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Greek Up! Fraternity officers and international leaders must step up against the coronavirus. Pretty please.

New C.D.C. data showed that nearly 40 percent of hospitalized patients in the U.S. were aged 20 to 54. But the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people. New York Times, March 19, 2020

Fraternity members and athletes do have status on campus and therefore a powerful voice.

Thus far, the lions have only squeaked in the face of a national threat that could take the lives of neighbors living close to chapter houses.

While it is unlikely we’ll see a hazing death in 2020–thank, God–due to halted student group activities of all kind, the parties continue with students congregating in clusters at parties, campus lawns, bars, beaches.

True, you younger people generally have better immune systems and may even be asymptomatic at times or at least visibly symptom free, BUT if you carry the virus you pose a grave threat to neighbors like myself leaving the sunny side of seventy years old.

The choice is clear. Many of you do the right thing for charity: you do blood drives, you raise cash for causes, you volunteer like few others.

Do the right thing. Isolate yourself and stay in touch by abundant media options for face-to-face socializing.

Please.

And if you ARE a teen or twenty-something taking the coronavirus seriously, THANK YOU…& chew the heck outta any Old Timers who seem oblivious to the danger!

Young and old, no matter, we are all in this together. If I don’t step up, who will?  If you have power and status and step up, that neighbor’s life you save may be my life…or many more lives of seniors.

We old rodeo dabblers had a saying–Cowboy Up.  In this time of national emergency, it’s time to spread the word–or two words: Greek Up! Thanks!

 

 

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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