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Monday November 27, 2000

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Where the thugs are

By The Wildcat Opinions Board

The mafia has found its way to the UA.

And these aren't your garden-variety Al Capone thugs. These are tough, hardcore UA boys.

And forming big groups to duke it out with a few victims seems to be their cup of tea.

Recently fights among fraternity members have involved multiple attackers and just a few victims. Fifty Sigma Phi Epsilon members reportedly attacked only five members of Kappa Sigma Monday night.

The Sig Ep attackers were reportedly retaliating against an attack from Kappa Sigma that took place earlier in the evening. During this attack, 12-15 fraternity members attacked one person.

As of Tuesday, student programs officials were still trying to figure out exactly what prompted the incident.

"We're currently investigating the incident and trying to get more details," said Brian Keintz, assistant director for student programs, which oversees Greek Life.

These group attacks are a clear departure from traditional fighting. What ever happened to one-on-one fist fights? It seems that Sig Ep and Kappa Sigma members left that whole concept behind when they graduated high school.

But they haven't matured much.

Perhaps it is a given that college-aged hot-blooded frat boys are going to rough and tumble. But if they do, they should at least have the guts to be fair about it.

Such fights don't just make the Greek system look bad. They make the entire university look bad. These weird altercations between mobs of thuggish boys prove that something's wrong with the way these boys deal with conflict. Somehow these groups have been raised to believe that taking out their aggression through violence-better yet, mob violence-is the way to go. The golden rule of sucking it up and walking away if somebody pisses you off has been forsaken. Duking it out seems to have become the more popular option.

What makes frats different than gangs or mobsters when they resort to this type of violence? Somehow, Sig Ep dissed Kappa Sigma. Kappa Sigma then had to maintain its honor and retaliate-not with just one frat member confronting another, not two or three, but TWELVE. At least twelve boys felt the need to attack one member of Sig Ep.

Sig Ep's response was to rally a small militia of fifty for the express purpose of kicking Kappa Sigma's ass.

Guys, please. Grow up.

There is something seriously wrong with the entire concept of duking it out as a means of revenge, or of maintaining honor. By fighting the way they did on Monday night, Sig Ep and Kappa Sigma just made themselves look like thugs. If they want to be a part of the UA, if they want to have homecoming floats, if they want to participate in fall and spring rush to recruit more members, they need to pull their heads out of their asses.

But if they want to look like thugs, they've succeeded nicely.

We all know how Al Capone ended up: behind bars. Quit fighting, guys.