What's A Big Ten School Without A Big Greek Life?
Start writing a post
Student Life

What's A Big Ten School Without A Big Greek Life?

The new rules for Penn State's Greek system are shocking and extremely unprecedented.

545
What's A Big Ten School Without A Big Greek Life?
Her Campus

Penn State's University Park campus has 46,000 undergraduate students and 17% of these students are involved in Greek Life, according to the official Penn State website. When the new rules implemented within the Penn State Greek system were announced they were seen as shocking and extremely unprecedented by not only the remarkable number of students in Greek life but also myself, someone outside the Greek life. These new rules include the cancellation of the fall recruitment process, or rush, for the 2017 fall semester. This new restriction that is being placed upon students is, without a doubt, untimely. Also, it says in the proposal that this decision is in response to the tragedy within Greek life that happened this past February, which fall rush did not have anything to do with.

I may not currently be a part of Greek life, but, this past fall, I went through the recruitment process for the formal Sorority Rush here at Penn State. Initially knowing almost no one within the Greek system, let alone the university, as an out-of-state freshman, the whole process was extremely daunting and nerve-wracking. However, I felt that the Greek life at Penn State would be the right group of people to join since the system embraces so many aspects of social and philanthropic experiences. I, like many underclassmen, committed a significant amount of my time to immersing myself into an objective position to try to meet new people. One thing that Greek life has done a good job at is successfully making a large school much smaller for a significant amount of our student body. This is something that appealed very much to me, so I decided to pursue this opportunity.

My experience throughout rush was somewhat disappointing, but I continued to participate since I was reassured by fellow sorority recruitment members that I would be given the opportunity to go through the spring rush during the next semester or fall rush of then next school year if I dropped before taking a bid. Most notably, I was also told that if I did take a bid and then decided that the sorority was not the right fit for me before being initiated, I could drop out of Greek life this school year and re-rush next fall. I had decided to take the bid after learning this information, but I dropped soon after since I felt it wasn’t a comfortable placement. I believe that not being directly involved in Greek life has helped me to adapt to this new life in college and to discover new interests at this incredible University.

These new experiences and achievements have helped me feel very confident and excited for the fall rush of 2017. I also know that there are many other students who have gone through the same experience and feel the same way as me. In the future, spring rush would be an ideal situation for the sake of adjusting to campus life and college in general, before pursuing Greek life. However, this should have been announced prior to the school year to let students know, before they rushed this fall, that if they would like to rush or re-rush the following year, they would have to wait until the spring semester of 2018.

This past Thursday afternoon, I heard the shocking news that I would have to wait yet another year to rush. I want to make it clear that being in a sorority to me isn’t all about the social aspects of social drinking and fraternity parties. My biggest interest in being in a sorority was being able to dedicate my time to a group of girls who hold events and volunteer in light of a much bigger incentive, philanthropy. All this year, I have been fortunate enough to have met friends within several different sororities, which has helped me explore the different options of sororities.

With this being said, I’m not complaining that I will be missing out on parties where I can meet friends and drink by not being in a sorority. This is a public university where alcohol and parties will always be available off campus no matter what restrictions are implemented. My point is, I won’t be able to participate with friends to raise awareness for philanthropy, including THON. This is what disappoints me the most about Penn State’s inapplicable decision to cancel fall rush; They are essentially taking away an important staple in the Penn State community that comes with beneficial opportunities to participate in not only specific charitable events but THON itself as well.

THON has a whopping student participation of 16,500 students, according to the official THON website. As I stated before, there are 46,000 undergraduate students on campus and 17% of them are in Greek life. That’s almost 8,000 students. In conclusion, each sorority and fraternity participate in THON. That makes up almost half of the student participation in THON. In response to this lack of acknowledgment of the THON cause, Penn State will face a long set of consequences among supporting figures of the university, most importantly past, current, and future students.

Not only has the THON preparation of those who are already part of Greek life been disturbed, but their systematic style of rush, which includes training current members to carry out rush events, has been discredited as well. A majority of the junior class each year leaves campus to study abroad. The sophomores this year, the future juniors next year, are a majority of the members who conducted the recruitment process this past rush, but since large numbers of these students will not be present for the spring rush, sororities and fraternities cannot efficiently prepare the new recruitment members. I may not have firsthand experience in conducting the recruitment processes, but I know how dedicated the members are to perform this very difficult process. In light of this, the hard work and enthusiasm of Greek life members are being misrepresented as this cancellation of fall rush brings even more negativity to them.

Penn State has taken too much to account for one tragic situation that happened within one fraternity. It is not at all my intention to disregard the sadness and serious consequences that surrounded the Penn State community from this tragedy, but I don’t agree with the idea that fall recruitment should be canceled without forewarning. I agree even less with the idea that the sorority fall recruitment should be canceled since sororities are completely irrelevant to this event.

I’m not asking for pity due to the unfairness within this decision and I’m not begging to recall the cancellation of fall rush. I ask the administration of Penn State to realize how much distress and trouble this has caused and will continue to cause throughout the entire Penn State community and to consider a possible decline in prospective students. Greek life is and has always been a staple in this amazing school. Greek or not, I stand with the students who feel passionate, good-willed, and dedicated enough to protect the good that Greek life brings from anyone who wants to limit their incredibly significant contribution to a good portion of Penn State pride, the awareness to some incredible causes, and the ability to embrace many students into a more comfortable, intimate community.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Why I Don't Write (Or Read) An "Open Letter To My Future Husband/Wife"

Because inflated expectations and having marriage as your only goal are overrated.

11584
Urban Intellectuals

Although I have since changed my major I remember the feverish hysteria of applying to nursing school--refreshing your email repeatedly, asking friends, and frantically calculating your GPA at ungodly hours of the night. When my acceptance came in I announced the news to friends and family with all the candor of your average collegiate. I was met with well wishes, congratulations, and interrogations on the program's rank, size, etc. Then, unexpectedly, I was met with something else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Meet the creators making their voices heard on Odyssey.

2177
Top 3 Response Articles of This Week
Why I Write On Odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Last week, our response writers sparked some great conversations right here on our homepage. Here are the top three response articles:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" Is The Perfect Holiday Special, Move Over Charlie Brown

Arthur Read is here to deliver the real meaning of Christmas.

3404
Pexels

As the holiday season draws nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the same old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and the perennial favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." However, I would like to suggest an overlooked alternative, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas." It is a heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly inclusive Christmas special that deserves more recognition.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead

Everyone needs a day to themselves sometimes.

3277
Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead
Olivia DeLucia

Laid back and taking it easy — sometimes that is the motto we all need after a busy week. Sunday scaries? Yes, they are valid – but you know what else is? A Sunday full of self-love. A lazy Sunday spent doing what you feel needs to be done to ease into the next week. Self-Love Sundays are a guilty pleasure that isn't only essential for our mind, and body, but are also a surprisingly proactive way to devote the upcoming week with a clear mindset.

So, what is a more suitable way to dedicate your week's end than a beautifully, connected playlist to accompany your face masks and journaling? Cheers, to a Self-Love Sunday (and a playlist intertwined with it to match). (Please note: "Sunday Morning" isn't included in this list, due to the obvious, but feel free to blast it anyway, we know you want to).

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

On Sunday Morning

Breaking Free

3001
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments