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The Value of Going Greek

Sean Ryan, Associate Director of Fraternity Life & Experiential Leadership Education

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With recent events on campus in the fall semester, it brought back many memories and feelings on why I decided to “Go Greek.”

We’ve all seen the movies and stereotypes in the media about students who join fraternities or sororities during their time in college (especially as Neighbors 2 recently came out). But given the millions of students who have “gone Greek” over the years, there must be some benefits, right?

Despite the negative images of college Greek life, many Greek organizations have quite a lot to offer, both during and after your time in school.

If you’re thinking of joining a fraternity or sorority, or planning on instantly writing them off, I challenge you to consider the following benefits as you decide if “going Greek” is right for you:

1. The high level of camaraderie with fellow members. The friendships you build through a fraternity or sorority often have a different “feel” to them than other friendships you make during your time in school. Perhaps it’s because of your shared values or your shared experience as members of your Greek organization. Regardless, you’re likely to make strong, personal friendships that can last well past graduation day.

2. Lots of community service opportunities. Many Greek organizations are heavily involved in community service. Your organization may require a certain amount of volunteering each semester or may have an annual event that raises funds for a community non-profit. If you’re interested in giving back during your time in school, a fraternity or sorority can offer you a lot of different options for doing so.

3. An academic support network. Even the newest college student knows to ask around when it comes to getting the latest information on classes, professors, and majors. And with the wide range of students that are members of a fraternity or sorority, you instantly have access to all kinds of knowledge about which professors, classes, and departments are the best. Additionally, if you’re struggling in a class, your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters can be a great resource for tutoring and other academic advice. Scholarship is usually one of the shared values among groups.  Building for one’s future is a huge priority.

4. A wide range of leadership opportunities. Fraternities and sororities require a lot of work given their high levels of involvement and programs. Because of this, there are often multiple leadership opportunities available each year. Even if you’ve never held a leadership position before, testing out your leadership skills within your Greek house can be a great way to develop some skills and give back.

5. An endless stream of learning opportunities. One of the best benefits of going Greek is the wide range of learning opportunities you’ll be presented with. You’ll meet all kinds of new people; you’ll participate in all kinds of new experiences; you’ll be presented with all kinds of new ideas. From formal, structured events to casual conversations in the house kitchen, fraternities and sororities are always challenging their members to do, learn, and act more.

The way fraternities and sororities members are portrayed in society is unfortunate, especially given the amazing things these students do each and every day. Your role as a fraternity or sorority member gives you a great opportunity to prove these stereotypes wrong. The friendships you make, community you build, volunteer work you do, and programs you put on can be part of a great college experience that embodies all that going Greek has to offer

I truly believe the media is writing the stories of our wonderful community and it’s time that we as the FSL (Fraternity & Sorority Life) community change that.  Being a part of a Fraternity or Sorority is something you should be proud of, not worried on how the media or the outside world perceives us.  It all comes back to the idea of value based recruitment.

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The Value of Going Greek