On Monday a letter addressed to the Fraternities and Sororities of Ohio University signed by the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, The Women’s Panhellenic Association, Vineyard Vines, Sperry and Patagonia drastically altered the events of this year’s Greek Week celebration due to the “Build The Wall” graffiti seen written on the OU Graffiti wall by Bentley Annex.
Today, a letter signed by the same group officially cancelled all further Greek Week activities due to what they referred to in their letter as “a disturbing and offensive smell emanating from a fraternity house on campus.” The letter did not state the affiliation or names of the Greek members involved with this “disturbing and offensive smell” as “it is not at the center of this controversy.” At this point, it is unclear if the parties responsible will face trash fines.
The New Political obtained a copy of the week’s annotated agenda prior to the canceling of all events early this morning. The new agenda removed the extremely popular “drinking” event, which was set to take place sporadically throughout the week as well and the main event this Friday and Saturday. The letter also added an event referred to as “Repent For Your Actions,” an 80’s-themed rave where groups compete to see who is the most apologetic for their actions and would have taken place on Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.
“This smell is offensive and hurtful to many individuals especially those with acute senses of smell. We have yet to discern what caused the smell on [College Street], but our main suspect is a large black plastic bag,” the letter stated. As for the concerns as to what is inside of this large black plastic bag the letter goes on to state “The bag could contain trash, yes, but also it could be filled with racial slurs. Therefore, we have to take the utmost care to read into this as much as possible and blow it all out of proportion.”
In wake of the anti-smell sentiments by the Greek Community, the OU Recycling Club held an emergency meeting Wednesday, where top university officials such as President Roderick McDavis were in attendance.
“Indeed, your curb is a place of free speech and expression; however, what was thrown away in that bag is troubling because it smells and some people have more heightened senses of smells than others on this campus and that in of itself is an injustice. Trash anywhere is trash everywhere,” McDavis said in a fax sent to students Wednesday night.
The fax goes on to state that although students have every right to make their trash smell as bad as they want, they should keep their individuality to themselves and suppress their opinions in the future.
“The issue right now is that some people don’t feel unified with Greek Life,” Mark Hawker, president of OU’s chapter of Omega Omega Omelet, said. “It’s mainly because these people aren’t in fraternities or sororities, but the smelly trash situation isn’t helping either.”
The letter stated that Greek Week has “become smellier” in recent years, contributing to the changes.
“In making these changes, we understand that there are many who will feel that this is a punishment,” the letter goes on to say. “We acknowledge that some people take their trash out weekly, but as a collective, it is our responsibility to hold each other accountable with the ultimate goal of pacifying the community.”
The letter ends with a somber plea to all associated with Greek Life, “It’s not about whether smelly trash is protected under your First Amendment rights, but whether the majority want to pretend the smells are against the rules.”