By Elyse Horb | Echo
I've held these thoughts in for over three years, but now, as a senior, I think it's time to speak up. It seems to me that, although we claim to hold high standards for each other according to the guidelines of the LTC, there is an alternate force at work on campus: the guidelines of the LTB.One group of men is allowed to fly under the radar and continually engage in a lifestyle that is sexist, immature and disrespectful. This group is known as The Brotherhood (Broho).
When I was a freshman, I noticed The Brotherhood's antics and found them funny, even endearing. However, I have since taken another look at what they seem to stand for, and I am no longer amused by their childish methods of "having fun."
I was recently appalled to see one member of The Brotherhood preaching a sermon outside of Euler about how the earth is flat. You may think it was a joke, but he said countless blasphemous things and even disrespected the Bible by throwing it at the building. We, as Christians, should find boundaries for our jokes. Not only was he throwing miniature New Testaments and making obviously false claims in the name of God, but he also took Scripture out of context in order to advance his performance. Another so-called "initiation" consisted of a guy they call the "Hamburglar" who steals hamburgers from the DC conveyer belt! None of our food is safe around them.
Next, I will address the sexism perpetuated by Broho. I have personally experienced distress in the past when approaching their dinner table. These boys hurled insults and napkins at me and yelled, "This isn't Fort Wayne Female Bible College anymore!" They even have a weekly tradition of throwing a potato on a girl's dinner plate. It wouldn't surprise me to see Paul's words hanging in their hallway: "For this is the way the holy women of the past . . . used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord" (1 Peter 3:5-6 NIV). How can we claim to live in a community that values equality while an entire group of men considers women unworthy to be in their presence?
And who hasn't heard of Broho's "pranks?" In September they drew with chalk all over campus. Among their mandates to "love the brotherhood," they wrote hateful things to other people on campus, such as "Sammy 2 sucks" and "Wengatz weenies." Their chalk words of "so dead" and"Snake cometh" instilled fear in several people I talked to that day. The Brotherhood's priority on "having fun" and "being creative" leads them to commit offensive pranks like this more often than they throw napkins at girls. I remember two years ago, Broho men covered a bridge near Olson and Wengatz with chewing gum. Besides the pure menace of that act, some students who walked across the bridge unaware of the gum damaging their shoes, while others slipped and fell onto a disgusting pile of chewed gum. Rumors floated around campus last spring that Broho stole a medical stretcher from Second West Wengatz. What if a Wengatz man was injured and needed to get out of the dorm quickly? This "prank" could have prohibited a Wengatz man from getting the medical attention he needed. Broho claims it was just a Wengatz relic, but we know the truth.
The Echo article word limit cannot contain the multitude of offenses I could chronicle. I hope we as a community can realize that some behaviors we accept as normal and even "funny" are mostly just hurtful and disrespectful. I wish I could walk around campus without worrying about getting hit by a frisbee (and having to endure an entire Broho pick-a-date) or if I have to change routes because the path has been vandalized. As the Psalmist says, "Preserve me from violent men who have purposed to trip up my feet" (Psalm 140:4 NASB).
To the men living on Broho: you can do better than this. Campus needs less excitement. Creativity and jokes are not the things that make us who we are. Please, on behalf of my Taylor brothers and sisters in Christ, quiet down. Go bake some cookies for the women of Third English. Stop dressing up: Wengatz doesn't need to be appreciated by you once a year. And to everyone else: don't stand for their nonsense anymore. Tell the Euler preacher to stop his blasphemy. Go sit down at that table, even if 20 boys throw their mashed potatoes at you. Find their chalk messages and douse them with water. Together, we can make this campus a place of safety, inclusion, equality and love for one another. I hope someday we will all be able to love the Brotherhood.