Student body should not be ashamed of ’SC

I am by no means a defender of fraternities. I am not a member of a fraternity. In fact, I hardly ever find myself on The Row.

With that said, however, the anger and insults directed at the entire fraternity system is overwhelmingly frustrating.

More than 35,000 students attend USC.

Julia Vann | Daily Trojan

The campus attracts more international students than any other American institution for higher education.

And the university continues to climb in national rankings.

Clearly, we have a lot going for us, and our progress seems to be continuing.

But does that mean we are completely immune to incidents that might attract bad press?

Not at all.

Admittedly, most of the media coverage of USC in recent weeks has been negative.

Still, incidents involving a few students are not, and never will be, a reflection of the university as a whole.

By no means do I condone the content of the viral email linked to a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

I also do not think it is right for another member of the same fraternity associated with the email to climb to the top of Waite Phillips Hall for his sexual exploits.

Still, our own student population has blown these two occurrences out of proportion.

The best, and only, way to get past these issues is to deal with the individuals involved — not condemn the entire student body.

The Interfraternity Council took the correct actions by punishing involved students, but the larger USC student body and the media have chosen to make sweeping generalizations about the Greek community as a whole.

That most of the student body feels a sense of embarrassment at our school and its administration is a cringeworthy thought.

I am most definitely not embarrassed to be connected to the USC student population.

I am a proud member of the Trojan Family, and I think it is about time we all stop bad-mouthing ourselves and once again operate as a single, symbiotic entity.

When USC alum O.J. Simpson murdered his wife and got away with it, did the Trojan population suddenly lose faith in the school?

Did students go around saying, “I told my friends I went to USC and they asked me, ‘Isn’t that the school where people learn how to get away with murder?’” No.

When Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy revoked, did we all suddenly lose faith in our university? No.

Most likely, life at USC went on as usual.

Yet here we are, squabbling about the awful and indecent nature of our Greek system, as well as our entire student community.

Why is it these immensely more public issues failed to create such a stir within the USC community?

Do sports not carry as much weight as Greek social life?

In the same way, does violence not matter as much as sex?

I would like to ask the members of the recent protests regarding these incidents a question: Why do you insist on holding the masses responsible, when individuals are creating the problem in the first place?

Frankly, it’s a waste of time to wallow in self-pity for three weeks, angrily discussing just how awful and scandalous all USC students are, when the individuals responsible were already punished for their actions.

Choosing to label every Greek student as a misogynist is just another example of convenient stereotyping to send a message.


David Morris is a sophomore majoring in English (creative writing).

10 replies
  1. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    To be honest, the protests make me wonder: Was there so much protesting because of the nature of the incidents or because they involved the Greek community?
    From the day I came to USC, I have seen the greek/non greek division. When something happens at SC, it seems that the incident is always worse when Greeks are involved. I wonder if all of these protests would have happened if it was a non greek member.
    I understand the desire to protest and show your support against the misogyny and sexism because I feel the same way in some aspect but placing blame on a segment of the population at USC because you finally have to chance to “stick it to the greeks” is childish and goes against the Trojan Spirit. What should have happening is that those who felt a need to petition and protest should have collaborated with the greek community to make a difference instead of making all greeks look like the enemy. There should have been no right or wrong side and there should have been no finger pointing (direct or indirect) What there should have been was unity.
    I support the reasons why students stood up for their beliefs but I don’t support the message it sent and that it placed fault on fellow Trojans who have done nothing wrong.
    I love my school and my Trojan brethren, I’m just saddened by the fact that many did not think to love their fellow greek system Trojans enough to give them a voice and be a family instead of taking their family status away.

    • Eric Ambler
      Eric Ambler says:

      While I can’t speak for the intentions of all the individuals involved, I attended the protest at Tommy Trojan and in no way did it single out greeks, nor were greeks excluded from participating. In fact, members of the greek community were in attendance and took advantage of the open mic to share their feelings on the recent scandals. Furthermore, the petition singled out the perpetrators of the e-mail for punishment and called for collaboration with IFC in encouraging general measures for a safer campus. I am at loss to understand where anyone’s basis for claiming a specifically “anti-greek” reaction is coming from.

