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Did we miss out on Greek life?

Graphic by Pat Carbone

Yes: The idea of looking at a college with Greek life was something I shied away from during my college search. I never had a problem making friends growing up through sports and other activities I was a part of and thought that I didn’t need to pay thousands of dollars in order to make friends in college.

However, as a graduating senior at a university without Greek life, I can most definitely say that I have a much different opinion on the topic and recognize that there are more benefits to Greek life than just going to a plethora of events and parties every weekend.

As I get ready to enter the workplace, I often think about how beneficial it would be to have a network of sorority sisters not only at my university, but at colleges across the country in my corner. Those who I know who are part of Greek life at other colleges are beyond passionate about their sororities and fraternities. The passion and sense of pride that comes from being a member of one of these organizations is meant to last a lifetime.

While having a network of people to share something in common with would be the logical benefit of being part of Greek life, there is also the social factor that has to be acknowledged. I can confidently say that nightlife on campus would improve if Greek life existed here.

Having to go out to bars on the weekend because nightlife on campus is lackluster to say the least is expensive. If more happened on campus, students would be able to save money and socialize with each other in one place.

While one might argue that Greek life is dangerous, I would argue there are both good and bad apples in every aspect of life. There is no reason that Greek life as a whole should experience backlash for the actions of a few when the majority experience nothing far from greatness and leave college with a lifetime of memories.

No: Realistically, this story only needs to be two words— “absolutely not.” While the pitch to hop into a ready-made social clique, belong to a “brotherhood,” and drink your years away may sound tempting to some, I’m happy to have avoided this toxic lifestyle.

Some fraternities and sororities have their benefits, I know, and not every member is a stereotype taken straight out of “Blue Mountain State.” However, some of them are, and I think having Greek life would encourage a culture that would damage the student population.

Belonging to a community, and finding friends to help you in your path “forever forward,” sounds great on paper, but we also have to acknowledge the undoubtable dark side.

A study published in 2018 by Rutgers University found that “Spending time with peers who are accepting of sexual violence leads men to be accepting of sexual violence themselves,” and that individuals interested in fraternities “scored higher on proclivity to perpetrate sexual aggression and some rape myths than non-interested nonmembers.” In addition, according to the study, the socialization process within fraternities “reinforces feelings of male dominance and control.”

A twisted world view and alcoholism— that’s what being in a frat would have gotten me. So, am I sad I missed out? Can’t say I am.


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