Pros and Cons of Greek Life on Campus

A frat house on the U of Miss campus, which is part of the Greek life there.

Flickr user bluephi.net

One of the many interesting experiences that students can have during college is the Greek life. Joining a fraternity or sorority is giving the students a taste of how an independent organization from the educational institute can be managed. Many believe that such a community is a window to the adult world, so consequently this teaches students about what there is in store for them after college.

However, the external image of Greek life usually portrays some extreme behaviors. Either they are too focused on strict rules, or they are toxic for the students because they promote vices. The truth seems always to be distorted by rumors.

This article aims to shed some light on the nature of Greek life and will illustrate the pros and cons of such a community on campus. Students that are joining a Greek community are up to great adventures, and many opportunities are waiting for them there. So, checking out the pros and cons of sororities or fraternities beforehand will lead them to make a better informed decision later on.

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Pros of Greek Life 

Their primary ideal is noble

The goal of Greek life varies from an organization to another, but the main aim is ultimately the same. These communities of undergraduate members want to create strong internal bonds. These relationships usually last a lifetime. Even after college, they turn into strong professional connections. Therefore, these bonds form a web of professionals that help each other to be great in their career. Finally, that which started within the four walls of the educational institute will have a positive impact throughout the entire lives of the members.

Each fraternity or sorority has its own rules and meetings where the students are constantly gathering together to promote loyalty. They build a strong culture of friendship, and they take the notion of “sisters” or “brothers” very seriously.

Connections with the alumni

The connection with the Greek house isn’t lost even long after the graduation. Hence, the alumni graduates are continuing to keep in touch with the undergraduates even after college. As Greek life taught them to respect their “brothers” and “sisters,” the achieved professionals will always come back to their origins and guide young students in their career paths.

For this reason, students are looking to join a fraternal community right from the beginning of their college life. Most students are concerned about their career opportunities after they leave their university. No education can 100% ensure a bright professional future for students, after all.

However, having some connections with successful professionals is a great boost of confidence and optimism. The presence of a mentor makes a great difference between an insecure future and the ability to know where to start a career. For instance, there are some industries that are hard to get into, even something as simple on the surface as retail. Students are confused about how they can find an entry-level position where they can grow as professionals and start developing a career.

Leadership and Cooperation

Fraternal communities usually have a well-defined inside structure. There is an order of hierarchy that offers each of their members a certain position within the organization. They hold democratic elections for presidents, vice presidents, chairpeople, and other representative positions. This means that each of the members has a chance to earn a high leadership position. It can teach them many great things about the administrative part of a community and how to maintain and even improve the well-being of a community.

Even though not everybody gets a chance to try out their leadership skills, the hierarchy system educates all the members about the values of the culture they pertain to. With this in mind, the members are exposed to valuable lessons of respect, cooperation, and loyalty.

Charity work

With a large history as a foundation of values that dates back to the 1800s, the oldest fraternities and sororities have gained enough recognition to become widely known among young students. This makes the recruiting procedure easier, and the number of joining members is increasing year after year.

Nowadays, fraternal organizations have evolved from local to international communities, and their large number of members is a great advantage for the entire society. Among their activities as an organized group, there are actually many philanthropy events. The funds raised within the community are usually going to humanitarian institutes, such as The Huntsman Cancer Institute, Red Cross, Children’s Foundations and Hospitals, and many others.

The charity work can generate a huge positive impact on the whole society, and it is important for people to learn how to pay it forward from an early age.

Sense of community

The feeling of belonging to a community is another benefit of a Greek community. This can even influence the mental and physical health of students.  It is important to make in-person connections and not just digitally socialize with friends and strangers. The fraternity organizations can greatly help students with that.

The core of the Greek community is represented by its connections, so they encourage their members to get to know better each other. Certainly, there are other ways to make friends during college, but these groups are the fastest way to meet people with similar values. Moreover, fraternities and sororities are not just organizations that focus only on hierarchy and meetings. They also like to enjoy life. Thus, there are many parties and social events where the members get together to celebrate and enjoy the company of each other. These social gatherings are the key to a close-knit and healthy community.

Cons of Greek Life

The balance between study and entertainment is unequal

Fraternities and sororities demand constant efforts and engagement from their members. Once students are recruited in a certain community, they must respect the rules and be active participants to the well-being of the group.

The responsibilities that come with joining such communities can sometimes be too challenging to be able to focus on other aspects. Thus, the members are in danger of neglecting their academic activities, and their education has to suffer.

Social limitations

Once in a sorority or fraternity, students tend to be biased in their friendship preferences. They might limit their connections solely to their fraternal mates. Moreover, the popularity status desired for each Greek organization leads to acerbic competition.

In other words, the members tend to disregard other students even in their own spare time. The bond to the Greek community can become too magnified, and the students can’t see beyond their Greek life. The cooperation with other peers can suffer from this biased behavior, and their academic evolution is in danger of having a lesser significance.

The side effects of rush

Most sororities and fraternities are hosting the “rush” process at the beginning of each academic year. This is when the new members are selected. However, the selection process is usually limited to visiting each Greek house and a brief conversation with the representative members. This process is seen as too shallow, where students can jump to decisions based on superficial reasons.

Joining the wrong house can lead to unhappiness and the negative feeling of not belonging to the community that appealed to you in the first place. This can turn the whole college experience into a negative memory that inhibits the students to pursue amazing professional careers and personal development.

Illusion of power

There are many stereotypes and wrong judgments that push the Greek communities to unhealthy pursuits. These can be shallow ventures, like hosting the greatest party with the biggest volume of alcohol or pranks around the college that win the admiration of other students, but also the disapproval of university faculty and staff. This kind of behavior can damage the integrity of the campus and lead to drastic consequences for the whole school.

All in all, these are the unbiased pros and cons of choosing a Greek life within the College campus. However, these are just general features, and individual sororities and fraternities can be different from one case to another. It is important for students to make a thorough research of the campus Greek communities to find out exactly what they should expect before joining one. Remember that once you’re a “sister” or a “brother,” there will be a lifetime of connections within the chosen Greek community.

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