Extra Credit Blog Post
One of the campus events that I attended in the recent weeks was the “Meet the Greeks” event. For this event, several sororities and fraternities on campus gave presentations and opened their doors and held open discussions between greek students, international students, and non-greek students. The event was put on by ASUN, and I was the discussion leader for the group of students who went to my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.
I had around 15 international and non-greek students in my group, with students from all over the world and the country. There were also around 15 Betas who participated in the conversations. Its always interesting to see how groups will first interact with each other, and I’ve found that the more excited and energetic a delegator is at the beginning, the more the group will reciprocate that energy. So I tried my very best to speak with heavy pathos and excitement with my group, so that they would get a feel for how I expected the discussions to go. The first thing that I did with my group was to introduce myself and my position within Beta, giving me ethos within my group and logos for why I was leading them in the discussion. Next I lead an icebreaker so that my group could get to know each other and begin to feel comfortable sharing information about themselves. It was rewarding to see the Beta’s and our guests interact and with enthusiasm and interest. Sharing their names, majors, where they were from, and a funny fact/story about themselves. I started with myself, and then moved to another Beta so that the members of the group could see some examples. I would like to think that this helped the international and non-greek students open up and begin sharing their stories.
Throughout the rest of our discussion we talked about family, culture, educational backgrounds, and perceptions of greek life. It was super interesting to find that the majority of the participants had stereotyped all greek life from the movies that they had seen. Movies like “Animal House”, “Old School”, and “American Pie”. This was the only view of greek life that they had been communicated to them, thus giving us our Rhetorical Situation and our Exigence for holding this event. The students were surprised to hear that many of the Beta members were highly involved on campus and held high GPA’s. We were beginning to break down that stereotype and introduce the students to the much more realistic view of Nebraska greek life. For me, however, it was not the greek discussions that made the largest impact on me, but rather the discussions about everyone’s families. While everyone’s family and childhood was different, we all found similarities within each others stories, and everyone who spoke did so with more passion and pathos than when talking about other topics. It was so, so, so cool to see people from different cultures and ethnicities connecting and forming friendships that would not have made otherwise.
While the use of rhetoric was slight, it was enough to effect the course of the event and the impact that it had on all who were involved. By speaking with pathos and enthusiasm at the beginning, it set the precedent and helped participants feel comfortable. This in tern enabled them to speak with more pathos and joy as they were describing their personal lives. It was rad! Being able to use rhetoric strategically is pretty handy as well!