Tyler Utzka is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at Simpson College, where he is a junior multimedia journalism student. Utzka is a reporter for The Simpsonian, a WHOtv intern and the SAE social chair.
As a member of Greek life for three years now, I’ve experienced things that I would not have normally if I hadn’t joined a fraternity.
One of the main things that I have learned is acceptance.
Men from many different backgrounds decide to join fraternities, and these differences lead to learning and acceptance.
You may see differences at times and may not get along, but when it comes down to it you are brothers. You’re there for each other during down times and are also there to celebrate the good times.
The fraternity that I am in is also accepting of gay men. There are a few stories of brothers coming out to others and nobody makes a bit deal about it.
We don’t hold anything against them for it. It isn’t a big deal.
Our fraternity also has good relations with the sororities on campus.
Although we are from different houses, we all share similar beliefs in our organizations and all understand the importance of brother and sisterhood.
Often, fraternities and sororities work together for philanthropy events and host social events to build relationships with each other.
Just being involved in Greek life when applying for jobs can give you an added boost.
You never know if your future employer was involved as well. Heck, he could even be a brother.
It’s all about networking, and the more you have on your resume the better.
The best thing about brotherhood is that you always know in the back of your mind that someone has got your back.
Even when it seems as if you can’t get out of a slump, a brother is always there with a helping hand.
Being in a fraternity gives you a sense of belonging. I feel that you don’t have this kind of connection anywhere else.
You have your good friends and family, but at college this is as close as you get to a family.
Kimberly Kurimski is sophomore at Simpson College, with a major in multimedia journalism and a management minor. She is an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and currently interns at Meredith Corporation.
I never realized how rude men could be until this year.
As spring approached, my friends and I would lay outside on the field in our swimsuits. Sometimes we’d even be wearing shorts and a cutoff.
Nearly every time I’ve been out on the field, a guy has hollered something.
Usually I just laugh it off because I’m the type of person who yells random things out the window at people when I drive by them.
However, the things these men would yell were too much.
Things like, “Go for the ass” and “Show me your boobs” are not the most appropriate things to holler at a group of females.
We all found this rather creeperish.
None of us found this “cute” or “sweet.” We were all rather freaked out by it actually.
Now that it’s chilled down, we haven’t had the opportunity to lay out.
Instead, I go to Walmart for food runs with my roomies.
Being the lazy person I am, one day after my Kappa meeting I decided to throw a sweatshirt on over my leggings because it was too cold to change clothes.
Thinking nothing of it, I went to Walmart with my roommate.
While walking in, a Walmart employee said to another, “I’ve got a nice view.”
Unfortunately, I did not hear this.
Instead, a couple of friends that walked in behind us heard and told me about it.
Had I heard the guy say it I would have turned to him and said something along the lines of, “Want me to shove my foot up your ass?”
There’s nothing worse than being creeped on by a guy older than my father. It’s completely inappropriate and nasty beyond all belief.
I’m all for having a good time. There have been plenty of times where I’ve yelled things out of the car window at people I don’t know, but never have they been inappropriate/creepy.
Usually, they’re innocent little lines like, “Woohoo!”
So to all the guys reading this: Think before you speak.
And to all the ladies reading this: Don’t put up with the guys’ crap that they yell at you.
Jessica Olson is a sophomore at Simpson College. She is a religion major with minors in both sociology and women’s and gender studies. Olson is a member of Religious Life Community (RLC), is the Assistant Campus Liaison and the First Year Coordinator for Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA).
Being a Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) comes with responsibilities that are sometimes tough to handle.
SARA has a confidential, 24-hour hotline that anyone can call while school is in session. Each SARA member takes the phone for one week per semester.
A lot of our conversations with fellow students end up happening in person or via email, so I didn’t really think having the SARA phone would be a big deal.
I was very, very wrong.
Every time during my on-call weeks, when my own cellphone rings in my pocket, I have a wave of panic surge through me thinking that it is the SARA phone.
I think of all of the possible situations that could be happening, and it – quite frankly – scares me. I worry that I will not be able to handle the situation, or I will not be a positive advocate for the individual that has just gone through something that is so incredibly traumatic.
What am I going to say? What if I say something wrong? What if I know the person calling? What am I going to do to help this person?
These are the thoughts that race through my mind at any given moment when I have the SARA phone.
At first, it made me think that I wasn’t cut out for SARA. But then, I realized that my worry is because I care so much about helping a survivor of sexual assault in any way that I can.
It shows me that I am more equipped to handle the situation than I give myself credit for. And, it constantly pushes me to be better at this role and constantly learn new things.
I have only had the phone ring once while in my possession. It was someone that wanted to ask a few questions for a paper they were writing.
At first, I was a little upset. The phone rang, I panicked, and then I called back to find out that it was just for information.
Sometimes I forget that the informational role of SARA is just as important as the advocacy role.
We are here to provide information in any way that we can, so I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes non-crisis calls are going to happen.
That call scared me a lot. But, it also showed me that SARA is making a difference on our campus because people feel comfortable calling the line.
I now realize that it is great that the individual called, and that even though they weren’t in a crisis situation, I provided my knowledge and applied my training to the conversation, and I ultimately taught that person something important.
Kristina Kelehan is a second-year student at Simpson College, where she majors in history and English with a minor in women’s and gender studies. Currently, Kelehan is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi Omega, and Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA). She has been in the National Guard for seven years.
Women in the military face many different experiences. My experience is just one of many from the crowds of female veterans that continue to serve our country.
After seven years in the National Guard I still look at myself simply as a soldier, not a female soldier.
During my training, I am treated as any other soldier and expect my fellow soldiers to be treated as though there is no gender line.
The reality of the situation though, is that there is a gender line.
After seven years, I have learned the hard way that I have to work harder than my fellow male soldiers to prove myself.
I have to prove that I am worthy of respect, that I can hold my own, and that I can meet the same standards. I expect to be treated with the same respect as any male with the same rank that I hold.
There are female soldiers that make it harder for those like me who want to be viewed without a gender distinction while in uniform. I’ve accepted this as a fact and continue to drive on.
Women in the military face the same challenges that males do, and they continue to fight their own battles to be treated equally.
Women cannot serve in combat positions for various reasons, and that simple fact keeps us from certain types of advancements, opportunities and even job identifiers.
There are changes being made within the military to change this, and women do see combat as there is no longer a “front line” of war. Women in the military are being recognized as being soldiers who serve their country.
Throughout my career in the military I have expected to be treated as a soldier serving my country. I do not want special exceptions because of my gender nor do I want to be held back for it.
First and foremost, I am an American soldier. That is how women in the military, in my opinion, should be treated.
SGT Kristina Kelehan