Opinion: M.H. Erodios – A Fraternity Incompatible with Common Courtesy

By Naomi Kreitman
Staff Writer

It’s 3am on a Friday morning, and I am awake because M.H. Erodios, a fraternity of UCR students, has deemed the guy next door cool enough to be invited for an interview. Since this is such a great honor, they feel justified pounding on his door in the early morning hours and waking him to deliver an invitation (printed on delightful stationary I might add) and making no effort to avoid waking anyone else in the process.

My problem, and the reason I’m writing this article, is that membership to M.H. Erodios seems to be incompatible with common courtesy. In other words – hey, I’m a frat boy, and that makes it ok for me to wake all you losers up on a school night so I can hand out these adorable envelopes.

Fraternities originated in the Middle Ages, and, ironically in this case, were allied closely with the church. They were established for young men leaving their hometowns to study in new universities in Bologna or Paris, and so were based on camaraderie and mutual support. In principle, fraternities today have a positive influence, providing stability for those who need it. (I use the word stability because when joining a fraternity you pay and sign a contract that essentially confirms you are part of the gang – look mum, I have 10 whole friends! And I have this piece of paper to prove it!) However, though friendship and support may still be present in their ethos, so are exclusivity and a superiority complex.

I don’t know any of M.H. Erodios’s members personally, and I have no desire to change that so I am speaking from what I can deduce from their actions and how they present themselves. They stroll around Middelburg in suits, not rags like us commoners, and specifically request you come to your interview (if you’re lucky enough to be invited) in ‘casual chic clothing.’ They are therefore making a conscious effort to visually differentiate themselves from the wider UCR community. By all means, there is nothing wrong with dressing smart. My problem is not with tailoring but with the fact you must dress a certain way; they are chiseling away at your free will.

Connected to this idea of group culture limiting our personal freedom is my belief that individually, and apart from the rest of the fraternity, not all of these boys are imbeciles. Ten minutes into their intervention in my friend’s room, a bleary-eyed girl on my floor went to see what was going on and asked them to be quiet. They remained in the hallway, all talking at an immensely antisocial volume, and so I later went to ask them to either move into my friend’s room or take it outside. Instead of an apology or explanation I was offered the oh-so-witty ‘well we wouldn’t want to go in your room,’ after which they left, not because I had any effect but because they were finished anyway.

I struggle to believe that not one of the six or so fraternity members in my hallway felt any guilt towards the three confused, exhausted and pajama clad housemates from whom they stole precious hours of sleep on a school night. Surely there must have been someone whose conscience told him this wasn’t ok; but this is tradition, and all the other guys think it’s a good idea, so not one person spoke up. Evidently, being in this fraternity involves compromising your respect for others. Either that or everyone in my hallway tonight genuinely couldn’t care less about bothering, offending and intruding on people they’ve never met before, in which case I have lost a little faith in humanity.

So, M.H. Erodios, as I conclude this article I feel strangely pleased you disrupted our quiet, sleepy house tonight. Without a display of such shameless disregard for others I would never have written this article; one that I think is important the UCR community see. No one invited you in, and you are not welcome here – at least not at 3 in the morning. Act as rudely and as callously as you want, braid each other’s hair and shower in Hagelslag for all I care, but not when it affects the vast majority of us who want nothing to do with your fraternity.

Naomi Kreitman, class of 2016, is a Law and Philosophy major from London, England, United Kingdom. 

42 thoughts on “Opinion: M.H. Erodios – A Fraternity Incompatible with Common Courtesy

  1. Hey Naomi 🙂

    I too shared the burden of receiving the gentlemen at 3AM for my neighbor.
    As a House Elder, I was particularly displeased with their lack of manners. I had to have an unnecessarily long discussion from my window with them.
    Their lack of understanding did frighten me a bit.
    However, as many have said, these were just a few members. I am not informed on how many members they currently have, but there will always be ‘dicks’ in any society/group.
    These gentlemen will most likely thrive off of attention (negative or positive) because their insecurities precede them. The need for a group is common in almost every earthling and yet some feel that when you have to pay to be part of something, it makes it more legitimate.
    I too share your frustrations and find that the true meaning of a fraternity/sorority has been lost in time.
    As it turns out, we might just have a frat in the house, but that’s okay because he’s a really nice guy 🙂 Being labelled sucks, but being judged for having that label is even more sucky! I too have a label or two to my name, but that’s just the people’s choice!

    Props for sharing your opinion!
    Take care xx

  2. Hey Inge,
    while I agree it’s an interesting article,
    saying that this is what everyone is feeling is going a bit far, isn’t it?
    Unless you have extensive studies on that, I think Erodios isn’t
    quite the homogenous group that you think it is, and neither is the UCR community in general.

