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Posted: 8/12/2004 19:35
Last Updated: 9/15/2008 11:05

Fraternal Frustration: Or How The Town Next Door Managed to Be Dumber Than The Frats
Trae Dorn
Originally Appeared in The Flip Side Volume 1, Issue 7 - March 3rd - 16th, 2004
Let me start by explaining something important about me: I hate the Greeks. I find the vast majority of fraternity guys morons, and the majority of sorority girls vapid. Yes, I am the stereotypical Greek hater. Frankly, I think of all frat boys as morons wearing white baseball caps, and khaki shorts. Could I be wrong? Sure. Regardless, I enjoy holding onto my negative stereotypes. I felt I needed to get that out of the way before I wrote the rest of this article. Why?

...Because I'm about to do something I never thought I'd ever do--defend the frats. That's right, Mr. I-irrationally-hate-the-Greeks is stepping up to the plate to defend them. (I just felt shivers, did you? Was that hell freezing over? Crap...)

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or maybe just avoiding the pages of The Spectator, the city of Eau Claire has begun applying a 1990 ordinance--designed to control businesses operating out of houses--to fraternities and sororities. This zoning specification never specified the Greeks, but due to pressure from a not - happy - to - be - living - next - to - a - University - even - though - it - was - there - when - they - frickin' - moved - into - the - neighborhood local community, the city has changed its mind about who the law applies to.

Just imagine you and your friends want to have a barbecue in your backyard. No big deal, just a small gathering... but wait, you can't. Why? Because you failed to fill out the proper forms and file them with the city. Does this sound a little fascist to anyone other than me?

And let me tell you something: This really won't stop anything. If fraternities cannot hold their events at their own houses, they'll find some friend who has a house and do it there. How do I know? Because that's what smart people do. I assume that the fraternities have at least one smart member. I mean, they did all graduate high school and everything supposedly.

And if it is people worried about frat parties, they're really barking up the wrong tree. While frats may have a notorious reputation, the truly dangerous and disruptive parties are not those put on by the fraternities. They're the ones held off some back road from Water Street, where no one's looking. Again, this is just another thing that could be easily moved to a "friend's" house, without any way to prove it.

This is a clear violation of the right to peaceably assemble. I may hate the frats more than any other thing in the world, but in my mind... these people knew they were moving in next to a University. They want the high property values, plain and simple. But with every advantage comes a disadvantage. One of those is that if you want to live near a University, you have to live near the Greeks as well. You can't have your property value cake, and eat it too. Lately, the local community seems to have declared war on the very institution that attracted them to the neighborhood in the first place. Whether it is frats or parking, they just aren't willing to accept that we were here first, and that they're going to have to live with us.

No matter how cheap the rent is, you shouldn't move in with people you aren't willing to live with.

Trae Dorn
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