On a recent Columbia tour, guide Miles Russell had to stifle his laughter as one of the members of his group asked where he could find the frat houses on campus.
“So like, these buildings and the dorms are cool and all…but where are all the frat houses?” the 17-year-old questioned.
The incoming freshman donned in mint-green Chubbies and a J-Crew polo, stood out from the rest of the tour group of smug art kids sporting skinny jeans and beanies in the summer heat. Russell wondered if this particular student intended on touring the other Columbia, 800 miles away in New York City.
“It’s rare, but every once in a while we get a rogue kid who meant to go visit Columbia in New York City. In reality, they’re touring the furthest thing away from an Ivy League institution,” Russell sighed.
Russell had a feeling that the incoming freshman might be one of those instances.
After Russell explained to the walking Vineyard Vines ad that Columbia has a policy that prohibits Greek life from being introduced to the campus, the high schooler then followed up by asking, “Where am I supposed to meet people on campus then?”
“Jazz Band and the Quidditch team are the most popular activities around the school,” replied Russell, seeing the disgust in the senior’s eyes as he continued. “You should try those out, you look like you’d fit in!”
For the remainder of the tour, the high schooler didn’t stop short of making snide comments about how “soft” a school must be to derail the “god-given right” for students to join a fraternity or sorority.
In the weeks following the incident, Columbia’s tour office implemented special training regarding how tour guides should respond when a person on their tour asks about Greek life on campus.
“Now, the protocol is to simply hand them a brochure to Columbia University in the City of New York. That’s probably where they were trying to go in the first place,” explained Russell.
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