Posts Tagged ‘college fraternities’
The decision to join a fraternity or sorority can be a big one! After all, being a member can largely influence your college experience. Whether that’s a positive or negative experience depends on who you are, and what you want out of college! Earlier, we discussed three reasons to go Greek this semester. The fact is, going Greek isn’t for everyone, even if there are many who truly thrive from it. Here are three reasons being a member of a fraternity or sorority may not be for you.
It’s a Time Commitment
Being a member of a fraternity or sorority means quite a bit more than attending a weekly meeting. As a member, you will be expected to take part in the numerous events that are held, which can be anything from volunteer work off campus, to attending a ball put on by other members of the group. It means giving up some of your nights, and sometimes chunks of your weekend. While this can be a great way to become involved in your campus and community, as well as make friends, it also means less time to work on your academics, and fewer opportunities to join other groups, visit family members, and see friends outside of your fraternity or sorority. If you’re not willing to give up this much of your own time, you may not want to take part in Greek life.
Membership is a Long, Selective Process
As you probably already know, fraternities and sororities don’t take just anyone. There is usually a week or so (a process called “rush”) where interested students go through a series of activities to get to know one another and current members of Greek life. At the end of this recruitment process, they will pick a certain number of students to “advance.” It might be a semester of trying to prove yourself before a decision is made about your membership. Once you’re a member, you are expected to pay dues initially, and every semester following. This amount can be anywhere from a hundred dollars, to a thousand. While this process might be exciting and motivating for some, for others, this is just way too much work when so many other college groups will take anyone.
Membership is an On-Going Process
Once you have been initiated and have pledged to the group, staying in the group is still an on-going process. You may have to attend a certain number of events each month to avoid suspension. Failing to pay dues, or just not getting along with everyone else might also lead to suspension. In addition, your grades usually have to be above a 2.5 to stay in the group. For many students, none of these factors will ever become an issue, but for some, having your social life directly depend on your GPA or your financial situation can be a bit of a drag.
So you’re thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority!
At many universities, Greek organizations have a long history with and are deeply rooted in the school’s culture. These social groups are designed to get men and women to meet more people, develop character, and to make a contribution to their campus and community! There are likely many different fraternities and sororities to choose from on your campus, and each has its own set of unique characteristics for you to explore. Here are three reasons why you might want to consider one of them as part of life at college this semester!
To Meet New People
At a fraternity or sorority, you will become close with the other members through meetings, group bonding activities, volunteer work, and social events. It’s a great way to make new friends outside your residence hall and major. In addition, fraternities and sororities often have “mixers” with other fraternities and sororities, which will give you the opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex! Why is this important? Well, for many students, gaining dating experience, or meeting the person they will someday want to settle down with are goals they have set for themselves in college. When you’re in an all-girl residence hall, and your major is something like early childhood education made up predominantly of other women, or when you’re a freshman guy in an engineering major, opportunities to meet new people outside of these parameters is welcome!
To Contribute to the Campus and Community
Fraternities and sororities tend to spend a lot of their time running events or doing volunteer work on the campus and in the community, and there is much to be done! They might take part in sporting events, plan dances, start a fundraiser, donate to a charity, set up a speed dating activity, support a cause, run a marathon, sell t-shirts, and a million other things all on a weekly basis! If you’re looking to busy yourself with these kinds of events that are designed to benefit those around you, then this might be a good fit for you!
To Be Part of Something
You know what it feels like to be part of a team? To wear a jersey or a sports jacket with your team’s name on the back and your name on the front? How about knowing that there’s people who will always have your back? Being a member of a fraternity or sorority is a lot like that! There is a strong bond between fraternity and sorority members, much like in a sports team. You will often find yourself working with that group of students together on a project, as well as confiding in them about personal issues. You will be wearing apparel with your fraternity or sorority’s name on it. You will be recognized as a member of that group, sharing the honor with those who have come before you and the generation that will follow.
Sometimes, fraternities and sororities on campus are seen as important aspects of campus culture. Other times, they’re selective clubs that promote negative activities on campus.
Recently, two major universities took action to deal with what they perceived were the problems with Greek life on their college campuses. The University of South Carolina put a freeze on fraternity rush. The decision came after a student drank so much at a fraternity recruitment party that he became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
At Princeton University, officials recently banned students from participating in freshman rush beginning in fall 2012. The decision was made because of the school’s beliefs that social and residential life should revolve around the residential colleges, eating clubs, and shared experiences of the undergraduates living and dining on campus. Other officials at the school find that fraternities and sororities contribue to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege among students.
Are there more negatives to Greek life than positives? Here some pros and cons:
Pros to Greek life
- friendship–it’s an easy way to meet some of your best friends for life
- academics–often times a big purpose of the fraternity/sorority community is to encourage and develop high scholastic achievement among its members
- social life–planned mixers, parties, etc.
- community service opportunities
- networking–the Kappa Fig Newton could connect you with your dream job
Cons to Greek life
- dues — Greek life gets expensive!
- stigma–unfortunately, people tend to stereotype people in the Greek system
- drama–living with a small community of boys/girls can become a bit much, and a little misunderstanding could lead to a big fall out
- hazing–it’s technically not allowed, but depending where you go, it still happens
Do you agree with these university officials on their stances against Greek life? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below!
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