希腊生活 —— Greek Life

 

美国大学的“希腊生活”

 

 

Kyle Kisicki

Senior Educational Consultant

 

 

Kyle Kisicki以“本·富兰克林学者身份”毕业于宾大哲学专业。他学习经济政治学,尤其专注美国中学教育问题的分析。在宾大哲学系和Philadelphia Futures的合作实验中,作为分析性写作指导深入研究教育学方法论,帮助学生提高写作能力。如今,作为Apolish的教育顾问,他会继续帮助学生建立自信、寻找更成熟的自我。

 

 

When discussing campus
culture at American universities with students from across the globe, a topic
that frequently comes up is Greek life. Named for the letters of the Greek
alphabet, this cultural facet of college life is unique to American campuses.
For high-school students in China as well as the US, fraternities and
sororities are a mysterious, mythologized concept. In movies, these
organizations are often portrayed with raucous Dionysian festivals; in the
news, they are often seen as dangerous due to a lack of effective oversight. As
someone who spent four years with mixed feelings in a fraternity during my time
at Penn, I think that this media portrayal ignores the nuanced role that Greek
life plays on college campuses.

 

 

 

每当我与来自世界各地的学生讨论美国大学的校园文化时,一个主题总会被提到:“希腊生活”(Greek Life)。这种用希腊字母命名的大学文化是美国校园所独有的一部分。对于不论是中国还是美国的高中生来说,兄弟会和姐妹会都是一个神秘的、甚至被奉上神坛的概念。在电影里,这些组织经常被描绘成嘈杂的、“狄俄尼索斯式”(Dionysus,古希腊神话中的酒神)的狂欢;同时,因为缺少有效的监督管理,在新闻中它们常常与危险二字挂钩。作为一个在宾夕法尼亚大学待了四年,有着在兄弟会里酸甜苦辣的经历的人,我认为当今的媒体对“Greek Life”的描绘忽略了它在美国大学校园各个角落扮演的更丰富的角色。

 

 

The designation “Greek life” is an umbrella term that is used to identify extracurricular societies---gendered clubs known as “fraternities” for men and “sororities” for women. These groups operate nationally, with chapters at various schools across the country. A large fraternity could have over 200 chapters, but most have a smaller national presence. Although Greek organizations are predominantly social clubs, there are also co-educational Greek organizations that exist specifically for philanthropy, professional networking, academic achievement, and religious/ethnic heritage.

 

 

“Greek Life”作为一个总体概括的术语,曾被用于识别课余生活俱乐部。这些俱乐部又以性别区分,男生的叫做“兄弟会”,女生的叫做“姐妹会”。这些全国的组织,在美国不同的学校里又有自己的小分支,叫做“chapters”。一个规模大的兄弟会有时拥有超过200个“chapters”,但绝大多数兄弟会并不会遍布全国。尽管这些“Greek Life”组织基本都是社交团体,但也有一些以慈善、职业网络、学术成就和宗教/种族文化为核心,不分性别的“Greek Life”组织。

 

 

 

New students typically “rush”—the process of selecting an organization to join—during their freshman year. This initial process varies from school to school, and also between fraternities and sororities. At Penn, rush occurs at the beginning of the second semester to allow new students some time to get used to the academic environment before committing. The first period begins with “open rush,” in which all university students are invited to participate in social gatherings at the various fraternities’ chapter-houses. The “brothers” of each house provide catered food from local restaurants to entice potential initiates. After a period of open rush, the fraternities become more exclusive and issue invitations for interesting candidates to return for “closed rush” events. With little university oversight, the Greek organizations throw events off-campus to impress candidates, such as going to sporting events, playing games, and partying. As the closed rush period goes on, fewer and fewer candidates are invited to return to the event while the fraternity deliberates on their favorite candidates. For women, the rush period is different; students visit each sorority house in rotation during the open rush period. At the culmination of the process, fraternities and sororities issue “bids”—acceptance offers—to their favorite candidates. When the candidates select their favorite organization, they are then seen to be “pledges” —new initiates. As pledges, students generally undergo a series of trials to demonstrate their commitment to the group. This is known as “hazing” and can sometimes be illegal and dangerous. However, many organizations have strict rules to prevent this activity. My personal advice is to remember that you’re in control during this process and can leave at any time.

 

