Speaker encourages panhellenic members to buy in or get out
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The simple statement “Buy In or Get Out” flashed on the screen in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom Sunday evening as Panhellenic women from each sorority chapter on campus filled the room for the “Stand Up, Stand Out” lecture by David Stollman.
“I’m not here to blow sunshine at you,” Stollman said. “I’m pretty blunt and pretty honest.”
Stollman, who is the co-founder of Campuspeak and hazingprevention.org, has traveled to campuses countrywide for 15 years, encouraging Greek communities to “inject some backbone into their membership standards.”
As an active volunteer for his fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon and the current chapter advisor for Alpha Sigma Tau sorority at New York University, Stollman has his finger on the pulse of Greek life, its stereotypes, and what needs to be done to fix them.
“I do what I do because I believe in sororities and fraternities. This is what I do by choice, because what we do makes a difference,” he said.
Stollman immediately engaged the audience with his humor, cracking jokes about the common stereotypes that describe fraternities and sororities. He then had the audience call out adjectives that are frequently used to describe members of Greek life. A few included jerks, alcoholics, hazers, partiers, snobs and airheads.
“Would our founders be proud?” he asked.
To enforce his point, Stollman showed a slideshow of pictures of college Greeks around the country, doing exactly what those adjectives described. He proved that there is much that needs to be fixed when it comes to the current image of Greek life.
“I don’t want these stereotypes hung around my neck,” he said. “Be the ones that don’t tolerate it.”
He reminded the audience that becoming a member of a Greek organization does not give one the right to party 24/7, skip class, or think they are better than someone else. He emphasized that becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority instills bonds of brotherhood or sisterhood, develops leadership, academic excellence, community service and moral behavior.
“We have to be the ones to break those negative stereotypes,” he said.
It wasn’t until later in his speech that Stollman addressed what the theme of his speech, “Buy In or Get Out,” exactly meant.
“Buy In” referred to accepting and representing fraternal values and standards, and to “Get Out” if you cannot exemplify Greek life in its best light.
Stollman used Greek jerseys as a way to express this idea, telling the audience to “Buy it, don’t rent it,” meaning that if you cant stand for what the letters across your chest represent, you don’t deserve to be wearing a jersey.
“His ideas are accurate in that we are the ones who can change are image, and we must really be doing so. Like he said, we must buy into the idea of bettering ourselves and our chapter every day, even when it’s not convenient,” said Stephanie Newland.
Stollman ended his speech with another slideshow that was quite different than the one he played before.
Pictures and statistics of Greek organizations from across the country helping others and changing lives flashed on the screen, reminding the audience of their purpose in a Greek organization.
“Friends say what you want to hear, but sisters say what you need to hear,” he concluded. “This is the one family you get to choose.”