“Brotherhood is not letting petty differences get in the way of anything. It is about being true to yourself. It is about experiencing new adventures by entering the realm of others.”
Today, I am going to discuss a topic that may spark some sort of discussion: Greek Life. We all know it’s there and that it exists in one form of another, but what are the true pros and cons of joining Greek Life? Well, as a Social Chair of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Capital University, I am here to let you know the facts!
When I came to my university, I originally had no plans of Greek Life. I had heard stories about how “they are bad for you”, “there’s nothing good that comes from them,” or “all they do is party, only join one if you plan on scraping by in college.” Well, I can tell you that this is only true if you let it become true. Today, I am going to talk about my experience in Greek Life and how it has helped me. I will also discuss some drawbacks that may hold you back.
Part 1: My Experiences
Me with a Kappa sigma sweetheart and brothers (SOURCE: fACEBOOK)
When I came to Capital, I was among the other freshmen walking through the gate. It is a really awkward phase in life because you have left most, if not all, of your high school friends and you truly are starting over. You have to build new relationships with people, get ready for classes, and move into your dorm all in one week. It’s a stressful time, but also a time when you are truly giving everyone a first impression of you.
Anyways, I came to Capital with no friends and was wondering what I was going to do with my life. I had a job for the University, was ready for classes, and just wanted a group to hang out with. That’s when I found my future brothers. They were so welcoming and fun to be around. My first night I hung around with them, I simply played some Nintendo 64 and learned about the fraternity. I opened up to them quicker than I have opened up to anybody before in my life, and after a 2 hour talk, I was pretty much ready to join. I had to wait until my bid was sent out, but after that I was proud to call myself a brother.
In the Bible, there are a few verses that come to mind when I think of fraternities and how we should build a relationship with brothers. One is Hebrews 13:1 which states “Let brotherly love continue.” Other than my other friends I have outside of my fraternity, I find no better way than to share my brotherly love than with my brothers. I can talk to them about anything, and I know they can do the same for me. Additionally, Romans 12:10 says “[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;.” Again, this topic of brotherly love pops up. I can honestly say that I love my brothers and I am happy that I have them impacting my life.
Before I go on, I want to bring up a serious topic that is usually equated to Greek Life: hazing. It’s a topic that scares many people away from Greek Life, but I can proudly say that, when I was a pledge of my fraternity, there was no hazing whatsoever. My school enforces a strict anti-hazing policy, and I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like other colleges have the same policy. I also know for a fact that hazing is frowned upon on a national level too. If you ever feel uncomfortable in your fraternity, you can always talk to a higher power and it will get investigated.
So, the brotherhood is great in a fraternity, but when you come to college, your main goal is to get a degree in your field of study. Luckily for me, my fraternity has my back when it comes to academics. According to umkc.edu, nationally, 71% of all fratenity and sorority member graduate, while only 50% of non-members graduate. My fraternity has study tables twice a week. Also, Capital requires Greek members to have a 3.2 GPA in order to remain a part of the fraternity. I also have brothers that are in the same majors as me and I can run to them if I am confused or need help in a class. They truly look out for my best interests.
The next thing I am going to talk about is the connections I have made. I have a big in my fraternity, who is sort of like my mentor. A big is basically someone that I share a lot in common with and that I can build a good relationship with. I mean, I’m close to pretty much all of my brothers, but I share a special connection with my big.
The final thing I am going to discuss through my experience is how Greek Life isn’t just something you experience while in college, it is a lifelong commitment. Sure, the dues stop, but you can still contribute money to help out the fraternity. I have also heard of occasions where alumni of some organizations have gotten jobs in certain businesses through Greek Life connections. Plus, you are still invited to certain events and have the same connection with your brothers that you had while you were on campus. Your brothers love you forever, and I know that I can run to mine when I need to talk about something.
Part 2: Potential Drawbacks
Now on to the potential cons of being in Greek Life. One of my biggest pet peeves about the media is how they take Greek Life and put it in a negative light. For example in Neighbors, a 2014 comedy starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen, fraternities are shown as having parties all the time and hindering the community. Rogen’s character moves into a new house with his wife and baby. They are expecting peaceful living, but the fraternity antagonizes them after they call the cops for a noise complaint. The movie is basically both households playing the revenge game with each other. It shows the fraternity life as being inappropriate and makes it seem like we are an annoyance. In actuality, many provide services for the community and even are required to volunteer for a said amount of hours every semester. I love watching these movies because they are hilarious, but they sadly leave bad stereotypes for Greek Life.
One of the biggest cons I hear is how fraternities/sororities can be expensive and how dues shouldn’t be necessary. First off, dues sometimes can be a little pricey, but you can always talk to the treasurer to work something out if you are going to have issues paying. Also, if you are having a rough semester, you can always take a semester off in order to regain financial/academic straits. Dues are essential due to the fact that they are what fund the different events/retreats the organization plans. We are basically funding and supporting our fraternity to do fun things.
The next con I’ve heard is that fraternities/sororities can influence you too much. They also have “too many parties.” There are fraternities out there that may not be the best fit, but that is why you investigate them before you decide to pledge them. Additionally, the pledging process is where you get to learn more about the fraternity. You can technically leave before you are initiated, but there’s some things you have to go through in order to do that. Personally, I can say that my fraternity supports me in any decision I have made thus far. Earlier in the year, I decided to renew my faith and decided to change my life around. They have supported me ever since and have even told me how proud they are of me
So, today I have talked about my many experiences in my fraternity and how they have helped me grow to become a better man. Also, I talked about the potential drawbacks to joining Greek Life, but how those can be solved. If you give it a chance, Greek Life truly is an amazing experience to join while in college. I am excited to be a social chair for my fraternity next year. I have a ton of exciting events planned already. Plus, it can benefit you in the long run post-graduation.
So now, the choice is up to you. If you are currently in college, or are going to be in the future, would you consider joining Greek Life?