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Greek Life Cons

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Leah DiBenedetto, Reporter

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Have you ever seen anyone use Instagram captions like “Whatever the letter, Greeks do it better,” “I’m so frat,” or even “I love my big!” If you have, you must be familiar with college Greek life. These are the sororities and fraternities that thousands of students rush into every year. Sororities and fraternities are known for helping students to socialize and ease into the new college experience. But even though there are many benefits to Greek life, there are also many cons that come with entering.

The first downfall to joining Greek life is the exclusivity. Sororities and fraternities are designed to separate people into groups and are very selective in who they choose during rushing. The problem is the students entering these houses are often chosen based simply on their physical appearance and social skills, and whatever other stereotypes the Greek house is looking for.

For example, fraternities are often known for the boys that “drink and sleep with as many girls as possible.” This type of behavior only exacerbates the rape culture that exists in college, which puts women in danger.

As for sororities, they are often misogynistic and most girls are chosen based on appearance. According to an ABC News story, in 2007, the Delta Zeta sorority of Depauw University had to defend itself against the press after inexplicably kicking out African American, Asian American, and overweight members.

Another big problem with entering Greek life is the cost. First, those who can pay more are often more likely to make it through rushing and into the sorority or fraternity house. And after the initial entry into Greek life, more funds are to come by also attending events, rushing, living in the house, and many other added on costs. According to College USA Today, the University of Central Florida, the second largest university with a Greek system in the country, recently published data about the average cost a Greek member would pay. The average new sorority member will pay about $1,280 per semester, and a new fraternity member will pay about $605 per semester, both not including room and board at the chapter house.

An anonymous Pres alum who is currently a sophomore at an East Coast University agrees, “The fees ensure that the only members of most Greek life organizations are those students whose parents comfortably pay for their children’s educations. So in essence, Greek life is a means of buying rich friends.”

It may seem like Greek life offers a lot of independence, but there are many strict house rules, which can include anything from specific hours that you must use to study to mandatory attendance at many events, even if you don’t want to go. This can really put a damper on plans to hang out with non-Greek friends, to travel, or even just have free time.

In fact, having to attend events proves how being a part of a sorority  can become a huge time commitment. Being in Greek life is almost like having two schedules, one for yourself and one for the house. You have to attend meetings, events, recruitments, and philanthropy constantly. And while this may keep you busy, a downfall is that you are only able to socialize with the people in your house and it can be hard to meet new people outside of it.

The other stereotype of Greek life is that the members are constantly partying. While parties  can be useful events to help people socialize and have fun, they can also be very dangerous.

A 2002 study by the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention found that fraternities and sororities were among the groups that fostered a culture of drinking on college campuses. Along with the drinking culture that has been created, hazing is still prevalent on many campuses.

Hazing, although illegal, is often done to new members which involves performing humiliating, and sometimes dangerous, initiation rituals. The rituals often involve the consumption of drugs, alcohol, and tons of peer pressure.  Neerali Shah (’14),  who pledged a co-ed business fraternity at SJSU and then quit, describes her experience, “One time they blindfolded one of my pledge brothers and me and put us in the back of a car. They told us to take a pill..we were terrified. They made us believe it was drugs. We found out later that it was Advil but still, being a teenage girl blindfolded in the back of a car and being told to take a pill is so scary.”

So, although the partying can be fun to help meet new people and try new things, you must be careful not to let it take away from your school commitment and academic and extracurricular success.

Greek life can be an awesome experience for many who join, but it’s important to look at all the factors, pros and cons, to make sure it’s the right place for you.

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Greek Life Cons