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On Eclectic - What Kind of Society Was I Invited to Join?

I received an email on November 12 instructing me to "come to Eclectic tonight at 11:30." I assumed there was a concert that night, but was confused as to why this email appeared to only be sent to me. I later discovered that the night's event was to mark the beginning of a rush process to Eclectic.

As a freshman, I wasn't too sure what Eclectic's reputation on campus was like. All I knew was that it wasn't a frat, but a co-ed "society." Yet to me, this was practically synonymous with the institutions of Greek life, so I decided not to attend that night. (I'm not a fan of Greek life - it was founded on pillars of elitism, classism and racism, and largely appears to be the same way today. Greek life seems to be fundamentally based on exclusion.)

I'm pretty glad I didn't go to Eclectic on November 12. If I had gone, seeing Eclectic's application would have left me pretty confused and very pissed. What kind of new members is Eclectic in search of, based off this portion of its application? How does Eclectic want to present itself? What kind of society was I invited to join?

It's been over a week since Eclectic's application was released, and rather than taking accountability for the racial slur that was written (and has been used to subjugate people of Chinese descent for decades) and an implied use of the N-Word (which has a more known history of Black oppression), Eclectic engaged in a collective silence. They sent out emails saying that they would not be accepting new members for the coming semester, yet they did not state why. This, perhaps, is the most troubling aspect of what I've seen from Eclectic. Rather than pointing to this racist rhetoric in this application and taking accountability for it, Eclectic kept quiet to the public eye.

Before publishing this post, I had a conversation with one Eclectic member who told me that the page in question was written solely by one person, and oversaw solely by Eclectic's (former) president. Ze told me that this person's status was now inactive, and that the president had stepped down. But this does not fix the problem -- this "solution" is only avoidance. Even though the page in question was only written by one person, the effect it had represented the entirety of Eclectic's society. The page was not published under one name, but under Eclectic as one entity, meaning that they all need to take accountability.

Accountability isn't kicking out one individual and saying that everything is okay. Accountability is questioning why the racist rhetoric appeared in the first place and considering the effect it had on marginalized identities. Please, Eclectic, take accountability. Show this campus the kind of society you want to be.

featuredOcean Gao10 Comments