Guys, this reads like an Onion article, but I assure you that it is a real life dilemma that students and faculty at the University of California Merced are grappling over.
As many of you are already aware, the term ‘cultural appropriation’ is a trendy phrase hypersensitive people use to sound smart and pretend like the give a shit about the oppressed without actually putting forth any effort to fix the perceived problem. It carries about as much real-world consequence as liking a Facebook post about climate change.
A perfect example of this is a couple weeks ago when Lena Dunham cried ‘cultural appropriation’ over the dining hall sushi at her alma mater, Oberlin College. It was apparently disrespectful to Japanese cultural for sushi rice to be undercooked and the overall product to be ‘inauthentic.’ Lena, of course, didn’t donate any money, provide resources/solutions to this “problem,” she just basically pointed and said “That. Bad.”
Welp, cultural appropriation has seeped into fraternity and sorority life in our higher education system, as administrators at the University of California Merced have encouraged students to change the terminology they’ve used for over 200 years, citing an issue of insensitive semantics.
According to College Fix, administrators have made a stand against the terms “Greek,” “rush” or “pledge” because they are “appropriating Greek culture” and are “non-inclusive.”
Several students told the site the replacement terms presented by campus leadership:
Replace “Greek Life” with “Fraternity and Sorority Life”
Replace “rush” with “recruitment”
Replace “pledge” with “potential new member”
Steve Lerer, assistant director of student government and leadership development, spoke with College Fix about the rationale:
“UC Merced Fraternity and Sorority Life recommends the use of the terms ‘Fraternity and Sorority Life,’ ‘Potential New Member’ and ‘Recruitment’ by fraternities and sororities on campus. This recommendation is based on national trends and the inclusive language choices that have been made at many other campuses and national organizations,” Lerer told The Fix. “While our staff members in Fraternity and Sorority Life choose to use these terms and recommend their use to the local chapters, there is no formal requirement in place for their use.”
Students are obviously dumbfounded by the pressure they’ve received from administrators, evidenced in Harry Duran of Pi Lambda Phi sentiments:
“The plague of political correctness has once again attempted to implement unnecessary and nonsensical law. Who are we offending? Greek people? Our traditions have continued for over 200 years. Greek Life is part of our own American university culture.”
Now if the administrators came out and said “yo you guys need to stop shoving bananas up pledge’s asses” or “discontinue making them bathe in their own jizz,” I’d be on board, but this is just another case of doing something by doing nothing. And that’s not the America our ancestors died for.
[h/t College Fix]