Posts Tagged ‘greek life’
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.
I bet you all the spare change on my desk that when you get to college, you will come across at least five of the seven stereotypes I’m about to explore.
Nobody likes to be grouped into a stereotype, but sometimes, the truth just speaks for itself, and definitely in the case of a college campus. I’m not sure if it’s something in the soft serve of the dorm cafeterias or what, but there’s something about a college campus that universally produces these stereotypes in sleeper cells who, before entering college, showed little to no sign of the following stereotypes until after they fully move into their dorms and say ‘goodbye’ to their parents:
1. Library Sleepover Guy/Girl
This character is the one who strangely prefers the claustrophobic space under a desk in the university library over the down comfortable and padded mattress of their own bed. Why would this be? Good question, and it’s fairly difficult to answer, coming from a pro-bed disposition, but I believe it has something to do with the cozy atmosphere of a library, especially if you’ve been in there for hours. The soft whispers, the fall-leaf crinkle of pages turning, the hypnotic melody of your peers typing term papers, the asbestos in the walls, you know. It’s certainly enough to get you to doze off–not to mention that you’ve been in there for 29 hours already and have just gone mad and are confusing the library for your bedroom.
2. Guy Who says “Work hard; play hard” Way Too Often
This phrase should’ve burnt out with the 80s, but unfortunately, it’s going strong among a small population. This person likes to, well, work hard, and then play hard. They’re usually the ones somehow able to function with a level 5 hangover. Allowing them to, you know, workhardplayhard.
3. Mr./Ms. Moocher
Whether it’s another precious Diet Coke from your mini fridge, or notes from American Culture 101, there is always somebody willing to catch a free ride. Sure, one Diet Coke is nothing. But soon, the Diet Cokes add up and eventually you’re basically helping your friend slide through class without lifting a finger–or buying the text book! Did that metaphor get mixed up? You get it.
4. The Unexpected Party Animal
This person was on 24-hour patrol by their parents before shipping off to college. The freedom is often jarring and catapults this usually in-bed-by-9pm type into crazy party animal behaviors. Don’t worry though, they’ll get the balance sooner or later.
5. Wait, They’ve Found Signs of Life Outside the Greek Bubble?
What’s most interesting is that even though nobody’s born into the Greek system, a certain group of people completely disregard the life they led before going Greek and treat non-Greek people as if they’re lost puppies without homes. Let them live in their little dream worlds. It’s cute and stupid. But mostly cute. And also stupid.
6. The Unassuming Genius
This is the best one. You’ll be asking a homework question to yourself out loud, like “Wait, so what’s the dif between diamond and graphite?” And your roommate who happens to be watching Real Housewives of Orange County because that’s what she does ALL day, says, “They are chemically identical–completely carbon-based– but their bonding patterns, graphite being held together like sheets, and diamond created from 4 incredibly strong covalent bonds result in completely different materials. The graphite in your pencil is writing this all down because the sheets can slide off easily since they’re only held be weaker Van der Waal bonds,” she says without looking away from the television. Kinda nice to have on tap.
7. Person Who Thinks That They’re the Only One in a Hard Class with A Lot of Work
This stereotype cannot get it through their heads that they are not the only ones on campus to be in a class that requires some hard work. It’s really annoying, but usually these types have a bunch of other redeeming qualities you can concentrate on. Usually.
Any stereotypes we’re missing? What would you be considered on campus?
Today’s question is inspired by National Hazing Prevention Week:
47% of students come to college already
having experienced hazing.
Why are students willing to be hazed,
and how can it be prevented?
Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below).
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!
If your idea of what college and university life is like happens to be based on your dad’s nostalgic and, most likely, exaggerated stories about the craziest toga party the dean ever had to break up or the hardest professor any student ever had, or the most elaborate prank ever that he and his pal “Tank” almost got expelled for–
Well, maybe you need a fresh source of information.
Today we’re giving you 4 and 1/2 college myths and debunking them so you can understand what college life is actually like–not 30 years ago–but today:
1. Big colleges are best if you haven’t chosen a major
Surprisingly, a bigger school doesn’t necessarily mean more options for your major. As long as you decide on a school that has a good selection of fields of study, you probably have the same flexibility in majors at a small school as you would at a big one–possibly even more. For instance, you might decide that you want to create your own major. At a big school, you might have to jump through a bunch of administration hoops to do want you want. At a small school, the administration is probably more personal and even eager to help you make the education you want.
2. College is 4 years. Period.
Yes, most college students graduate in four years. It’s kind of just the allotted time given to college students, but it’s a bit arbitrary. Depending on how long you want to stay in college, you can reasonably graduate before that four year mark or after. If you want to graduate in fewer than four years, it’s as easy as meeting with an adviser and scheduling your credits smartly so that you complete what you need in time. If you want to stay past the four year mark, it also makes sense to sit down with a college adviser to figure out when you should take which classes when, or what you can accomplish with the “extra” time.
3. You must go Greek immediately
A ton of incoming college freshman freak out because they want to go Greek–join a fraternity or sorority–but have barely even acclimated to college life yet. Too many students hurry into Greek like without really knowing what they even want out of college. The good news? You don’t have to rush until you’re certain you want to. There are houses that offer second semester rush, or, you can even just wait until you’re a sophomore to join. Do what you’re comfortable with!
4. Hazing is just part of the tradition!
Hazing may be a tradition in a house, but colleges and universities do not condone it. Too many times does a hazing activity go too far, as in it will cause serious harm to people, because nobody stands up to stupid or dangerous ideas. If you’re doing the hazing, and it goes public, you could get into serious trouble. We’re talking like actual trouble with police and legal things and lawyers and all that stuff.
4.5 College isn’t the real world
College is kind of a bubble considering how unique it is to have such a high concentration of young people trying to learn in one place. So yes, that can seem a little “unreal”. But it’s not like college campuses exist in magic fairy tale dimensions. College campuses are in real places where real people live and work and play. You don’t have to wait to make an impact or try living in the “real world” until after college–you’re in it now. Your campus may be different from where you want move after you graduate, but there’s no reason you can’t immerse yourself into the local culture or contribute to it. Even just getting a normal job off-campus can help you realize you’re in the real world.
Have an opinion or question? Leave a comment!
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