Greek life beyond the stereotypes

By Katie Simpson

contributing writer

[email protected]

Most often when Greek life is mentioned, people rush to the conclusion that everyone associated is involved with the activities of a few.

The images representing the Greek community on television and in movies paint most situations in a negative light that holds a very different reality to the normal activities of collegiate Greeks.

The EWU Sorority and Fraternity life web page states, “Sorority and fraternity organizations are dedicated to building our future leaders. [They] are self-governing organizations that provide a wealth of leadership opportunities for their members.”

Each member of a Greek organization is exposed to a professional atmosphere with business connections through alumni, leadership opportunities through positions and various experiences in planning and executing events. An executive committee takes the role of running each chapter and students are the ones in charge of each committee and subcommittees.

Every chapter dedicates time and resources to supporting a philanthropic organization. The EWU Panhellenic sororities’ philanthropies include Autism Speaks, Arthritis Research and Education, Cardiac Care, Campfire USA and individual national organization foundations that support members.

According to the EWU Sorority and fraternity life page, “We believe, through involving ourselves in selfless service and placing emphasis on scholarship through academic excellence, men and women will be made better by being a part of our community.”

It is true that each chapter holds their members to a high standard of academics. Most have study hours and probations as a consequence if grades are not reached to the level required. Members are expected to maintain a specific GPA to remain an active member.

I have learned more from my experiences and goals made within my chapter organization than through my courses in regular university life. It is the level of expectation asked from each member that creates a higher standard separate from other non-Greek students.

There is nothing like a bond between siblings and sorority sisters or fraternity brothers. They become your family away from home. Of course when a large group of people are put together, it is easy for conflict to occasionally arise, but at the end of the day you remember your rituals and how your sisters will always be there for you because that is the bond shared.

More lifelong friends have been made through my four years in the Greek system than I could have imagined. After never finding a place to belong, it was my chapter that helped me to realize my potential and supported me in my dreams.

It is hurtful when stereotypes are negatively directed at the people and values that mean so much to this community because of something a small handful of people took part in or an image from the media. Before judgment is placed, the judge should take the time to get to know members of the community and what they stand for.

College should teach us to experience new things and meet new people. You might just find the place where you belong.