‘Buy In Or Get Out’: Greek stereotypes, values
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
Wednesday evening, the University of Southern Mississippi Interfraternity Council and College Panhellenic Council hosted speaker David Stollman, who presented his “Buy In or Get Out” keynote, as part of the Office of Greek Life’s annual Greek Week. Two sessions, one for new and newly initiated members and one for active members, were held at 5 and 7 p.m. A profit share benefitting Stop Hunger Now was also hosted at Glory Bound Gyro Co. that evening.
Hundreds of members of fraternities and sororities at USM attended the event in the Thad Cochran Center ballrooms. Stollman’s presentation about fraternal values, standards and what to do about those who break them was dotted with both humor, like stereotypes of fraternity men and sorority women, and seriousness, such as when Stollman recounted the story of a new fraternity member who died because of hazing. He also spoke about Greek unity, hazing and what it truly means to be a member of a fraternity or sorority.
Stollman stressed that Greek life is not about social events or competitions. Rather, it is about upholding the traditions that have ensured the survival of fraternities and sororities. He also condemned hazing as an unacceptable way to communicate these values and urged students to report hazing incidents in order to protect other Greek life members from harm.
Stollman also gave many profound statements, such as “All fraternities and sororities exist...to make women better women and men better men through brotherhood and sisterhood,” “You ‘earn’ your letters by living up to the values those letters represent,” “Letters are about making us better than we were,” and “Don’t just put the letters on your chest; put what they mean in your heart.”
Stollman has spoken about the value of Greek life on more than 500 college campuses since 1994. He served the North-American Interfraternity Conference for two years and has filled various faculty positions. He actively volunteers with his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, serves as a chapter advisor for the Delta Phi chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority at New York University, and actively combats hazing in fraternities and sororities. He is also the owner of CAMPUSPEAK, which provides educational programming, training and educational resources to Greek organizations.
“I made some real mistakes in my chapter, and part of it is my penance,” Stollman said. “Part of it is that I really believe in what fraternities and sororities should be and could be, and many are close to being, and if I could add a push to some of the leaders to get there, then I’m excited to do that.”
Approximately nine million college students are members of Greek organizations.
Check out #BIOGO on Twitter for attendees’ highlights of the event. For more information about CAMPUSPEAK, visit www.campuspeak.com.