Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
60° Rockville, MD
The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Nathan celebrates after breaking the school record for the 3,200 meter race. Used with permission from Nathan Szubin.
Student breaks school record in track race
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 21, 2024

When junior Nathan Szubin stepped up to the line of the 3,200 meter race in the Johns Hopkins Invitational Meet on April 19, he had a different...

Arditi Zarouk (second from left) celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Perach with her team at the residence of Israeli President Herzog. Used with permission from Arditi Zarouk.
Former students and staff readjust to Israel in the wake of war
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 19, 2024

The Israeli embassy and military send over emissaries every year, and many of these families choose to send their kids to CESJDS. When they go...

A day of matzo meals
A day of matzo meals
Sophie Schwartz, Opinion Editor • April 18, 2024

Many people dread Pesach time, when their beloved chametz (leaven) is replaced with dry, brittle matzo. However, if presented well, matzo does...

Junior Evan Klepper gets ready for his WIS opponent to serve
Lions tennis fall short to WIS
Isaiah Segal-Geetter, Reporter • April 18, 2024

“Twenty four on 3, Mashiach on 6,” junior and tennis captain Evan Klepper said to the varsity boys tennis team before their match against...

Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Jonah Mitre, Reporter • April 17, 2024

To put their learning from government class into perspective, eighth grade students visited Capitol Hill on April 10 for a field trip. Throughout...

At the college fair on April 7, Pitzer College representatives boasted about their Students Justice for Palestine (SJP) club to a Jewish student.
Opinion: Colleges need to support Zionist students
Stella Muzin, Editor-in-Chief • April 16, 2024

On April 7, I attended the Washington Area Independent Schools College Fair, which was co-sponsored by CESJDS along with other schools from the...

Opinion: UMD’s decision to suspend all Greek life is unfair

Cati Werbin-Gradel
Because UMD is so close to most JDS students, many spend weekends at football games or visiting friends.

As a high school student, I often hear of my alumni friends who are underclassmen at their colleges participating in Greek life. Whether it’s a post on Instagram or hearing a story from a friend, Greek life has the ability to make a college experience more meaningful. 

For many students, like myself, Greek life is an appealing aspect of the college experience. Especially coming from a small high school, it is extremely important to me that I am able to join a sorority in college to build tight-knit friendships. So, when I found out that my state university, the University of Maryland in College Park (UMD), placed a suspension on all Greek life, I was upset and confused. 

On March 1, Director of Student Conduct at UMD James Bond sent a letter to the University’s sororities and fraternities announcing an indefinite suspension while an investigation takes place to look into unsafe activity in Greek life. This action came as a result of reports of misconduct and unsafe actions within sororities and fraternities. Although this may seem insignificant, more than 16% of the undergraduates at Maryland are Greek life participants, so this suspension had a large effect on campus. 

The ban was placed on all chapters in the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHA), which includes 16 chapters on campus. Although all these chapters are being punished, the university has yet to tell the chapters which and how many of them are being accused of misconduct, or how many accusations there are. 

While I agree that hazing and unsafe activities should be stopped, it isn’t productive to ban all Greek life on campus when it is likely only a few of the chapters who are behaving unsafely. Instead of barring Greek life as a whole, I believe it would have been more productive for the UMD administration to go after the specific chapters having issues. 

Specifically, the suspension puts all sororities and fraternities on social moratorium, which means that they are barred from holding events with alcohol and also prohibits Greek life members from reaching out to new or prospective members. I understand the logic behind these bans, but an indefinite suspension is an extreme and unfair punishment. 

Greek life serves as a unifying force at universities across the country, and for many students feel that members of their chapter are like family. It is unfair to bar students at UMD from building these relationships because of a crime many of them likely didn’t commit. 

I believe that the punishment of social moratorium makes sense and is an effective method of stopping hazing, but the ban on contact with new or prospective members seems unnecessary. Considering the fact that UMD sorority rush took place at the end of January, members who have been in their chapters for only a month are unable to begin to build the strong friendships they were expecting when joining. 

Instead of this ban, I believe it would be more effective to keep the social moratorium punishment while still allowing Greek life to meet and interact with new members. 

Additionally, I believe that the school should take action against the chapters with accusations rather than Greek life as a whole, as each chapter has their own culture. I in no way believe that hazing or other unsafe behavior should go unpunished, but it seems unfair for everyone to reap the consequences. 

Although most associate Greek life with only partying and alcohol, chapters can offer much more than that. According to Gallup and Cornell College, the 16% of college graduates who were members of Greek organizations are more likely to report being emotionally supported. Additionally, 85% of the Fortune 500 executives were members of Greek life organizations, as those who were in sororities and fraternities in college are more likely to be engaged in their careers. 

Sororities and fraternities are such an important staple of college life to many university students. They provide opportunities for new bonds and social settings, and many members consider their Greek life friends their siblings. Once proven, I hope UMD takes thorough action against the chapters which partook in unsafe practices. Until then, however, it is unfair to completely take away such a vital part of campus social life. 

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About the Contributors
Stella Muzin
Stella Muzin, Editor-in-Chief
Stella Muzin is eager to continue her work on Lion’s Tale as Editor-in-Chief after previously serving as Arts and Entertainment Editor. She's excited to continue designing spreads, editing articles and working with the rest of the staff. Outside of the newspaper, Stella is on the JDS Debate team and Swim team and is the president of the Political Discussion Club. In Stella’s free time you can find her binging reality TV or spending time with her family and friends. She's looking forward to a year of growth and improvement for the Lion’s Tale and can’t wait to be a part of it.  
Maiya Blumenthal
Maiya Blumenthal, Opinion Editor
Maiya is so excited to continue her work on the Lion’s Tale this year as an opinion editor. She can’t wait to help people share their ideas with the community in this role. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Maiya plays basketball, tennis and piano, and participates in Friendship Circle and the CESJDS Debate Team. Maiya can’t wait to work with the rest of the Lion’s Tale staff to produce interesting and unique content this year.  
Cati Werbin-Gradel
Cati Werbin-Gradel, Arts and Entertainment Editor, Director of Social Media
Cati is excited to continue her work as A&E Editor as well as Social Media director. She is looking forward to continuing to write and edit articles as well as design creative spreads for print. She is also excited to upload engaging content to the Lion’s Tale social media accounts. Other than Lion’s Tale, Cati is involved in the Varsity Dance Team, Health and Wellness program, and President of the History club. She is looking forward to working with the rest of the Lion’s Tale staff and making it a great year.  

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