Although my opinion is that Greek life has only positive effects as long as you are in a healthy organization, we have to be aware of the possible downsides that can come out of Greek organizations. The Pros:
- Leadership Experience – Fraternities and sororities have positions such as president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, fundraising chair, and so on. There is an executive board that makes big decisions and plans specific events and then fills in the rest of the organization. Holding a position and doing your part is your leadership. It is a lot of work at times but it is a great experience.
- Lifelong Relationships – Not all but many alumni stay in touch with the organization and make sure they are doing well. If my sorority ever needs help our alumni are more than willing to be there to support us. The brothers and sisters that you create with your time at college is a bond that will stick with you forever.
- Networking Opportunities – Having all the alumni that stay in touch it gives you many networking options with all the different occupations that you can connect to. My sorority has a Facebook group with people all the way from the founding sisters to the current class which is the 41st class. It is amazing to be connected with so many people, and sisters are sharing different job opportunities constantly.
The Cons –
- The Public Eye – When many people think of fraternities and sororities all they think about is heavy drinking and hazing, when this may be true for some, grouping all organizations as one is not fair.
- Financial Obligations – Every sorority and fraternity has semester dues or yearly dues that they are obligated to pay as long as they are a member. Some organizations, especially nationally recognized ones have a very high amount that they have to pay, on top of tuition this is hard for many students and when they join they may not be prepared for it.
- Hazing – Each organization has their own process of initiating new members and it varies a HUGE amount. If a student decided to join the wrong organization there can be very bad hazing involved, these are the sororities and fraternities that give Greek life a bad name.
Until you give yourself a chance and become a part of an organization you may not really be able to understand a Greeks viewpoint. I personally never thought I would join a sorority, I had stereotypes in my head, but until I went to a rush and met the group of sisters I never knew. Now I have lifelong bonds that I will never forget. Below is a link to some greek life statistics: http://thefraternityadvisor.com/greek-life-statistics/ Until next time!