thirsty during the event. We literally open up our homes to a wild throng of GDIs, out of the kindness of our hearts.
And what do we get in return? Harvard President Faust just recently obliterated the Harvard fraternity/eating club system, making our presence more and more tenuous. Who knows when President Bollinger will walk out of his Midtown apartment, look at his watch, and think “Huh, frats here don’t really do much. Maybe it’s time to get rid of them.” But did you know a fraternity throwing an open party and letting in guys is almost totally unheard of throughout the rest of America? Yeah, that’s right, all you men I see crowding my bathroom far removed from where you should be during one of the parties in my home. If we were any less virtuous, we’d be rejecting you alcohol-snatching GDIs from our stoop. But, because we want to give something to the Columbia community, we don’t reject a group because a guy with no relation to our fraternity wants to have a few drinks. You’re welcome.
This all leads me to my main point, that frat bros are the unsung heroes on this campus. Every time you need some easy pickings for a meme in Columbia Buy/Sell, we’re there for you. Whenever you need a symbol to focus your righteous anger regarding the patriarchy, we’re there for you. All those times you’re trying desperately to find free alcohol on a cold Friday or Saturday night, we’re there for you. And we ask almost nothing from you.
So next time you have your chance to sneak up the stairs and get at one of those off-limit upper bathrooms in the Beta house, just remember that you’re a nobody, but we make sure you have a fun time anyways. Is taking our alcohol, messing with our living spaces, and then making fun of us really the virtuous thing to do?
I look back upon the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. at these times, reminding myself that I, too, have a dream that Columbia will love us and respect us someday. Except Pike. Fuck Pike.
The author is a sophomore CC student studying the Classics, focusing on early Christianity and transitions in the Roman state. Playing Hardball At Columbia is a biweekly op-ed series on a variety of topics at Columbia. To respond to this piece or submit your own contact firstname.lastname@example.org.