College Prepares People for Life: Argumentative Essay

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Over the past 30 years, Greek life has gotten a lot of stereotypes, but this is because no one truly knows what goes on inside of the organization other than those that are a part of it. One might even say it’s a “secret society,” kind of like the Illuminati. But what is Greek life? It’s an organization for university students that help them gain life experience and help with the local community. Greek Life has always held a negative connotation that states if you join a fraternity or sorority then you gain the stigmas of only wanting to party and get drunk every night or to show you are above others in a materialistic way. In the past few decades, every good thing they do gets glazed over by all the negative connotations. Those being that all they do, once they join Greek life, is not care about school. But, a lot of that is false. Fraternity life is very strict, especially here on Nevada’s campus. They tend to drop people if their GPA is lower than 3.0 and if they also break the house rules or university rules.

Greek life is often referred to as a “secret society.” This is because you never truly know what goes on inside of it. When you try to ask a question about it, the member tends to deflect the question and tries to change the topic. But why is this? Is it because it’s tradition or is it something else? For example, I know quite a few people who are involved both in fraternities and sorties, and when asked about how their time is spent in the organization, they become very hesitant to answer. One friend, Jace Woodard, is a part of a fraternity on here campus and cannot discuss anything that he does, all their meetings for the house are to be called “business meetings” and not fraternity meetings. The term “secret society” reflects the idea of Greek life being the new “Illuminati”. The term may seem vague and slightly terrifying, but since the organization first emerged, they have consisted of a network of supporters who vow their lives to help a community and each other. This is done so both sides can band together as brothers and sisters until death does its part. In reality, Greek life is just one big club that houses a lot of traditions that they don’t want to get out of.

Greek life has a lot of negative stereotypes. The top is that you only join to party and get drunk every night, some might also say you “buy friendships” and sexual assault. But how true are these stereotypes? John Hopkins, a student journalist, states that “scholars had focused on alcohol use, sexual assault, and hazing, largely overlooking the organizations’ influences on student development.” And he’s completely right. I mean the stereotypes for Greek life all come from social media, movies and TV shows, and even our family members. We grow up in a society where we like to blame people for silly mistakes that we all make. Who can safely say they never got drunk in college? Or who never went out with friends because if they wanted to go have some fun? It’s because of the stigmas that we grew up with do we tend to blame the most obvious party. One thing a lot of people tend to say about those who join Greek life in college was the “popular” kids in high school. That statement couldn’t be more wrong, because Greek life is a welcome center for everyone, they try their best to accept anyone and everyone to the best of their abilities.

One of the most popular stereotypes in Greek life, mainly fraternities, is hazing. Hazing is defined as, “subjecting potential group members to degrading initiation rituals. (Honeycutt)” Ever since the 1970’s hazing has been a thing in fraternities, it’s when active members take the new members (pledges) and try to make them prove themselves that they belong within the house. It’s meant to be a harmless joke but has cost many kids their lives and even sometimes ruin their careers before they even start. The stereotype behind hazing new members is that active members will make the pledges drink a lot and then go “dare” them to do something like walk down the road wearing a silly costume, ring the school bell, etc. just some dumb harmless humor (Hollmann). But many believe that it’s always taken a bit too far, and it has been in the past. Little do people realize that hazing is illegal, this is because of how dangerous it can get, but most fraternities nowadays just make the pledges do one small thing that humiliates them. For example, one fraternity on campus made its current pledge class act like an animal for a full day, they weren’t allowed to speak to anyone and had to do certain things if someone said a key phrase or word, the joke ended once the fraternities meeting started later that night.

While there are a lot of negative connotations about Greek life, they do a lot of good and try their hardest to defy all the stereotypes. One of the biggest things that Fraternities and Sorties try to do is prepare their members for life after college. To do this they tend to push their active members to be the best and not give up. While this could be very challenging, most believe that in the end, it’s very rewarding. Everyone that I interviewed, had the same opinion when it came to the stereotypes made about Greek life. They all said they know it’s there, but it pushes them to strive for more, to prove to people that they aren’t what people say they are.

