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Greek Life: Do The Pros Outweigh Cons?

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Think back on history of presidents all the way to the very first, George Washington. What do almost all of them have in common? How about the Apollo 11 crew… What do they all share in common? Lets include the eighty percent of the top Fortune 500 companies too. Do you know what we get? It just so happens that they all ended up being part of a Greek organization in their college years. Dating back to the first chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, back in the 1770s, they were probably even around before some of the many universities around the United States. Now, why did I bring a little history up? The reason is that although from the beginning to the present day, it has changed overtime and will not be fading from colleges anytime soon due to the support schools get from them. But what I want to talk about is why people still join them. I know it is not part of every student’s college experience, but the participation within them still seems to be continuing and growing in some cases even.

The first reason, and possibly the biggest reason in my opinion, why people join Greek life is networking. When I refer to that I mean on a larger scale. Yes, you meet a bunch of new people in the sorority or fraternity you are joining as well as meeting people from the others as well. Mainly you meet a bunch of new people form either the events that your organization holds or other like-minded individuals from the joint social events you hold with the other organizations. But what people do not see is the big networking within both a Greek organization and Greek life as a whole. In the Forbes 400, which is a list that comprises the top 400 wealthiest people in the world, they were able to spot at least thirty of them that were associated to Greek life (Forbes). If you take that number and divide it by four hundred, it gives you seven percent of the wealthiest people were in Greek life. That list may not even include the list of actors or actresses, musicians, athletes, chief executive officers, and other people in other fields that you may look up to or idolize. For example, Robert Kraft (chief executive officer and chairman of the New England Patriots), Michael Jordan (the one who people consider as probably the greatest of all time in the NBA), Lisa Murkowski and Kirsten Gillibrand (both are senators for their perspective states), Carrie Underwood (singer), and the list just goes on and on. (Forbes, Hollywood Reporter). Now tell me, who would not want to be part of a network that already has many notable names and probably more to come.

Another reason why people join Greek life is philanthropy. These are another one of those things that may go unheard of but remains true that they take part in service and community. Greek life community as whole makes up the biggest network of volunteers in the United States. Let that sink in for a bit. Each organization has their own charity and causes that they raise money and donate to for their philanthropy. For these examples, since I could not find any overall statistics for it, I will be choosing one fraternity and sorority that is not associated to our school to make this unbiased. First, we will talk about the fraternity’s, Kappa Sigma, service and philanthropy, Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Campaign. Within the years of 2015 to 2017, their organization alone raised more than $6.7 million dollars and 1.4 million hours of community service. For their philanthropy, they help raise money to assist military veterans and their families who their loved ones were wounded in combat. Since the start back in 2007, they have already donated more than 1.8 million dollars to their philanthropy since then (KappaSigma). For our sorority counterparts, I will be talking about Delta Delta Delta, also known as Tri Delta, and their philanthropy. Their philanthropy focus is on St. Jude’s hospital, which was formed back in 1999. From that time to 2014 they raised and donated more than twenty-six million dollars over that span. Later that year, they made a commitment to raising at least sixty million dollars by the year 2024 (TriDelta). The amount of time spent, and money raised are definitely very appreciated, but goes unnoticed due to what people mainly see from them.

This leads us to our next reason, which is the social scene. Greek life is highly known for this due to how media depicts them and what people have seen. If you go on YouTube and type in along the lines of “Greek life party” or something similar, you can see the countless of videos of people filming at their parties, which can lead to what people normally think. Animal house is a perfect example for this. It depicts how a Greek organization can help make you be a better improved person or how it can make you into a frequent party person. In the movie Neighbors, the character Zac Efron played depicts how society thinks Greek life members act (The Antlantic). There is a reason why colleges still advertise Greek life in their student communities as it is something that most people that are part of it enjoy.

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This leads to my next point stereotypes. This will be broken up into several paragraphs touching up on each one of them. Although the numerous stereotypes are crazy, I will be choosing ones that I hear more frequently.

The first one I will address is “they pay for their friends”. People are aware that every member in Greek life has to pay dues. It can cost well over $3,000 per semester, depending on which college you attend, organization you are a part of, and especially if you live in the house and pay for room and board fees, which are sometimes cheaper than the dorms . I myself paid $750 for my first semester and then $650 the next semester. The dues that we pay each semester goes towards our budget for the year which our national headquarters helps set up. About half of our dues go towards the national headquarters while the rest fund chapter needs (Columbia Spectator). I find it worth it due to my experience so far at least. We have to fund things such as rush where we hold activities for everyone interested in joining, philanthropy events, and countless social events. We had events almost every other week, which always gave me something to do or keep me busy. We cannot expect to do all those without any initial funding.

For this portion, I will hit two at the same time since it goes hand in hand, the excessive drinking and poor grades. The drinking part may be true as around twenty-five percent of non-Greek students do poorly on projects and exams due to drinking while it increases to about fifty percent for people in Greek life. This is something that the Greek community as a whole are trying to fix, but do not let that sway how they perform academically overall. Since Greek organizations require minimum grade point averages ranging from 2.5 to 3.0, it helps our members have higher grade point averages than normal students. Which in result helps out in the long run as people in Greek life have a seventy-one percent chance of graduating compared to the normal students having a fifty percent chance (elitedaily).

Onto my last stereotype I would like to cover is one that I think is a bit controversial and affects the overall image of Greek Life is the diversity and being selective. Let me start off by saying there are many Greek organizations that appear to be dominant by race. The reason why I say “appear” is because of how our media and society decides how its depicted. They do not show the fact that there are other Greek organizations such as Divine Nine, which are pre-dominantly black, and other organizations that are based off other minority races and religions. In our media, Greek organizations are pictured as pre-dominantly white. This might be the case when you take a look at the composites of the more well-known Greek organizations. You will notice how majority of them are in fact white. But I think the reason for that is you already have your mind set up telling yourself that this fraternity will not take me because of this or that. But as a minority myself, Asian, I did not let that affect me. I tried to convince some of my close friends who were Hispanics to rush or rush with me and they did not because of our skin color. When I went to different fraternities and got to know about the people in them or the organization, they treated me like every other person that was interested. Out of all the people who got accepted in my class three out of fifteen were minority, me being Asian, one being Hispanic, and one being black. “How many minorities rushed when the three of us rushed?” is what you are probably thinking now and the answer to that is three.

Greek life is beneficial regardless of what others have to say about them. The cost may seem high, but for what it is worth I definitely see it being worth it in the end. Once you graduate, you will not have to worry about dues anymore and end up being part of a huge community that is unfamiliar to others.

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Greek Life: Do The Pros Outweigh Cons? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/greek-life-do-the-pros-outweigh-cons/
“Greek Life: Do The Pros Outweigh Cons?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/greek-life-do-the-pros-outweigh-cons/
Greek Life: Do The Pros Outweigh Cons? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/greek-life-do-the-pros-outweigh-cons/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Greek Life: Do The Pros Outweigh Cons? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/greek-life-do-the-pros-outweigh-cons/
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