大学新生一般都会在大学第一年的时候“rush”(一个选择加入“Greek Life”组织的过程 )。“rush”早期的步骤因学校,以及是兄弟会还是姐妹会而异。在宾大,“rush”通常发生在第二学期刚开始的时候,这样让新生有更多的时间在做决定之前先适应学校的学术氛围。第一阶段叫做“open rush”。在此期间,所有大学学生都会受邀参加一些在兄弟会会所(“chapter houses”)里举行的社交活动。每个兄弟会的兄弟们(“brothers”)都会用当地餐馆供应的酒菜来吸引未来成员(“potential initiatives”)。在“open rush”一段时间之后,兄弟会们就会变得更加排外,只邀请一些他们认为有意思的成员“initiatives”来参加名叫“closed rush”的活动。因为没有学校的干预,这些兄弟会们一般会在校园外举办一些像体育赛事、游戏竞赛、聚会等活动来加深候选人对某个兄弟会的印象。随着“closed rush”阶段的进行,越来越少的兄弟会候选人会被再次邀请参加活动;与此同时,兄弟会自己也在商榷、挑选他们最喜欢的候选人。对于女孩们来说,“rush”会是一个很不一样的体验。在“open rush”阶段,女生们会轮流逐个参观每个姐妹会会所,在拜访中同步增强姐妹会和候选人互相的了解。在“rush”的高潮,兄弟会和姐妹会们会把他们的“录取通知书”(“bids”)发给他们中意的候选人。当这些候选人选取了他们最心仪的组织之后,他们便被当作预备成员(“pledges”)。作为预备成员,这些学生一般会经历一系列考验来证明他们对这个团体的忠诚。这个过程又被熟知为“欺悔”阶段(“hazing”),有时候甚至会变得不合法和危险。但是,很多组织都设有严厉的规则来避免“hazing”行为。我个人的建议是,记住,你可以选择在任何时间离开,一切都在你的掌控之中。

 

 

Once initiated into the organization, the group fosters a distinct, institutional type of social life at university. Sororities and fraternities throw fun parties, concerts, and philanthropy events together. The immediate benefit of joining one of these organizations is the social network that it will introduce you to. However, like any large group, fraternities and sororities can be political and clique-y. A newcomer at university will be introduced to many new people and activities by joining a Greek organization. For this reason, fraternities and sororities are generally the most relevant during a student’s freshman and sophomore year. By the time that students are upperclassmen, they typically have developed strong friend groups outside of their Greek organizations.

 

 

一旦加入了组织,整个团体会为你在大学里培育一种独特的,有制度的社交生活。姐妹会和兄弟会会一起举办有趣的派对,音乐会,以及慈善活动。加入这些组织最直接的一个好处就是它会帮助你进入一个社交网络。但是,就像任何大的组织,兄弟会和姐妹会也可以出现“政治化”、拉帮结派的现象。一个大学新生会通过加入一个“Greek Life”组织从而认识很多新的人和活动。因此,加入兄弟会和姐妹会对大一、大二的新生特别有意义。当学生已经大三、大四的时候,他们通常已经与在“Greek Life”组织之外的人建立了深厚的友谊。

 

 

This article is not to say that you should feel pressured to join one of these many clubs. Whether or not you think they sound appealing is up to you. Ultimately, I joined a fraternity because my father did the same when he was in school; although it was his favorite aspect of college life, I found that the experience was not necessarily for me. I enjoyed my time in the club, but I learned that Greek life can be difficult to navigate and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. At some schools, a majority of students participate in Greek life, at others it is a minuscule fraction. Either way, you do not need to join one to have a social experience in college. If you have an interest in something, I’m sure there are many ways to find your passion and pursue it socially at university. For me, I enjoyed organizing concerts as a part of student government. The opportunities are endless!

 

这篇文章的目的并不是让你一定要加入一个“Greek Life”组织。这些组织对你是否吸引力完全取决于你个人。我加入了一个兄弟会,是因为我的父亲在大学时也加了一个。虽然兄弟会是我爸爸大学生活中最喜欢的一个部分,我个人经历并不是这样的:我享受我待在这个组织中的日子,但是我也认识到了“Greek Life”有时会比较难掌控,也没有必要被过度重视。在一些学校里,很大一部分学生都参加“Greek Life”;在其它的学校,可能只有极少数的人参加。无论如何,你不一定要加入一个组织才能在大学拥有社交生活。如果你对什么东西非常感兴趣,我相信你一定能在大学里找到很多另外的方式来追求你热爱的事物。对我来说,我非常喜欢帮助学生政府组织音乐会的过程。机会无处不在!

 


 

中文翻译 吕天成&陈忆

THINKTOWN 纽约

 

 

吕天成

Tiancheng Lyu

 

吕天成  , 2017 年在 Concord Academy 毕业后,现就读于约翰霍普金斯大学,计划主修创意性写作和经济。在高中期间, 天成成立了大数据俱乐部,在学校报社担当编辑,同时也是壁球队的一员。在校外,他在两份面向美国高中生的文学杂志中分别担任学生导师和编辑。

 

怀揣着对文学和写作的热爱, 天成不断在英文世界中寻找灵感和机遇。2015 年,他参加了明德学院举办的 New England Young Writers’ Conference 。他的诗歌和纪实性文章也被 The Marble Collection 和 Teen Ink 等杂志刊登。作为一个经历过四年美高生活的美本学生, 天成非常希望能将自己的经历和收获分享给即将或正在美高就读的中国学生。

 


 

陈忆

Yi Chen

 

 

罗切斯特大学毕业,Phi Beta Kappa美国最古老的全国性荣誉学会成员,主修数学和艺术史,辅修意大利语。曾在意大利阿雷佐学习艺术、历史和建筑,并在比利时鲁塞尔的欧洲议会实习。她的纪录片“在阿雷佐的艺术工作”,开启了当地中世纪城镇和当代艺术的对话。在文化交流和非母语写作方面丰富的实践经验,使她能够有效地了解和帮助学生。

 

 

 

 

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