When Grandma Linton introduced me to her friends last weekend and told them I attended USC, I was mortified by their response: “Isn’t that the school where people had sex on the building?”
It seems recent high-profile scandals at USC have tainted what it means to be a Trojan — but even more concerning is that some students don’t seem to care.
As a freshman spring admit, I spent all last fall imagining life at USC, and it was an idealized image I desperately wanted a taste of.
Now that I’m finally here, I’m disappointed in what I’ve seen.
Recent incidents have gone against the values of the Trojan family, a notion that carries heavy weight when students choose USC over other universities.
Sex in public? Moreover, on a roof that looks like you’d fall right through it if you weren’t skilled in scaling buildings? Not to mention the disgusting email that was blatantly misogynistic, racist and just plain crude.
Monday, as I was marching with other students around Tommy Trojan in protest of the university’s inadequate response to the viral email, I noticed countless students, both men and women, walking past us, laughing and pointing.
I found myself wondering if others actually find this all funny.
Later that day, for example, when I walked into class and excused myself for coming in late because of the protest, another student said, “This whole thing is being blown out of proportion. It’s just a joke. Chill out.”
I refuse to “chill out,” and I am disheartened any students would think this is the appropriate response.
Those speaking out against the email aren’t targeting Kappa Sigma, nor are they trying to shine a negative light on Greek life.
Instead, they are protesting a culture in which phrases such as “women are targets” are deemed funny and in which non-consent and rape are supposedly two different things.
Phrases like “tooting it and booting it” and that mindset create a cyclical monster of vacuity. Where did the meaning go? The respect?
This might seem like beating a dead horse, and chances are most students would prefer this issue died down so they can move on with their lives in blissful ignorance.
But before that can happen, we must examine our own ideologies and question if this culture of ours is acceptable, and if not, how we can change it.
I love USC. But the current negative atmosphere seems to permeate everything I do these days, and that’s definitely not what I expected when I got my acceptance letter.
If anything, we can consider this situation an opportunity for the student body to collaborate with the university to address the issues that have affecting our campus.
The student body needs to stop being so divided over this issue.
On one hand, you have upset feminists such as myself. On the other hand, you have the apathetic students who don’t really see the importance of the issue.
We will make no progress if I turn my nose up at those who don’t agree with me, just as nothing will be accomplished if those who are apathetic scoff at students, such as myself, who are speaking out.
We’re all being presented with a unique chance to revive the Trojan Family we hear of so often. Right now, I certainly don’t feel as if this is a family.
I’m in to fix this. Are you?
Mellissa Linton is a freshman majoring in English literature