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Joining Greek life can help college students. It gets them more involved with both on-campus and off-campus life. By joining a fraternity or sorority one can make lifetime friendships, gain leadership skills, and a lot more. One current student, Darby Shaw, states that joining a Sorority her Freshman year was one the best things she’s ever done. This is because of the friends she’s made during her journey and the things she does inside her sorority that help not only college students but also the surrounding Reno community. She states that Greek life is, “a complete personality and resume builder.” This is completely true because one of the main goals in Greek life is to help prepare members for life after college. By joining a Sorority, Darby was able to get two different finance internships over this past summer. This happened because of her current position as Vice President of Finance in Sigma Kappa. Darby also stated that joining Sigma Kappa helped build her personality more over the past four years. This is because she has become very involved in a community and is surrounded by people, she considers lifelong friends. She also mentioned that joining a sorority it has given her life opportunities that she would never have gotten to experience. These were going out of state to fundraisers and house meetings and being able to meet so many amazing people over the past four years.

Another way this community defies its stereotypes is through the statistics they prove every single year. Those are higher graduation rates, higher grade point averages, and even better chances of getting higher income after graduating (Routon & Walker). This is all done because of the support that each member has for their brothers and sisters. One thing no one likes to talk about is how each fraternity or sorority tries to push its current members to be the best they’ve ever been. This could imply school and social events. One sorority here on Nevada’s campus, Kappa Alpha Theta, pushes its members to do well in school. They tend to hold study sessions and even sometimes tutoring to the girls who are a part of the house. One former student, Austin Blatnick, was a part of the Fraternity Sigep de Mayo. He stated that he has, “gone into an interview before where I mentioned being in Greek life and one of the people who were on the panel had also been a part of my fraternity at some point.” What this implies is that by joining Greek life you can become very connected with the community and even be able to connect with others about it. Something that few people realize is just how big Greek life is. A lot of people tend to think it’s a small community, but thousands of people are either current or past members of a certain house. So, you never really know what or who you might come across.

Every sorority and fraternity has a mission. That mission is called philanthropy, the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed through donations or money and good causes (Lara & Johnson). Some philanthropies help with diseases like Alzheimer’s, others help the surrounding communities with homelessness or children in need, and some even help those who are military veterans. With philanthropies, it helps get the stigma that Fraternities and Sororities are only created to party and not care about anyone but themselves. Instead, this organization helps get its members out in the world and do some good. For example, Sigma Kappa has 5 different philanthropies that they are a part of. Those being, “The Sigma Kappa Foundation, Inherit the Earth Gerontology, Maine Seacoast Mission, and Alzheimer’s research.” All these missions strive out to different communities around the world to help bring awareness to it all. With the “Inherit the Earth Gerontology” and “Seacoast Mission,” Sigma Kappa does its best to go around and pick up trash and help push for environmental-friendly lifestyles. As for Alzheimer’s research, Sigma Kappa raises money all year round to help fund research for a cure for Alzheimer’s and donate money to organizations that sponsor the disease and help spread awareness about it. Philanthropies also help the members gain community hours. This could be very beneficial for both school and career-related things. Writers Christen Lara and Daniel Johnson stated this about philanthropies being used by Greek life, “Philanthropy given by alumni is an important, and increasingly important, source of financing for institutions of higher education. Given the competition for those donations, it would be valuable for smaller institutions to be able to model the potential of their own alumni database, and to identify high-probability, untapped philanthropists.” This statement provides the details that further enlist the idea of philanthropies being good not only for the community but also for the institution or organization.

In the past 3 decades, Greek life has gotten an infinite number of stereotypes that will last forever. But how true are those stereotypes? How did we get them in the first place? The answer to that one may seem simple but is quite complex. This is because we all grew up with the negative connotations of going Greek. We got it from movies and TV shows, the media, and even sometimes our parents, who were in a sorority or fraternity. It appears that joining a fraternity or sorority is very taboo nowadays, but why is that? Is it because we don’t truly know what goes on inside the organization, or is it because we want to believe everything we see on social media and the big screens?

Greek life has helped many people get through college and has even opened the floodgates for those graduating. From making friends to being involved with the university and local communities, this organization has benefited people so much in the past 200-plus years it’s been around. While the negative stigmas will always stick to the terms Fraternity and Sorority, just try to remember all the good they do. Sure, they like to party and have a good time, but what college student doesn’t?

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College Prepares People for Life: Argumentative Essay. (2023, July 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from
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