Greek values: why not try dry?

Greek-letter organizations have purposes. It’s no admission to note their mission.

Delta Zeta exists, in part, “to promote the moral and social culture of its members, and to develop plans for guidance and unity in action.”

Sigma Chi would “cultivate and maintain the high ideals of friendship, justice, and learning.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma wants to involve “its members in a close bond of friendship, seeking to instill in them a spirit of mutual love and helpfulness.”

I don’t say these organizations are represented in the comments of a recent article. I don’t say that these specific purposes are violated. I say they seem to imply a common ground — righteousness; meaningful self-reflection; a healthy, social atmosphere — that seems to be largely ignored.

After all, these comments quickly diverged from baseless bashing of The Collegian into mob-like bickering.

Not the least of these attacks were directed towards a poster who commented on the death of Danny Daniels, a former Fresno State student who drank himself to oblivion somewhere in the vicinity of what was then the FIJI house.

An angry commentator argued it was unfair to bring up Daniels. After all, the person who posted above him didn’t even know Daniels personally. Maybe, then, I can speak with authority.

I knew Danny Daniels personally. He was a fellow trombone player in the Bulldog Marching Band my freshman year.

We weren’t best of friends, and I didn’t even really think too highly of him, but I did know him — his death wasn’t just some tall tale I heard thirdhand. I never wished him dead, but then he was.

Whether commentators have that perspective, it’s not like the reference to an underage drinking accountability article is out of left field — Daniels was underage, and he drank. He was also in the company of fraternity brothers at the de facto now-defunct FIJI house.

Daniels is dead. The appearance of FIJI’s culpability may be false and based on stereotypes, but maybe Greeks should consider disassociating themselves from a drinking environment.

Whether or not FIJI had anything to do with it, that’s another story.

Whether or not their official line was truthful, that’s another story.

Whether or not Daniels was motivated more by his alleged suicidal depression and whether or not his mental state was exacerbated by lethal amounts of alcohol, that’s another story.

The important thing is that Daniels’ death can’t just be dismissed as a sad event, with Greek life at least a backdrop. It’s integral to Fresno State Greeks to not forget, and integral to any underage drinking with any Greeks around.

If Greeks are the best of the best, or really aspire to be in line with the rest of their purposes, then they should be all the more diligent, all the more a good example for fellow students across the campus.

In my mind, that would involve, at the very least, following the state, local and federal law to the letter.

California statute 25658(a) says, and I quote: “Every person who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage to any person under 21, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

My source is a UCLA-affilated Greek Web site.

Why don’t Greeks, if they really want the higher moral ground, self-impose a mandatory no-recreational-drinking policy for all members in good standing? The penalty for breaking the policy would be increasingly severe, ending with expulsion.

Fresno State students drink. In fact, Fresno State students probably drink a whole lot more than zero to three drinks when they party.

Is it unfair, though, to suggest that if Fresno State Greeks really want to set the example they should go the extra mile?

Going dry isn’t that hard. I’ve yet to imbibe, and I already finished college.

The best part: if your entire fraternity or sorority goes dry, there won’t ever be the question of alcohol-related accountability again.

Your Greek organization will have an iron-clad policy, open to the harshest scrutiny. Your Greek organization will garner unprecedented respect if you keep to it. Your Greek organization will be all the stronger for it.

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In other news: full tenure saves journalism prof; Disney phone flops miserably; and I can’t help but think of a botched execution.

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