Thursday, April 18, 2013

A SIGMA NU BRO REACTS TO THE CONTROVERSY CONCERNING JULIA’S ANGRY DELTA GAMMA LETTER: You people on the Internet, especially the Olds, have paid overmuch attention to a letter from my friend “Julia” to her Delta Gamma sorority sisters, exhorting them to embrace the spirit of Greek Week at the University of Maryland (GO TERPS). It seems that most of you are having trouble seeing past Julia’s fidelity to the colorful slang common here on Greek Row to the completely valid sentiment she was expressing. Please lend me a moment of your time to give this controversy the context it deserves.

Greek Week here at the University of Maryland (GO TERPS) is an event of paramount importance. It is an opportunity for social bonding through games and events that foster a sense of community among a diverse group of people otherwise unified only by our age, choice of school, affinity for alcohol and other recreational drugs, race, socioeconomic privilege, stupid made-up names, and hatred of people who study in libraries. And what better way to foster pan-Hellenic unity than to prohibit DG sisters from speaking to all but one fraternity?

Many of you do not understand this last point, either because you have not been immersed in our traditions or because you are lame. So I will explain. During Greek Week, each fraternity may “acquire” a sorority. For example, a lame fraternity may acquire an equally lame sorority so that they can do lame things together, like charity. Because we are Sigma Nu, which is a lacrosse-intensive fraternity, we are entitled to DGs, traditionally one of the best sororities, according to the usual rankings by hair length, average annual yoga pants expenditure, and per-capita alcohol consumption. Please allow me to disabuse you of some common misconceptions about our acquisition of DGs. We do not “own” them in the traditional sense. For example, since 1993 we have not been allowed to sell DGs (especially to alumni, as we now know, so alumni: please ignore my last email). We are only allowed to demand that they not speak to, cheer for, interact with, or think of anybody other than the Sigma Nu brothers. Also, they are required to spend as much time with us as we want, and to be fun. I choose not to explain what “fun” means in this context. They also must be good at kickball, which requires (a) being good at kickball; and (b) wearing very small, very tight shorts. These requirements are not that onerous. After all, Greek Week is only four days long. The DGs have 361 days a year to do things other than serving every whim of the Sigma Nu brothers! (Though we do expect that they still attend to every whim of the Sigma Nu brothers during those 361 days as well.)

Now that you understand our very important traditions, you can imagine the serious breaches of etiquette that prompted Julia’s email. On Tuesday, I kicked a ball that hung up in a headwind and unfortunately was caught—barely—deep in the outfield by a very swift-footed Pike brother who I suspect was part-minority. It was disheartening for me to hear a DG in our dugout applaud the play. The appropriate response would have been to say, “he must have cheated.” On Wednesday, we had a sober mixer at which there were multiple instances in which no DG was talking to me. Just because, as Julia explained, a normal person must be completely drunk in order to carry on a conversation with me does not mean that I do not want to be talked to during a sober mixer. A DG must be prepared to pretend that I am as charming as I am when she is drunk. And on Thursday, I overheard one DG sister speaking to another (foul #1: talking to each other instead of both talking to me) about getting together with a Sig Ep brother after our mixer (foul #2: making plans with a member of another fraternity). Kelsey, you have 361 days of the year to get together with your twin brother to plan your ride to your grandmother’s funeral. Greek Week is for me.

Throughout this controversy, Sigma Nu has acted with exemplary grace toward DGs. We have forgiven them, even though our feelings were hurt when they acted as if people other than Sigma Nu brothers existed during Greek Week. We have forgiven them mostly because Julia convinced them to put the needs (wants, really) of Sigma Nu over their own “friendships” and “autonomy” and “basic human free will.” For that, we all should be thanking Julia, not criticizing her. Julia will always be welcome in our house (as long as she is under 23 years old and remains height-weight-proportionate and not overly Jesus-y at the wrong moments).

Trey Partridge, Jr.
Social Chairman
Sigma Nu
University of Maryland (GO TERPS)


  1. Duvall4:57 PM

    800 words from a Maryland undergrad without a single obscenity? I can handle LOST and Game of Thrones, but my suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

  2. isaac_spaceman5:01 PM

    I used the word "overmuch" in the first sentence. I thought "Julia" captured the voice too perfectly for imitation.

  3. Trey, Jr. is a nice touch.

  4. In case there is any confusion, this is satire and was not written nor posted by a brother of Sigma Nu

  5. isaac_spaceman6:21 PM

    This disclaimer is endorsed!

  6. bill.6:46 PM

    obviously, it's too literate.

  7. bill.6:56 PM

    oh, well. I was enjoying Julia's letter as a fine example of rage-on. Real or fake, it had a nice structure and consistency. Now Jezebel has found her Twitter account and she's just unpleasant.

  8. KCosmo's neighbor7:14 PM

    I hope this becomes a movie! It's awesome! It's Mean Girls and Cruel Intentions wrapped up in a charming little bow. And I can proudly say I was in a sorority... and this is not entirely far fetched. I won't even try to defend myself. Actually, I had a great time, and I never received a letter like this. But it doesn't shock me.

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  19. bellawilfer1:46 PM

    This seems to be my week of stupid questions. It turns out the girl's name is actually Rebecca. So who the heck is Julia? Do people in sororities get "sorority names" or something?

  20. bristlesage3:21 PM

    It's just a name that Gawker picked for her to protect her identity.

  21. At least at my campus, sorority girls did have nicknames that were on the back of their sorority jerseys. These typically weren't "fake names" but "endearing" nicknames based on something the girl had done or said during rush.

    I will also note that there were several reasons Isaac Spaceman would not have been a Sigma Nu at my college--most notably, he's not constantly drunk/stoned.

  22. J. Bowman5:59 PM

    Well, great job there.

  23. garyinfh6:54 PM

    When you read "Julia"/Rebecca's e-mail to the DG troops, imagine that it's either (i) George C. Scott as General Patton, or (ii) Alec Baldwin in the movie version of Glengarry Glen Ross. Done in either of those voices, the e-mail is a lot funnier. "Julia" might have been going for (as one of the Gawker commenters noted) "a slutty Ari Gold" vibe, but I keep imagining a DG rush chairlady saying to the competitors, "and second a set of steak knives."

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