Students need to realize that being involved in Greek life is not a negative thing.
Too many students are conditioned by media to believe that being Greek—AKA being in a sorority or fraternity—is a bad thing. This is simply not true. While the media portrays those involved in Greek life as shallow and unintelligent, reality is actually quite the opposite. As someone who would like to eventually rush, I have often found myself questioning the truth of Greek life stereotypes. In talking to several Greeks myself, I found that many of the stereotypes of Greek life are untrue despite what society would like us to believe.
For example, the stereotype that Greeks are unintelligent, only care about looks and party all the time is false. Many Greek organizations have mandatory study hall hours and a minimum GPA requirement. If members fall below the minimum, there will be consequences. As for looks, potential new members are evaluated based on transcripts and résumés in addition to presentation. True, looks may still account for a small part of one’s eligibility, but they are low on the list of membership requirements.
And yes, Greeks party. So does everyone else. Being Greek has little to no effect on how much a person parties. To live the party lifestyle is up to individuals, no matter what group they are in. Another stereotype is that all Greeks are spoiled children living off their parents’ dime. Again, this is simply untrue. There are many members who work hard to pay dues and extra costs out of their own pockets.
Greek life is also more than just the social aspect. Greek life is opportunity. There are countless experiences available in the Greek system, from leadership to events to philanthropy. In fact, most chapters have a specific charity or organization that they focus on and raise money for.
Greek organizations do a lot of work in the community and constantly strive to create a better world. There is also a tight bond formed between brothers and sisters that in many ways is just like an actual family. The bond formed between members is a unique experience students are unlikely to find anywhere else. The bonds formed in a fraternity or sorority last a lifetime and provide the kind of support that can only be rivaled by blood relatives.
I am tired of hearing stories from my Greek friends about the negative experiences they have had due to their affiliations with Greek life. Many of them, once the other person learns about their Greek-ness, receive dirty looks, sneers and remarks as if, by the simple virtue of being Greek, they must fit all the stereotypes. This is not fair. The letters a person wears should not define who they are as an individual. It is a part of who they are, for sure, but it does not make up 100 percent of their personality. Each member of a fraternity or sorority is an individual and deserves to be treated as such.
Greek life is not a negative thing. From tight bonds to philanthropic work, Greek life is a positive force on college campuses around the nation and especially here at Texas State. I think the negative stigma surrounding Greek life and those involved needs to be removed and more focus should be put on the positive aspects.