“elected officials are responsible for representing students’ best interests”
Disclaimer: This post might get a little salty. Warning you in advance.
As y’all know, in this series I talk about the differences between American and Canadian college culture, specifically spotlighting the struggles Canadian Colleges have. Last week I talked about the first factor, which I pinpointed as college sports. Today, I will be talking about the one part of college in Canada, that most people would identify right away as lacking the most, Greek life (AKA Frat + Sorority)
Varsity Blues: Part 3/5
Note: I am NOT a Frat Bro
Fratty. We know what comes to mind when we hear that word: Polo tee’s with popped collars, pink shorts, and boatshoes, with a side of douchey attitude, bicep curls, and maybe a couple cans of Fratty Ice (Natural Ice beer… not sold in Canada). So basically, this:
Although this may be a pretty accurate description of most of the frat guys, and loose description the sorority girls, Greek life, as I’m told, is more than that. Similar to what I chronicled in the sports section last week, Greek life is about togetherness. It’s about working hard toward achieving something, while surrounded by people who share common goals and interests with you. Its about making it through your 4 or 5 years with brothers (and sisters) with you every step of the way. Obviously we’ve all heard the hazing stories and bullying incidents, but that’s a whole ‘nother story, for a whole ‘nother day.
(Left: Zach Efron pretending to be fratty. FTG of course)
At some schools, such as UBC, Canadian Greek life has found a way to find a following on campus, but still with limited membership, and not the best reputation. At other schools, like the one I go to, which is one of the top 20 biggest schools in the country, Greek life is just about non-existent. This may not be a big deal to some people, but to those kids who grew up watching those crazy college movies, this might have been a let down. Those kids who came here from out of town to go to school here, and to other schools, end up lacking the social skills to meet people, and never truly leave home. Long story short, these people are stuck in high school.
“But Hosp, who cares if we don’t have a solid greek life, why can’t students rally in other facets?”
Great question! Well, the thing is Greek life itself really isn’t all that important, it’s the idea behind it, and this is where the saltiness comes in. As of 2009, the University of Calgary had the highest paid rate for Student Union presidents in Western Canada according to MacLeans magazine at a WHOPPING $35,160 per year, which with any sort of inflation at all is most likely upwards of $40,000 a year now. If you’re like me, who didn’t even know that these Execs got paid, you might be very surprised.
According to the SU (student union) of Calgary website, officials are expected to put in 35 hours of work per week, as “elected officials are responsible for representing students’ best interests”.
So these are my questions (feel free to give me any answers you might have in the comments)…
For 40,000 dollars, what is your SU doing for you? Why aren’t students in Canada enjoying themselves as much as student’s in America, and why don’t we have our own effective alternatives in Canadian universities? Most importantly WHY are the platforms the exact same every year, with little to no visible changes being made???
Obviously (this seems to be my favourite word, I swear I’m only a little sassy), these types of changes don’t happen over night… but with 35 hours a week for 1 year, I’d really hope to see some better changes than 2 new study rooms across campus and a few more internet routers. For $40,000 each, I would like to see the students hold these representatives to their promises. If you promise me an open textbook, I better be reading from a god damn free internet based textbook by next September in 1 of my classes. If you promise me better internet, I better be able to torrent the whole god damn encyclopedia in 2 minutes, while watching the newest episode of Suits simultaneously (I’m a sucker for Rachel Zane).
It is time as students to start putting these so-called “representatives” to work, and making them earn that $40,000 paycheck, because in my opinion I don’t think that printing off 100 posters, wearing a suit to school for a week, and getting 30 of your friends to copy and paste a status, and nag people into voting for you deserves any sort of compensation. It’s time for student representatives to represent the students, and make Canadian student life BETTER. It will never be perfect, it will most likely never be like the movies or the Youtube clips, but as any student will tell you, it could definitely be better.
I don’t need you to put some Greek letters on everyone’s chest, but as an out of town kid who has watched fellow peers, and friends get sucked back into “High School” because of a lack of opportunity to join the college community, I want this to be fixed.
Voting at my school happened last week, results over the next little while. Student reps of Canada, it’s your move. Earn your money.
Two words: one love,
-Head Frat Boy Hospey