A year has come and gone since I began contributing to this blog and I confess that I’m not sure if my ramblings are of any benefit to Sigma. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go on and on about my favorite subject, but I fear that after a year of this many of you may be suffering from Sigma-holic fatigue.
So why am I a Sigma-holic? I’m a Sigma-holic because I truly believe that Tri Sigma is about Friendship, Character, and Conduct. On March 7th of this year, a video of a racist chant by fraternity brothers at the University of Oklahoma brought shame to the entire Greek community, and the fraternity’s suspension. It only took 10 seconds of stupidity on a bus headed to a fraternity function to set Greeks back fifty years.
It also came to light that sorority members were present when this incident took place, which leads me to the point of this blog… “What would you do if you had been on that bus?” I think this is a discussion we need to have.
Can you imagine yourself in the same shoes as these sorority women? You are on your way to what promises to be a lovely evening. Perhaps you’re a freshmen and this is your first fraternity formal. You have had a crush on your date all semester and you can’t believe that you are finally a couple. You searched for days to find the perfect outfit and you are looking good and feeling fine. Then a few of the brothers, who have obviously had too much to drink, break into this racist chant. You’re offended and you look around to see how others are responding. No one seems to be taking any action to stop the chant; some appear to be ignoring the behavior, while others are actually joining in. What would you do?
In this situation there are no innocent bystanders. While those on board may not have been able to put a stop to the chant, they could have put a stop to the bus. I realize it is easy to be an armchair quarterback, but if only one person on that bus had had the courage to stand up for her/his convictions there may have been a completely different outcome to this story.
It would take a brave young woman to walk up that aisle and ask the driver to pull over. It could very well cause the end of a few relationships, but it could also provide the lead for others to follow. Those people on board the bus who were too timid to stand up themselves, may have jumped at an opportunity to leave once it was presented. Of course there is always the possibility that you may be the only one to get off the bus, but as a woman of character… that is what you do.
Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.