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Cant' Decide What to Do? Go on Strike

Column by Michael K. Chung

Sunday is usually associated with peace and quiet. But not this Sunday. We're (or more appropriately, you're) in the high point of rush - bids start going out this morning at 8 a.m. Then, beginning tomorrow morning at the same time, you can start accepting bids and showing off that pledge pin.

But then again, this time of the week is potentially one of the most stressful ones that people have to face - before the academic year begins, nonetheless. I'm sure that many of you are really intent on getting into a particular fraternity. My advice to you? Try not to stress about it.

This may be easier said than done, however. But during those early Sunday-morning hours, when you hear loud bursts of applause and cheering, wondering, "What's going on out there?" and start anticipating some guys pulling you out of bed before your wake-up call to give you the same hearty morning "here's your bid" greeting, try to keep some things in mind:

If you are not given a bid, it's not the end of the world. If the guys tell you that it isn't the best for all parties involved, then you really should believe them. Think about it. If it wasn't meant to be, then why force it? Don't take it as a personal affront, just go on. There's no point in getting hung up and depressed about it.

On the other hand, if you're one of those suave, studly, All-American types receiving bids left and right from the cool, "first-world," "we're top house" fraternities, and can't quite figure out which way to go, then follow the lead of your favorite baseball player and go on strike. Demand more. Expect the best. Just push it as far as you possibly can.

Need more help? Probably not, but I need more space-filling material, so here are some lines you can try to pull so as to maximize your Residence and Orientation Week benefits:

"Well, the place seems kind of nice, but I can't possibly afford the rent here. However, since I'm bound to attract at least 60 beautiful women to every party we have, I'll accept your bid if you cut my house bill in half."

"I know the chef is a busy person, but since I'm something of a regal figure, I expect nothing less than breakfast in bed and my dinners served on a silver platter at a candle-lit table."

"To play good pool so that I can hustle the rest of you guys, I would need to have the table re-felted and balanced before I move in."

"I grew up in a palace and never had to do clean-up tasks. Therefore I expect to be relieved of all chores and pledge tasks."

"My limousine chauffeur needs an adequate parking space at the house, so I expect a garage to be constructed by the end of the month. Otherwise you won't be seeing me at the initiation."

"I used to be a woman; I want my own bathroom."

Well, there you have it - a fairly comprehensive list of ways to stack the benefits of a fraternity life in your favor. Heck, if you're in this kind of position, I'm sure you can think of many other valid requests.

Remember that if things don't work out for you right away, then it is possible to change where you live. Just because relatively few people seem to switch places of residence doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't possible. If you feel strongly enough about anything, you'll do what it takes to resolve it.

It's not the first time I've said it, and it probably won't be the last time I say it, but good luck to you in making your living group decisions. With any luck, you will have had enough sleep to make a coherent decision.

Mike Chung doesn't really write these columns. He just cuts and pastes portions of R/O columns from previous years written by Bill Jackson '93 and Matt Hersch '94.