Greek life has always undergone scrutiny. Recent events have our organizations in the media frequently, and they usually don't present us in a positive light. But for me, and I know many others, the few people that bring shame to our system do not represent the millions of talented, ambitious, inspiring individuals that have experienced Greek life. I asked members of Greek organizations across different chapters and campuses what being Greek means to them. Here are their responses:
1. “[It means] being part of something that is bigger myself, and having a huge support system."
2. “It means recognizing how privileged we are and using our power to help others through service and philanthropy."
3. “It means knowing there's a whole group of people who are behind me no matter what. An indescribable support system."
4. “[It is] a home away from home with sisters I can always count on, and a tight community who supports one another and pushes one another to be the best version of themselves."
5. “It means always wearing your letters and representing your chapter well. It means carrying on the ideals of your founders and helping your chapter be the best it can be."
6. “[It is] friends I can rely on and having a solid group of strong women I can go to when I need them most. Opportunities, friendships and connections I know will last beyond college."
7. “It means having a group of brothers who always have my back."
8. “It means being part of a caring and inspirational community. There are always people who are there for you, whether they are in your chapter or other members of the Greek community. We all support each other, and I can't imagine how different my life would be without these amazing people."
9. “It means having a group of people that keep me accountable with my academics and who inspire me to be a better person."
10. “It redefines family and what it means to be a loyal friend to someone. It emphasizes inclusivity and provides a space to always have someone to study with, live with and work with."
11. “Being Greek, to me, means being celebrated as an individual while having the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. Greek means growing as an individual through my organization and Greek life as a community."
12. “It means having a bunch of people who all want to make the world better and want to do it together."
13. “It's like being in an extracurricular group, except it's full of people who I love seeing every day. It's my second family in a way."
14. “Being Greek means I have a united goal and something in common with diverse, intelligent and driven people who want to see me succeed."
And my personal opinion? Being Greek means being the best possible person you can be.