  3. Hey Naomi, I don’t know you, but this is a great article! I’m really happy that someone finally found the courage to say what everyone else is feeling – so don’t give a shit about them stupid guys being all stupid on this post – because you are amazing. Kudos!

  4. The writer of this piece was obviously upset, but I do have to wonder whether this single incident of inconvenience is really worth such a negative and disrespectful retort.

    I believe Erodios has done quite a lot to foster a university culture since the first year of the university’s existence and, though I am no longer at RA (UCR), I trust it continues to do so despite the hour of disruption it caused Naomi and some of her fellow housemates. That said, such incidents happen far more often at more well-established colleges and universities around the world.

    Living in East Asia I can only look at an article and I think to myself “First world problems. Ugh.” The first comment from Lisa is a good reflection of how serious your problem really is: “Haha awesome. Well written! You go girl.” In other words, really not much of a problem at all.

  5. Dear Naomi,

    Every year since the Roosevelt Academy was established in 2004, people have become nerdier and less accustomed to the frivolities which are common in the university life of normal students. This trend has been triggered by the university’s increasingly high entrance demands. With RA becoming a lot harder to get into, more ‘nerds’ were attracted, many of whom their old high school class mates would describe as somewhat anti-social. At the same time the ‘old generation’ of the first five or six years died out. With their departure, the old bonds with ‘Club Divine’ and other bars were cut and RA students were left with an half empty student-bar, ‘the Barrel’. According to many Alumni who were also studying in this transition-era, the student life had never been better than in the first golden years.

    Personally i’ve observed this trend with much sadness. The deterioration of student life, think of half empty barrels on tuesday and almost completely empty barrels on thursdays and fridays, is a worrisome trend at UCR. Nerdiness crippled UCR’s student life. Admittedly, people have the right to miss out on student life and only focus on studying. But it is this attitude which has led to the detoriation of UCR’s student life. Lots of potential students are already deterred by the Zeeuwse reputation, as well as UCR’s reputation, as boring places to live. I personally know students who went to regular colleges because when they were accepted at UCR because they couldn’t bear to stand 3 years of such a student life. The visible deterioration of UCR’s student life has not made it easier for students who enjoy their weekly or even occasional parties. As someone who did not just study, but liked to drink and go out two nights a week, times were rough.

    I understand that you’re angry at Erodios for this particular incident, and probably for some other incidents and i guess you have the right to be. I would also find it somewhat annoying but on the other hand i would appreciate student traditions such as this one. They bring some life to the sick man that is UCR’s student life. And as long as incidents like these don’t happen to often, you shouldn’t complain. Live and let live.

    You seem to be bothered way too much by this incident. The rest of your hate towards Erodios seems to be based on rather poor arguments. Joining a frat, if you can even call Erodios a frat, is not just signing on because you can ‘show that you have 10 friends’. Most people join a frat to enjoy its rich tradition as well as the student life. No matter how biased you are, Eriodos and Illicio host some of the best parties at UCR. Joining a frat, in my experience, greatly enhances your student life. The fact that you fail to see this shows that you’re a typical outsider, who has an opinion about something she completely fails to grasp.

    I never joined, or even try to join, Erodios because I don’t like most of their members. I did appreciate the positive impact that they were trying to make on the university, such as the Primus Festivus or the initiation of new members. These small events contribute to UCR’s student life and with that to the quality of UCR. One cannot deny the positive role of Erodios in attempting to establish a better student life for everyone. This alone, for me, justifies Erodios’ existence. I also disliked some of the Erodian habits, they seem to feel superior and cluster together a bit too much, but that´s something one has to live with. I get annoyed by plenty of other UCR students as well, just in other ways.

    All in all I prefer some of the nasty habits of the Erodians, including the ‘wanna-be coolness’ and rudeness, over the boringness, analness and self-righteousness of the average UCR student. From what you’ve written you seem to belong to this last category. Not to be harsh, but in my opinion, not the Erodians are UCR’s biggest problem, but the boring, whiny students like you who make a big deal out of a small incident like this. Live it up a little, apply for Illicio next year.

    1. “My problem, and the reason I’m writing this article, is that membership to M.H. Erodios seems to be incompatible with common courtesy. In other words – hey, I’m a frat boy, and that makes it ok for me to wake all you losers up on a school night so I can hand out these adorable envelopes.”

      By calling the rest of us “nerds”, you’re just reinforcing the idea that you all think you’re better than the general population. Chapeau, sir.

  6. Although your article is direct and to the point, I suggest you add a bit of nuance in expressing your opinion. I find your way of expressing your opinion wrong. Please note that I am telling you to not voice your opinion, I am advising you to do it in another way. The reason why I find it wrong is simple. Its mean. Yes, it is mean that they woke you up in the middle of the night. But are you, a university student, going to be a child in kindergarten and be a hypocrite? They are mean so I am mean.

