Cheryl’s Song

I loved seeing pledges. Donna and I were in front of the Student Union when Fred had them march in their new gear. Instead of jeans, sweatshirt, Army jacket, and combat boots, they were dressed in black slacks, white shirts, red ties, and dress shoes. Dressing up was normally reserved for the Probate Show at the end of the pledge program. This was very different. “I’m going to see if I can get one of them to smile.” Donna had a knack for devilment. Of course, I knew that no pledge would smile in public, but I also knew that look in her eyes. “Girl, leave them alone. Looks like they had a rough night last night.” “Watch this.” She went over and stood on the wall in front of the Union steps. The Student Union was the gathering place for blacks on campus. Of the 33,000 students at the university, about 10% were black. Of the 60 or so fraternity and sorority houses on campus, none were black or had ever been in the 125-year history of the university. The Student Union or the dorms were it as far as blacks hanging out. “Oh God, she’s doing her little-girl act,” I thought to myself. Donna had on her little, cutesy smile, and her hands locked together, waving them back and forth in front of her waist. Her head was on her shoulder as if it was her favorite pillow. “Car-r-los.” The brothers were pledging a Puerto Rican and a white guy. Carlos was fin-n-ne. Puerto Rican men have that great mix of being masculine and gorgeous at the same time. I just hoped the brothers didn’t mess up that pretty face. As far as everyone knew, no Black Greek Organization on our campus had ever pledged a Hispanic.