      I think what really makes people so upset is the lack of transparency in the disciplinary action. Just an investigation by the national fraternity? Seems like a huge conflict of interest to me. The truth is that this type of behavior could have occurred within any other university-affiliated group – an athletic team, an academic club, the radio station, whatever – and the administration hammer would come down. If anyone is angry at greeks it is not because they are greeks – it is because, apparently, they are treated differently than the rest of the student body.

  2. Upset Trojan Alum
    Upset Trojan Alum says:

    Dear Daily Trojan,
    I truly appreciate and admire your bold initiative in comparing recent Kappa Sigma events to other notable tragedies in USC history. However, I feel you did not press the issue enough. As we all know, OJ Simpson very likely got away with double-homicide after brutally murdering his wife and a male acquaintance of hers. While this event might seem horrific and inexcusable on the surface, it is nothing in comparison to the viral email forwarded to Kappa Sigma and the consensual public sex incident. Kappa Stigma (as they shall forever now be proclaimed) has truly left a unyielding stain on our great university that may never be removed. Some may argue that Kappa Stigma has received an undeserved amount of tabloid-centered publicity surrounding these two incidents but I rebuke these unwarranted claims. It is important for these fringe naysayers to understand how new media and new journalism works. Getting your information from Facebook, twitter, and anonymous blogs is universally accepted as credible now; in fact, we must all realize that producing other primary sources to back up your claims are passé in new journalism and show signs of weakness in the journalist, who shouldn’t need to refer to anyone else in clarification of the issue. No, new journalism is welcomed as a valid medium, and I stand tall in defense of DT and any other amateur “journalism” sites striving to publish what they are sure the readers want to read.

  3. Meg
    Meg says:

    The pride you have for the university makes you the perfect person to help make it a better place! Who else but a proud trojan could be totally committed to making sure misogyny doesn’t perpetuate here? It takes school pride to give up all that time and effort to educate oneself and investigate whether or not there are systematic problems that enable individuals to behave as they do. Only someone who is totally invested in protecting their school’s reputation would make sure the university’s policies and actions are consistent with trojan values, like the equal value of all genders, races, classes, sexualities, etc. Anything we proud trojans can do to make the university a safer place, the more people we’ll have to share our pride!

    Gee, maybe you and the protesters have more in common than you thought…

  4. Eric Ambler
    Eric Ambler says:

    When there is behavior as inappropriate and disgusting as the two Kappa Sig incidents that took place at USC, would you rather your fellow Trojans stand up quickly and denounce it, or ignore it and justify their position with unearned, self-satisfying comments about their inherent superiority? I am proud of the students and faculty who have participated in all the debates and demonstrations in the past month. Quite frankly, I would be ashamed if there WASN’T a response from the campus community, if we were all content to let this blow over when it’s a perfect time to examine some deep-seated cultural issues at USC. Isn’t that what education is all about?

    God forbid we should keep attempting to improve our university and demand that all Trojans treat each other with dignity and respect. As an alum and an employee, this op-ed makes me feel embarrassed – it’s the equivalent of a bored cop saying “Move along, nothing to see here” as you walk by a flaming six-car pileup.

    • George
      George says:

      Well said. It’s about time people actually give a damn about anything around here instead of just looking beyond it.

      Come on, David, do some critical thinking. Yes, these are isolated instances, but it verifies what people have seen before. If you think these can’t possibly represent any sort of sentiments in the system, your thinking is well on its way to superficial at best.

  5. Rich Salas
    Rich Salas says:

    Seems there is a group of people who want everyone to be ashamed all the time. This group of people are not happy unless they are complaining, crying, whining, or in a state of “offended”. Thye need to toughen up, stop with the “victum” menatlity, and mind their own faults.

  6. proud trojan
    proud trojan says:

    Thank you David for being the first member of the Daily Trojan to actually speak some truth about this issue. Yes, the email was disgusting, and yes, the couple having sex in public view on top of WPH was wildly inappropriate. There are so many great things going on at this school with a student body composed of great, interesting people making positive contributions to the university and the community. Choosing to focus on the negative, as has been going on in past weeks, only brings our school down. SO GET OVER THE EMAIL PEOPLE. Like really, it’s time to let it go protesters.

    • C.Art
      C.Art says:

      The email indicated a much larger issue as it was widely disseminated with the subject line “funny kappa sig” email. If anything, the email just provided a catalyst for illuminating bigger problems on campus and people simply want the university to use this as an opportunity for a larger discussion. I don’t understand why anyone would be against people who want to spark an open dialogue about universal issues…

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