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Fraternities and Sororities: To Join or Not To Join

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The college social scene happens at a high degree within its sphere and is well known for its extraordinary power over a body of young adults. Thus, many students seek out ways to become more immersed within the societal populace and for good reason being that socialization at college is practically a requirement for success.

The problem they face, or rather fear, is the “break-through,” the transitionary period where they go from having no friends to having friends. Most often, this period requires some action on their part or pursuance in which they can achieve adequate social existence during their time in school.

At any university or college, there are many ways to become a part of a community of students where friendships and networking can occur; however, despite its drawbacks, the most popular and recommended way is to join a fraternity or sorority, otherwise known as “going Greek.”

The Greek System

History

The Greek system came into being over two hundred years ago and has significantly evolved since. The purpose of this system was to promote academic aid and community to a select group within itself, segregated from the rest of the student body. Early on, these student organizations were exclusive to male students, the inception of the "fraternity. " Female fraternities or sororities followed suit years later during the mid to late 1800s when women were increasingly allowed admittance to schools that were typically reserved for men.

Rushing and Pledging

Rushing is a process in which students wishing to become a part of a certain Greek organization will undertake in order to learn about the community and/or join it. Fraternities and sororities will arrange for these prospective students to participate in certain “happenings” that will determine an offer for house affiliation. (This process is one of the reasons for the surrounding criticisms of Greek fraternities being that hazing has been associated with it.)

If an invitation has been offered to the student and he or she accepts, they are then pledged to the house, procedures for which vary.

To Join or Not To Join

Many graduates will tell you that their time at college as a sorority sister or fraternity brother was the most amazing experience they will ever remember at school, and that the pros will far outweigh the drawbacks.

Pros

1. Networking: You will be living with so many people of similar interest, which is great way to gain networking opportunities.

2. Friendships: Certainly within such a community, friendships will thrive.

3. Campus Involvement: Due to the nature of social responsibility sororities and fraternities have on campus, i.e., fundraisers, parties, events, there are many opportunities to get involved.

4. Built-In College Resources

5. Burgeoning Social Scene

Cons

1. Costs: Pledging is not free; there are costs involved.

2. Bad Reputations: Many fraternities and sororities have reputations of hazing and excessive partying

3. Social Life Limited to Your House: Your entire social life will revolve around the community in the house. Chances to make friends outside of your house will be limited.

Conclusion

The most important thing to do if you are considering becoming Greek, is to do your research about the house and its practices. Unfortunately today, there are many organizations that have gained poor reputations deservingly, either for unacceptable hazing practices or over-the-top partying. Make sure you are aware of the reputation of the house you are rushing.

All in all, if you are looking to broaden your social status on campus, joining a sorority or fraternity is the best avenue to take!


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Jesus Diaz of Greekster.tv almost 9 years ago Jesus Diaz of Greekster.tv


Thanks Tara for this great list! Had a bit more to add :) MORE Pros not and the reverse of the Cons listed above ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. Leadership: You will be around peers who are leading organizations on and off-campus. This will rub off. 48% of all U.S. Presidents have been Greek. 2. Grades: Many Greek lettered organizations assign academic deans and mandate extended study hours to improve their pledge's GPA while undergoing the process. Once you become a member, you can choose to continue the hours by studying with future pledges. 3. Resume Builder: Once in the organization, you will be provided opportunities to run different facets of the Chapter with which you belong. From Treasurer to President, there is a vast array of opportunities. 4. Costs: If pledging and member fees, add up to $500 in total over the 4 years in college - which was the case in my fraternity, may not be the same in all, then $500 is worth all of the pros. Some people pay $2,000 for a seminar at work and get so much less. It's worth every penny in my book. 5. Reputations: Many fraternities and sororities have solid reputations for community service and academic excellence - choose wisely and make sure you associate yourself with the members that you aspire to be like. 6. Social Life IS NOT Limited to Your House: Some fraternities and sororities do not even have Greek houses so they must use other means to meet and socialize. Even if you have a Greek house, it actually creates a venue for mixers and inter-Greek communications.

Rishona almost 9 years ago Rishona


Thank you for writing about this! I would like to add that all college activities (especially fraternities and sororities) help broaden your horizons. I myself never thought of myself as the "sorority girl" type. But it's not like what you see in film. Greek life today is really diverse. You have sort of groups; including professional and service groups that also provide a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. My sorority, Delta Gamma Pi is actually pretty inexpensive and many groups have discounts on dues for those who cannot afford them.