I am writing this letter in response to some of the recent posts on the website LikeALittle (LAL). Numerous times in the past few weeks, people have posted attacks on the Greek system, against both individual organizations and the entity as the whole.
I am Greek. I am very, very Greek. Since I joined my organization, it has remained one of the most important parts of my time at Knox. It introduced me to amazing men and women, pushed me to grow as a leader and encouraged me to take advantage of all the resources Knox has to offer. I have served in multiple officer positions in my organization and developed close friendships with my sisters. I do not regret how I spent any of that time.
I was not always so fond of the Greek system. I intentionally chose a college where I thought Greek life was minimal; when I arrived, I was openly skeptical, even scornful, of what it had to offer.
Amazingly, my change of heart didn’t come about from reading comments on an anonymous website. It came from conversations with real people, Greek and non-Greek alike. It came from observing the actions of individual Greek members and coming to understand why they were so passionate about their letters.
While I am personally hurt by some of the comments that have been posted online, the attacks against the Greek system are not what concern me most.
I respect the right of others to oppose Greek life. What concerns me is that the authors of said comments have chosen, as their forum for disagreement, a website that lets them post slander anonymously. Instead of providing evidence for their claims, instead of being willing to attach their names to what they say and employ a method of communication allowing for open, productive dialogue, they have stimulated an online argument that will only further isolate two opposing viewpoints. Sites like LAL, founded for seemingly innocent purposes, have now developed into a means for our community to spew hateful comments without taking responsibility for what they say.
Has our community come to this? Are we no longer willing to have our viewpoints challenged — to truly hear from the other side — and so instead resort to a forum where we know we can make groundless claims without giving the other side a chance to respond?
I know both I and many other members of the Greek community would be more than willing to discuss our organizations — their benefits, their flaws; why we support them and what we think they bring to the Knox community. But, such a discussion cannot occur through anonymous hatred.
I have valued Knox because it is a place where open discourse has always been a priority. True, students often seem to disagree on everything — but they have disagreed in a way that allows both sides to present an argument and to work toward change.
It appears this is no longer happening. We have discovered that we may say anything, and get away with it, because what is said is not attached to our name. On sites like LAL, we can post an opinion and then leave before actually considering another viewpoint. Shouting down other viewpoints and hiding behind anonymity can never be a good thing. It will stimulate further hatred.
If this is what we are becoming, then we are no longer Knox.
Note: Katy Sutcliffe is a Co-Mosaic editor for The Knox Student.