As a member of a Greek life recruitment team, we have a weekly meeting to keep on track. It was brought up that a new movie featuring sororities and fraternities was coming out and we all gave the usual eye roll. It is well known that for some reason movies can never capture the real face of Greek life. But we had no idea how far they would take the lies this time.
We turned on the trailer and watched as a group as Nick Jonas and his cast played what they believed to be Greek life. Fourteen girls from four different chapters all with the same reaction, absolutely horrified. My stomach became sick as I watched a two-minute clip of what would be portrayed to the public as “brotherhood.” The reality is, nothing that I saw in those two minutes came even close to a correct idea of joining a fraternity, or sorority, too, for that matter. The movie showed parties every weekend, women throwing themselves at the brothers, and “rituals” that are not only hazing, but also demeaning.
Sorority women and fraternity men do not believe in hazing. Let me say that again: sorority women and fraternity men do not believe in hazing. National organizations do not tolerate it and neither do brothers and sisters who value and respect each other. The torture and activities the pledges in the movie "Goat" are subjected to are made up rumors about the rituals that are actually important and meaningful to each individual chapter.
It is so difficult to even find the words to put down the lies and hatred spewed on the screen in this movie, and the truth will sound clichéd to anyone who has never truly experienced a Greek letter organization before. But here it is: Greek life is filled with leaders, believers, achievers and innovators. These are the men and women pushing boundaries within themselves and the world around them. The network of fraternity men and sorority women spans millions of people across the nation. It includes all but two presidents, celebrities, political leaders and people of the communities around you. They collectively come to raise millions if not close to billions each year for causes like cancer research, feeding the hungry, domestic violence victims, heart disease and fulfilling wishes of young children.
These organizations focus on leadership, scholarship, friendship and service. They impress upon members the importance of education and achievement along with giving out thousands of scholarships in varying amounts. The bonds formed in the friendships made stand the tests of time and of being miles apart. Greek life members also log thousands of hours of community service a year. Spanning from helping in humane societies to local homeless shelters to community events, Greek life members can be found just about anywhere.
If you chose to see this movie, know that it does not accurately portray the Greek system. Know that Greek life members are proud of their organizations and fight against stereotypes set by movies like this one every day. If you would like to know and understand fraternity or sorority life, consult a real member, not a movie screen.