Remember the days of “Sesame Street” teaching us our ABCs? Everyone knows the tune “next time won’t you sing with me?” But in any college where Greek life prevails, that’s out the door – and in prances Alpha, Beta, and Chi.Freshmen are forced to learn the alphabet again, given the prevalence of Greek life on campus. Every other car has a bumper-sticker that associates the drivers with one group or another, and a majority of people wear at least one Greek T-shirt a week. With nearly 40 percent of students involved in fraternities or sororities, Greek life is a major form of social division on campus. The first distinction freshmen have among their peers – after their majors and hometowns – is whether they rushed. But to its credit, Greek life is certainly not the only aspect of student life dividing our campus.
Music is probably second on the list of the social breakdown. Speaking from personal experience, most incoming students are just of age to vote and have not taken it upon themselves to stay updated on political propaganda. For this reason, music involves the most personal, important and educated decisions we are capable of making. If you think about it, staking a claim to your favorite musician, and sharing that with the world, is almost as intimate as selecting a political candidate to support.
Another separation is extracurricular involvement. The organizations you devote your time and effort to speak volumes about yourself, even if you don’t want them to. So freshmen, choose wisely. Whether you are involved with Greek, cultural or religious-affiliated organizations or Student Government Association, the cliques will begin to develop.
We’re even separated into the most trivial groups: which college football teams we support, whether we live on campus or commute, whether we have a Facebook account and whether we think the new format is more stalker-friendly.
It seems the purpose of cliques has evolved. They now exist to divide us and further separate us from each other. We forget the original purpose of joining shared-interest groups is to celebrate commonalities – not band together against those who don’t feel the same way.
Take, for example, any small group you’ve been split into purposefully, such as at Frog Camp, a group interview or a classroom. The purpose of splitting up is two-fold: First, it creates the opportunity to bond more easily with a smaller group. Second, it promotes coming together as a whole in an effort to achieve the same goal.
Unfortunately, TCU is a campus that seems to breed this sort of cliquey division, and it would be wise to fight against it. Succumbing to division is a choice. We have to realize we’re all students of TCU, and our given goal is to become educated and, as the mission reads, “to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”
In an effort to lessen the impact of cliques on campus, we should focus on the things that bring us together, such as our nationally ranked football team (Go Frogs!) and our outstanding academics.
As a last resort, we should take a hint from the TCU apparel being sold in the Bookstore – no matter what shade, we all still bleed purple.
Anahita Kalianivala is a freshman English and psychology major from Fort Worth.