On Saturday night an unfortunate incident happened at the Beta house. Someone vandalized their porch by spray-painting a penis and the letters TKE in black paint. After speaking to my chapter at TKE it is clear that none of the TKE members were responsible for the actions that happened to the Beta house. It is sad and disheartening that a student or group of students would feel they were justified to vandalize the Beta house. It is even more upsetting that they felt they could use TKE’s letters to try and create a problem between the two houses. The relationship between TKE and Beta has always been one of respect and friendship and my chapter and I are frustrated and angry that a party would try and disrupt that relationship.
As many of you know the Greek system at Knox is under careful watch. TKE believes that the conversation that is happening regarding the Greek system is a good one, one that could bring positive change and shine light on misguided stereotypes. However, if a group of rogue students decide to take action into their own hands the conversation will not be of benefit to either party. Students have spoken out that they feel they are excluded from campus because they are not Greek. Take a second to try and appreciate how it feels to be a Greek at this time. Not only are we being scrutinized and stereotyped because of the groups we chose to join, but now students who are not members of our individual groups are using our organizations names and letters to try and create problems promoting their own personal agendas and vendettas.
Knox, we need to look seriously at how we engage in discourse. I came to Knox because it was a campus that promoted equality and community. I was told that students felt safe leaving their laptops in the library while they ran to the Gizmo for coffee because they knew that their fellow students would not disrespect people’s property, and that the campus was respectful of the bond we share as a united group of students. Now that I am entering my third year at Knox I have to admit that I am disappointed in the way we engage with each other. Instead of respecting and celebrating our differences we gossip and attack each other. These events took place on parents weekend. Members of both fraternities had parents visiting for the weekend. Now they to have seen how we treat each other on campus and frankly it has to stop. It is time that we unite, not attack each other because we choose different paths in college but instead unite and celebrate each others different approaches to Knox College. And yes we are in college and therefore are in a community where discourse should be celebrated. However the discourse has to be civil and truthful. The actions taken Saturday night violated that code of trust that we as students should have and hopefully will be held accountable for. I hope those responsible will have the courage to apologize to Beta and TKE for their irresponsible and cowardly actions on Saturday night. I hope that as the conversation about Greek life and other conversation about Knox life continue and we will be able to treat each other with sincere civility and respect during discourse. The bitterness and bickering has gone too far, Knox. It is time to change and I hope we will.
David Gilmer ‘10