    In order for society to function you need to take and give. In my opinion you are taking too much of your freedom now. Freedom of speech, sure. But express your opinion in a way that it does not hurt anyone else. Consider other people’s feelings, since you want your feelings to be considered too. Do not be a hypocrite, be the person is better than that. Instead of writing a not-so-nice-article about Erodios, go to them and request an excuse.

    First impressions cannot be redone, unfortunately you have received a negative first impression from Erodios. The status quo dictates the opinions of other people, and congratulations, you are strengthening the status quo. Not only do you have a prejudice, but you do not even want to use the energy too look beyond the horizon. As you stated yourself, “I don’t know any of M.H. Erodios’s members personally, and I have no desire to change that so I am speaking from what I can deduce from their actions and how they present themselves.”, the only thing you are willing to do is to be lead by your eyes. Stop using your parietal lobe and start using your prefrontal cortex. Humans having a large prefrontal cortex is what makes us unique from mammals in the lower parts of the chain.

    You might think that the members of Erodios should belong in those lower parts of the chain, however by formulating that in the way you are doing right now you end up under them.

    1. Honestly, if you are going to use a medical metaphor, use it correctly. “Stop using your parietal lobe is ridiculous advice” and does not refer to what you think it does (vision). Plus the prefrontal cortex is not the only thing distinguishing us from mammals. Back to the books son.

  7. I can’t say that I agree fully, but this is some article girl! Kudos to you for voicing your opinion no matter what the reaction may be. Don’t take the angry comments to heart, many students agree with you. Let me say that the Erodius guys commenting on here are doing nothing but reinforcing your statements rather than proving you wrong.

  8. Naomi I think you can be very proud of yourself!
    Not only did your article receive alot of attention but, it also created a discussion!

  9. To each his own Mrs. Kreitman. I personally cannot describe the pureness of emotions and sensations that flow through my veins when I wear a suit. Having some nice banter with the lads over a pint of beer while singing dirty songs and making inappropriate remarks to the ladies passing by. It fills us all with joy, and whether the guys admit it or not, the suits are one of our many guilty pleasures. We do not always wear a suit, in fact, sometimes we have days where we wear nothing but an apron to cover our most sensitive of areas, which on certain nights gets revealed to the most alcohol-filled female at the bar in exchange for a comfy place to sleep since the poor girl cannot make it home.

  10. From my experience in the mountains of pleasure and the military, I can say that we love getting sprinkles in our face. Erodians, what is your profession! SLUTS!

  11. On Thursday September 12 be in Eleanor during lunch break, there will be an unofficial court case taking place which shall be settled through a fight, the rules are as follows:

    1. No hits under the belt (especially YOU Erodians)
    2. Every round will last exactly 4:00 minutes
    3. No use of weapons
    4. The match will end with a Knockout or by throwing in the white flag (pulling a Frenchie)

    One representative from each side shall be elected in a Democratic manner to fight.

    See you there

  12. It is pretty easy to use this example of Erodios handing out their invitations to completely bitch them to the ground.

    I would say, first start bitching about the general noisy (party) behavior of students in the middle of the night and the ignoring of the quiet hours. In my opinion this is a bigger, structural problem and will give you more problems with your sleep than a once-in-a-year Erodios ritual.

    Talking about common courtesy, it is absolutely not done to attack one group of people making noise for one night in a year, while there is so many others (not necessarily part of a fraternity) that are structural noise disturbance every single night.

    1. I have to agree, it’s not only Erodius who makes noise. Last semester, I had a Wednesday morning class, and I can’t tell you the amount of times I was kept up till 2-3 in the morning because of my floormates invading the common room. Everyone parties. Everyone makes noise when they’re drunk.

  13. Now THAT is what I call an opinion.
    Naomi, regardless of these comments expressing the ‘hating’, the ‘conformity’, or the one declaring your time as ‘wasted’: you definitely did not waste mine. A good read!

  14. @”Jan Janssen”

    Ms Kreitman is only calling on Erodios to conform to a certain standard of common courtesy, e.g. not waking up your fellow students in the middle of the night. Is that so much to ask? The vast majority of the UCR community feels this way. I am happy to have Erodios members as my friends and I have the utmost respect for many Erodians. It would just be so nice if they did not disturb other people with their fraternity business.

  15. First of all, I appreciate you sharing your opinion however a lot of your facts are inaccurate. Such as the hagelslag story We prefer vanilla icecream seeing as it is a bit more sensual. Moreover, how dare you interrupt our mating ritual. Have you ever read about the right of passage in Papua New Guinea? how a child becomes a man! we stick to those values dearly and we do not appreciate you disrespecting them.

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