Like many students i began my college career with a completely inaccurate idea of what exactly GREEK life meant. I had gained most of my knowledge of Greek life from television and movies like "American Pie." Coming into college i laughed at anyone who said i should consider a joining a Greek organization. And now in my Sophomore year i am.
Let me tell you why...
We are surrounded by negative news in the media today. Negative seems to be what sells so we are suffocated with it. We see murders, shootings, clowns and hazings. Horror stories of what some college students were put through for acceptance. Ranging from binge drinking to sexual favors to running errands on a whim for the brothers or sisters. The fact is that it is only the bad apples that we ever see. The negative news sells so the media eats up and distributes the hazings, the arrests the drinking and from that viewers at home are left with a pretty negative view towards Greek life.
Even in the movies, it is not the Greek Organization doing community service and giving back. Instead the entertainment industry decides to fill viewers minds with images of binge drinking and irresponsibility all while actors are clearly wearing letters that they probably do not even understand what they mean.
Sure, not all Greek Organizations are the same. Each has their own history and tradition. To those who do not understand though, all the letters look the same. Causing the mistake of one group to taint the reputation of all the others.
I am proud to be pledging for Alpha Phi Omega this fall. This is a Co-Ed service based Fraternity. With cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service, there is not hazing, no dangerous practices. But it is still rich with the tradition of the Fraternity and Brothers work hard to create service projects to give back to the Chapter, Campus, Community and Country. Giving back through many facets, working to improve the environment, students mental health through stress relieving services and raising money for different nonprofits through events such as slime runs and Relay for Life.
So next time on campus, or in your hometown that you see someone representing their Greek letters, do not be so quick to judge. Do not immediately group that individual with the bad hazing stories from the news or the irresponsible binge drinkers from your TV and movies. Instead remember that each Greek Organization is different and are not all bad apples who fell off the tree. Never judge something that you do not understand. Instead i encourage you to learn more about the different organizations. You may just surprise yourself and find one that you want to join!