By Martin Gutierrez
Sigma Nu Fraternity Philanthropy Chairman
Interfraternity Council Vice President of Public Relations
While some fraternity and sorority chapters across the nation are closing their doors, Texas State’s Greek community is attracting attention from national headquarters. Other universities want to gain insight about the continued growth and success within Texas State’s Greek community.
When looking to gain the full college experience, challenge yourself to form an opinion of Texas State’s Greek community using facts and the relationships you create, rather than looking to the negative behaviors of a few Greek chapters at other universities and colleges being broadcast by biased news outlets.
Many people seem to believe Greek organizations, specifically the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, are friend-buying social clubs filled with the egotistical offspring of “relatively wealthy” Caucasian parents. However, our institution is fortunate enough to have moved away from recruiting men who resemble the fictional 1967 Delta Tau Chi Fraternity of Faber College found in the movie Animal House.
Instead, our community is full of hardworking and dedicated individuals who embody the values held dear to their respective affiliations. Being a member of a Greek organization is possible for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and many find being a member is very affordable by working while attending classes.
Each of our four Greek governing councils are accepting of all walks of life and offer men and women a diverse environment to grow here at Texas State. If joining a fraternity or sorority governed by one of the four Greek councils does not appeal to you, Texas State does have a variety of organizations eligible for membership. In fact, many members of our Greek community are part of other organizations.
However, keep in mind the presence of Greek letters on an organization does not reflect one of the four Greek councils recognized by the university.
Greek organizations host and attend numerous social events, but date parties, mixers and formals are all considered incentives—not a substitute for fulfilling community service, philanthropy, campus leadership or academic endeavors. Members of fraternities and sororities must complete requirements for eligibility to be able to attend the organization’s social events.
The responsibility of supporting a philanthropic cause may be mandatory for membership, but the overwhelming amount of gratitude received from those being helped makes all the sweat and hard work worthwhile.
The ladies of the Panhellenic sorority Zeta Tau Alpha raised over $22,000 to aid in breast cancer education and awareness. Our Greek community collected over 1,000 lbs. of canned food for the San Marcos Food Bank within a 24-hour period during the Greek Week celebration last April. Following the Memorial Day weekend floods, the Greek community selflessly rushed to aid in the disaster relief rather than focusing their time on “picking up women or buying enough booze to last a lifetime.”
To be Greek is to surround yourself with a group of men and women who challenge and motivate each other to become well-rounded individuals. Many students often do not realize the impact Greeks have made to help better the futures of Bobcats at Texas State. Jerry and Linda Fields, Sigma Nu and Chi Omega alumni, respectively, are self-made millionaires who have funded a variety of programs in the McCoy College of Business and an addition to Bobcat Stadium.
While many may never understand the merits and opportunities a fraternity or sorority has to offer, some will decide to take that oath of membership to become the future leaders of this fine institution. Each fraternity and sorority embodies its own individual Code of Ethics and values in its daily routines.
Explore your options and ignore the negatively biased views of those who choose to degrade the fraternity and sorority experience without any insight.