I just got back from a trip to one of my favorite cities in the world, San Antonio Texas. Sadly I didn't get to enjoy it as much as usual. Even worse one of the major reasons I didn't enjoy myself was because of the bad behavior of a group of young people.
For those of us who work with young people it's especially painful when we see them living down to every stereotype. In this case it wasn't high school aged youth but college young adults. In fact members of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and their girlfriends. Like all members of Greek letter societies they wear their logos proudly so there's no doubt in my mind. The hotel staff also apologized for the behavior of the "fraternity" that was there.
A large group of them were staying in the hotel and most of them were on my floor. How bad were they? One morning when I made an off hand comment about wanting to take a baseball bat to some of my neighbors the clerk at the front desk looked at me, asked if I was on the tenth floor (yes) and then said "Go ahead". Seems I wasn't the only one with complaints. Complaints about the rampaging up and down the halls till 3, 4 or 5 AM, the drunkenness, the loud sex, the banging doors and apparently , based on comments from the hotel staff, a certain level of destruction. I could just imagine trying to convince some adult with doubts about raising up more young leaders after they'd had to spend a night trying to get some sleep.
Please don't get me wrong. I was willing to let them have some fun. It was Thurs, Fri and Sat nights during Fiesta in San Antonio. Rocking and rolling till midnight or even 1 AM would be within my limits (which are more generous than some folks). But some of us had work to do and needed sleep. Simple common courtesy should have kicked in at some point. If you want to party all night long find a night club. And there was no place to move for me since the hotel was full.
So in the end my attitude towards fraternities stayed the same (very low. I've known some outstanding individuals Greeks but I was GDI in college). And I realize that my efforts to get young people taken seriously is even harder. Not only because of the effect of other folks but because of the effect on me. It's inevitable that the next time a group of youth start whooping it up late into the day I'm gonna think:
It's San Antonio all over again.
Who wants those kinds of thoughts associated with your favorite city?
Thanks a lot Delta Sigma Phi.