Don't Judge All Greek Life By The Mistakes Of A Few Greek Organizations

Don't Judge All Greek Life By The Mistakes Of A Few Greek Organizations

There are so many great things about Greek life that the media neglects.

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It feels like there's always something about Greek organizations in the headlines, whether it be about hazing, some organization getting kicked off, or some crazy party where someone jumped off a balcony and broke their leg.

However, there are never any headlines about all the positive aspects of Greek life. There are so many great things that are never talked about: the philanthropic aspects, the bonds that are made, the connections that can be achieved through alumni networks, etc. There are SO many positive takeaways from Greek life that never get discussed.

First of all, the bonds you make with your brothers or sisters is a HUGE part of Greek life. I've met some of my best friends through Greek life, and it makes you feel more connected on your college campus. I love my sorority because it's a good balance between social and academic, and there's always a sister willing to help you out. Everyone brings a diverse set of characteristics, experiences, and skills, and while not everyone will be best friends, everyone is willing to help you out and be there for you if they're able.

Additionally, there are so many great connections that can be made through Greek life. I've met the national president of my organization, and that's not something everyone can say. There's also a huge alumni network from people who were previously active in a sorority or fraternity on campus, and it's a talking point in interviews if your interviewer was also in Greek life.

Greek life is also great because you can meet all different types of people. By interacting with different sororities and fraternities, it's a great way to improve your interpersonal communication skills, and you never know who you may meet that could become a best friend. It also prepares you to talk to employers at networking receptions and other similar events because you're used to talking to people your own age, and while the context may be different, you're comfortable with talking to people you don't know.

Greek organizations raise millions of dollars annually for all kinds of different organizations: Autism Speaks, St. Jude's Hospital, Children's Miracle Network, etc. There's so much good that comes out of fundraising, and it's fun to volunteer for something bigger than yourself with your sorority or fraternity.

While some organizations do make mistakes, and these events are normally what we hear about, the mistakes of one organization shouldn't reflect badly on ALL members in that organization or all Greek life. There should definitely be a shift of priorities, but overall, most Greek organizations are fantastic and do a lot of good on campuses nationwide.

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24 Things I'll Miss About Living In The Sorority House

A year isn't long enough

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I remember last year moving out of the dorms thinking how am I going to live with not just one or two but FIFTY girls next year and a year later here I am dreading moving out in three weeks. This year has by far been the best experience of my life and I am not ready to give it up.

PS: Once you've lived with 50 girls, you can live with pretty much anyone.

1. Coming home from class to 3 people in your bed

You can forget about that nap you were going to take

2. Going on late night McDonalds Coke runs

Or in my case McDonalds sweet tea runs...

3. Racing 50 girls down 4 flights of stairs at 4:59 for dinner at 5:00

Which is even more of an olympic event for Friday BRUNCH

4. Having to close the door on the delivery guy before you sign the receipt because the alarm will go off

Always awkward

5. Scaring people in the shower

I've learned to shave really fast because this happens to ALL of us CONSTANTLY, no one is exempt.

6. and getting scared by the fake rat...

For weeks all the girls on the third floor would prank each other by hiding this life size red eye rat EVERYWHERE. From Lauren's sheets to inside the washer it has gotten all of us. Has scared me quite a few times but the WORST was when I was in the shower for a solid couple minutes before I looked up and saw the rat HANGING by its tail from the shower curtain rod.

7. Bachelor watch parties and movie nights in the TV room

The best weekly tradition.

8. Sneaking down to the snack room at 1am

Hoping that Bryan put the leftover dessert in there

9. Having someone close by at all times to share memes with

Even though my friends only laugh at mine 3/10 times

10. Always having people to be productive with

Going downstairs to the study rooms or TV room together to work on homework, study for exams, make next years schedule, etc.

11. Or always having people around to help you procrastinate

Sometimes you just need a few friends to help you procrastinate for an hour or six.

12. Going on everyone else's errand runs, "just for the ride"

"Do you need anything from Ulta?"

"No, but I'll come for the ride"

*Walking down the hall*

"Where are you guys gong?"

"To ul-" "Yeah I'll come"

13. Getting ready for a night out and having 30 closets to choose from

Not to mention everything else you can steal and borrow from your friends, q-tips. curling irons, setting spray.

14. Fighting over the corner shower

Because we all prefer the same one

15. Catching rides to class

To avoiding the CATA bus

16. and returning the favor

Picking your friends up when they're stranded

17. Eating the chefs 5 star meals instead of struggling to make your own

and if you have to cook your own meals next year because you don't have a Bryan well then good luck Charlie.

