This article is the first in the series “Her Campus from His Point of View”, written by a Sewanee Mystery Man. He offers insight into issues that affect Sewanee women, from a male’s perspective. His first piece addresses two commonly believed myths about fratside in McClurg.
At a school heralded for its academic greatness and eventful Greek scene, you would think the Sewanee community would have something better to talk about than the seating arrangement in McClurg. But then again is there a place more quintessential “Sewanee” than our dining hall? “Clurg” has become much more than a place to meet your friends for a meal. It has become the center of problems between the sexes. However, are these “problems” really as they appear? Or are they reflective of a more deeply embedded social issue, rooted in Sewanee’s long-standing tradition of gender polarization? Unfortunately, the issues within McClurg have become too complex to decipher and thus require a little more observation. That being said, here is my opinion on the situation, from a male’s point of view. Here are two commonly believed myths regarding males in McClurg, based solely off of my experiences and observations.
Myth 1: We care what girls eat.
Some girls have complained about the seating arrangement on fratside, claiming that the long rows of guys eating is intimidating to walk past after selecting food from the lines. I’ll admit, it is definitely a bit daunting and can be nerve-wracking for both girls and guys to make that walk down fratside. That being said, I can honestly say we don’t care about what you eat. I promise, not one guy is paying the least bit of attention to the fact that you got a triple cheeseburger and fries after the three enchiladas and chili you had earlier. If you want four scoops of ice cream, go for it! What I think guys pay more attention to is who the girl is, not what she is carrying.
I have never seen or heard a single person comment on what a girl was eating. What I have seen and heard are fraternity brothers wondering among themselves why a girl was carrying two chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk as if they were a pipe-bomb about to detonate. How many times have you seen a guy with a salad (guys are only supposed to eat meat) or food from the vegan line on his plate? I am sure he is just as embarrassed as you are for having it. Ladies, we don’t care what you eat; own the food on your plate.
Myth 2: We don’t want to sit with girls.
Another reason females (not all, but some) have complained about the seating arrangement on fratside is because it doesn’t allow for students to mingle or for girls to sit with guys. The truth is, fraternity brothers sit with each other because they want to. There is not a rule written in stone that states “girls shall not sit at a fraternity table.” I know a couple girls who have sat at a fraternity table and enjoyed their meal. The only way to break the fratside mold is to just sit down at a fraternity table. It doesn’t make you a slut, nor does it make the fraternity guys feel uncomfortable. In fact, most welcome the change of scenery. Think about it from the reverse end: we are just as afraid to sit at a table full of college girls and attempt to eat nachos or a burger (or even a salad) like a respectable human being. I realize that it goes both ways, but either way, someone has to step up.
The truth is that fratside has its positives and negatives, just like anything else. Frankly, it’s nice to sometimes sit with your fraternity brothers (or sorority sisters) and discuss matters that are usually only talked about with the same sex. We realize you probably don’t care if the Packers beat the Cowboys at the last second with a backup quarterback, just like we don’t care that you found the perfect clothing item on Pinterest (not saying some girls don’t watch football or that some guys don’t use pinterest). But, that still doesn’t mean we can’t find something to talk about or sit together. I think fratside in McClurg is a good thing because it is unique to Sewanee. Sure, it has its positives and negatives, just like the Order of the Gownsmen or Sewanee’s Greek system. But these things are what make Sewanee the place that it is. Sewanee’s true identity is its people. If you want to make a change, do it. It’s not about the placement of chairs and tables, it’s about who sits in them. Either accept the fact that fraternity brothers and sorority sisters alike enjoy sitting with each other at meals, or be brave and break the pattern.