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Five Subtle Ways to Signal That You Are Involved With Greek Life


In these times of social distancing, the last thing anyone wants to see on their timelines is a picture or video bunch of people hanging out. It is viscerally eerie at this point to see any representation of any number of people convened indoors, especially if they don’t have masks on. Sometimes it feels like no one on social media even knows that we’re living through a global pandemic.

All over the country, Greek organizations have come under scrutiny for hosting crowds and facilitating conditions where viral illnesses can thrive, despite the persistence of a global pandemic that has infected almost one out of every ten Americans and killed more than 1 in 1,000. Similarly, there have been recent scandals and controversies involving Penn-affiliated Greek organizations that have made Greek life look even worse. Confronted with the disgust and disdain of the University community, affiliated students may be experiencing a loss of pride or even shame as they reflect on their Greek membership. 

Affected fraternity or sorority members may ask themselves: If I can’t post pictures or videos of me and my buddies all drinking straight from the nozzle on the same bag of Franzia, then what’s the point of even being involved in Greek life? Since when does my participation in Greek life not come with universal admiration from the University community? Is there even still a place for me on campus? Who Am I? We don’t have the answers to those questions. What we do have is a list of five subtle ways to signal in conversation that you are, in fact, involved with Greek life.

  1. Tell the person that you are talking to that you have had antibodies since the first semester. They’ll know.
  2. If someone asks if you’re involved in any clubs on campus, chuckle then look down then back up and say, “Yeah. Something like that.” Move on from the topic immediately.
  3. Casually mention that your “family” will be “adopting” however many pledges you have in the newest class. If you live in the chapter house, refer to it as “the orphanage.” When they ask how old the kids are, just smile. Move on from the topic immediately. 
  4. Post a video of a party you’re at but caption it “a time before covid <3” even though there are people with masks around their chins in the background.
  5. Wear a mask, but only when there are poor people around.