Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busted: Stupid T-Shirt Decisions

This is a guest blog post from Ryan Hilperts, Director of AFLV Awards & Assessment, and a member of the Connections Magazine Editorial Board. 

Usually the Busted! features take a moment to point out our less-than-stellar brethren who have found themselves on the front page of the newspaper for their poor choices. But let's not forget there are other ways to have our stupidity captured!  We still have those among us who are making poor choices, and the only folks documenting it are the 2,783 people around with cell phone cameras. It’s tough to decide whether that's better than the newspaper...or not.

What can we say? When poor choices are made in the name of fraternity, we get a wee bit cranky. And we aren’t much to forgive and forget. We also think there is value in learning from others’ mistakes.

This is one such opportunity.

In case you can’t read it clearly, the shirt on the right says, “The University might have f----d us, but at least we don’t f--- each other.” Conveniently, the fraternity supplied its nickname and the year the shirt was made for historical purposes. Thanks for that.

It seems that this particular chapter may have been held accountable for some stupid behavior (poor choice(s)) by the University. It also seems that they’re less than pleased about that. Further, we think their point is that being in trouble – to whatever extent that is for these gentlemen – is less bad than other things they could be doing. We think. Maybe. Or they’re just raging homophobic folks who decided to put that fact on a t-shirt. Could be both.

It doesn’t matter when or why or how the fraternity got to a place where they decided to make these t-shirts. Not an ounce. Because here they are, live and in color.

Us Busted! folks have seen a lot of fraternity and sorority t-shrits gone wrong in our day. We may even have played a round of "I Can Beat That" with other fraternity/sorority professionals while talking about t-shirt designs we’ve seen. Yet this completely takes the cake. Do we need to point out the eleventy seven ways it’s wrong? Really? And what about the company that took money from these men and printed them right up, lickety split? We’d like a word with them too, pretty please.

The whole batch of shirts should be tossed in the middle of that Greek Week bonfire held after the all-Greek BBQ that is oh-so-good at solving all of our Greek unity problems. Pour on the gasoline. Use an extra match, or seven.

For the record, we don’t care if every single other fraternity and/or sorority on this campus wore shirts that day that SCREAMED values and integrity. Don’t care if they were glow-in-the dark or included every sequin the Radio City Rockettes have to offer. This one easily would have canceled all of that out.  Hmmmm....wonder where all those negative stereotypes about fraternities and sororities come from?... Hmmmm.

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