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Letter to the Editor: A message to Tarleton Greek Life

Cody Johnson

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My mother always told me to be careful what I wished for, because I might get it. This familiar colloquialism serves as my singular piece of advice to the Tarleton Greek community as the University unveils its new plan for providing “Greek Housing” in Centennial next fall: be careful what you wish for. From the day I set foot on this campus and got involved with Greek life, there has been a consensus that if our community is going to grow properly we must obtain housing. We have strived for housing, saved for it, and planned for it. And now it would appear that the University is meeting our desires. However, under close examination, and with a little consideration, this assumption appears to be tenuous.

Last week, this paper published a phenomenal opinion piece that outlined the practical concerns related to this new housing plan. The dangers to Greek life are undoubtedly going to be heightened given this arrangement. However, my issue with the University’s proposal runs deeper. In my view, it is a proposal that appears set up to fail, and is not an answer to our pleas for housing, but rather an offer of pacification. Instead of exploring our requests for a Greek row, or at least examining reasonable guidelines for allowing us to arrange our own housing, the University would see Greek life shoved in to a residence hall in the hopes that we will be happy with appeasement. This is highly unsatisfactory given that it appears that no effort has been made to explore other options. While Stephenville poses certain geographical and economic challenges to a potential Greek row, the idea of housing is certainly not unattainable. For the last twenty years, my fraternity has been collecting dues and donations with a goal of purchasing housing. We have a board of alumni with experience in the financial and real estate sectors in place to help guide us through this process. We have saved up a substantial amount of money, and could possibly move forward with arranging our own house if a reasonable situation presented itself. We are not the only organization in this position, yet the University has remained silent on the issue, seeking instead to offer this fragmented compromise disguised as an olive branch. In my view, their silence is deafening.

As it currently stands, the University is obviously uncomfortable with the idea of independent Greek housing. Whether this is warranted is another discussion, but it does not controvert the fact that designating Centennial as Greek housing is not the only, or even the best option for the Greek community. In the instances where this plan was presented to the student body, the reception ranged from neutral feelings to adamant opposition. Yet our “student focused” University has gone ahead with the plan anyway, and why? Because doing so will provide them with an opportunity to either temper our desire for our own housing, or use any potential misconduct as a premise for banning Greek housing as a whole, thus shutting down any development in the future.

My question then is this: is this proposal really what we have wished for? I think not.

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Letter to the Editor: A message to Tarleton Greek Life