A grim reminder of the economic disparities within Miami’s student body was seen last Tuesday when yet another fraternity member was spotted drinking a beer on his porch without a shirt.

Sadly, this is not a rare sight in Oxford. Many fraternity members cannot afford a shirt, and those that can, don’t have enough money to purchase sleeves for them, causing an epidemic of cold, creatine-filled arms and pointy nipples.

A quick walk through the streets of the Mile Square on a Saturday afternoon reveals droves of penniless fraternity members trying to make the best of their poor, shirtless lives through playing simple ball and cup games.

Most Miami students actually own a shirt, with several even owning as many as three at one time. But you would be hard pressed to find any of these shirt owners walking the small, pizza box-littered floors of the fraternity houses.

Only two percent of all shirt owners at Miami are fraternity members, and when it comes to owners of multiple shirts, that statistic drops to a shocking .01 percent.

“It’s tough, ya know?” said Fiji member and shirtless man Chad Thorinson. “Often weekends with the boys cost up to a hundo to even get the buzz started. How does society expect me to afford a shirt after all this boolin?”

The poverty of Miami fraternity members has always been an issue, with records of close calls to bankruptcy going all the way back to the 1970s when several fraternities almost went into the red after throwing a “beer and babes fest.” But compared to the male Greek community’s historic money troubles, the scale of their current financial destitution is unparalleled.

Many fraternity members barely maintain an income to survive, let alone purchase a shirt. Sixty-nine percent of the gross income of fraternity boys goes toward Natural Light and the majority of the rest is spent on mint Juul pods, with not enough left to even purchase a vest.

Most members of fraternities don’t even know what a shirt is because of criminally underfunded shirt education in Ohio’s public schools. This often results in the boys getting confused and cat calling shirt owners to try and figure out what is covering their torso.

“When fraternity boys cat call, they are not trying to be obnoxious, they’re confused,” said shirt activist Linda Sampson. “When they shout ‘Hey baby, I would like to take that off of you in bed,’ they don’t want to have sex, but rather examine and learn what exactly a shirt is in a closed, safe environment like a bedroom.”

Sampson believes the best way to change this is by establishing shirt education programs that emphasize safe shirt practices. A major barrier, however, are fundamental nipplists, who believe the only natural way to express a torso is through bare skin.

Whatever the solution, one thing remains certain: Fraternity boys keep getting colder, and their nipples keep getting pointier. Society needs to figure out how to get shirts to these boys before they receive nature’s deadly purple nurple —  frostbite.

seriomp@miamioh.edu

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