18. Coming home to sticky notes, letters, candy and presents on your desk

From your girl gang

19. Gathering a group of girls to convince the rest of your friends to go out

Convince...force...same thing.

20. Waiting for the house mom to come home so you can fill her in on your day 

Somewhere along the line Irene became my best friend <3

21. Hiding in the stair well listening to the house mom yell at second floor 

22. And then running to your room and locking the door because you know that third floor is next

23. Trading anything and everything for quarters so you can do laundry

Quarters in a sorority house is like cigarettes in prison

24. Coming home to your best friends

My favorite memories in the house are the small moments, sitting in bed talking to my friends for 4 hours straight, the constant laughter, an amazing support system to 360 your mood in .2 seconds. Having people to tell everything to and do everything with, being present and in the moment and together, all the time, always. I am so blessed to have the friends I do and to have been able to live in and make the memories that we have together, nationals may put a price on it but my friendships and the memories I've made are PRICELESS.

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Hating On Greek Life Isn't A Personality Trait, Get Over Yourself

Congratulations, you don't like Greek Life...now what?

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I was doing my usual scrolling through Twitter recently, and I found a tweet that seemed to be making fun of a set of photos. In hopes of discovering some classic Twitter humor, I decided to engage further. The tweet referenced a photo series that a group of sorority girls created, where they attempted to defy the stereotypes of sorority girls in America with statements like: "Society says sorority girls are rich and spoiled, but I pay for my dues and tuition," or "Society says sorority girls buy their friends, but you can't put a price on sisterhood." The photo series itself is sweet – it has a message of inclusivity and positivity. Yet, the responses to this photo series were anything but that.

One Twitter user responded stating that the photo series was "pathetic" because, "Some of us are actually from diverse backgrounds, immigrant families, low-income households, etc."

Another Twitter user mentioned, "I saw some s*** like this on my Facebook literally a week ago lmao why do they wanna be oppressed so bad."

It is absolutely no secret that Greek life has a bad reputation. Popular movies like "Neighbors" paint members of Greek life as shallow, rich, and incompetent for the purpose of shock value and humor. Although this image was manufactured for the purpose of entertainment, the idea has seeped into the mindset of society to ultimately promote an extreme overgeneralization of an opportunity in college that is anything but harmful.

Many of the responses to the original tweet seemed to stem from the assumption that being an intelligent and reasonable student and being a part of Greek Life are mutually exclusive. This concept is extremely hypocritical. The human identity is multifaceted and contextual. Every person engages and utilizes their intelligence in different ways depending on what the context requires, and to reason that members of Greek Life are not privy to this exact ability simply because of their affiliation is absurd.

Furthermore, users who claimed that Greek life lacks "diverse backgrounds" or "immigrant families" are only reinforcing this stereotype. Although I'd like to first state that I believe that Greek life absolutely does harness a fair amount of diversity, I think making this type of argument would be stale. Instead, I believe that restating stereotypes such as the above only isolates those from diverse backgrounds who may want to join Greek life, because they worry they will be cornered or ridiculed by their peers.

If you believe that Greek life is exclusive, my first recommendation would be for you to challenge that exclusivity by joining and breaking the barriers and proving Greek life wrong. But if we as a society continue to paint Greek life as this "whitewashed" organization and then ridicule any person of color who may be interested in joining, we are simply generating redundancy and contributing to the perceived issue.

In response to ideas of oppression, I agree with the statement that members of Greek life are by no means oppressed. There are minority groups who face genuine and violent oppression, and to use a word as strong as that to describe Greek life demeans those who endure a genuine struggle. However, I would argue that members of Greek life are unfairly stereotyped against, which is only highlighted by the backlash this photo series received. A photo series that had no purpose beyond defying stereotypes and promoting a well-rounded understanding gathered sarcastic feedback such as "sorority girls are braver than US Marines." Yet, all this negative feedback manifested in response to a photo series that had no intention of marginalizing or ridiculing those who were not a part of Greek life.

Instead, Twitter users took it upon themselves to assume the worst of Greek life.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to go rush to their nearest flower shop and send a sorority a beautiful bouquet of flowers begging for an apology. In fact, I couldn't care less if you like Greek life or not after this. What I am saying is that isolating and marginalizing members of Greek life because you believe that they unfairly prejudice those from diverse backgrounds is a problem. If you believe that joining an organization that promotes positivity, philanthropy, and mentorship isn't for you, that is absolutely ok. It isn't for everyone, and that's not a trait exclusive to membership in Greek life by any means. It is worthy to note, though, that making fun of sororities or fraternities for unreasonable assumptions you maintain makes you no better than what you perceive Greek life to be, and that is something to absolutely be mindful of.

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