To pledge… Or not to pledge

It’s more than facts and figures …

If I wanted to impress you and list off a variety of facts to show how beneficial Greek life is, I could.

I could inform you that since 1825, all but two presidents have been Greek and that 43 of the 50 largest corporations are headed by someone who was once a Greek member.

Also, Greeks will contribute annually over 10 million hours to community service. Celebrities Bill Clinton, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, David Letterman and Steven Spielberg are all members of a Greek letter organization.

If you wanted to focus on Simpson College, you would find out that the Greek grade-point average is higher than the campus GPA. If you were worried that going Greek would take away from your time on campus you would find that 10 members of the Student Government Administration, including the student vice president, student body president and sophomore and senior class presidents, CAB president, five editors of The Simpsonian and a dance team captain are all Greek. That list doesn’t include the Greek members who are involved in other activities on campus.

For most, these few facts would be quite impressive and would help the average student realize that the real Greek life isn’t quite like the drunk, streaking-through-the-quad movies and television shows we see.

Even more importantly, these facts aren’t close to being the most important things to someone who is a member of the Greek community.

It’s the family of 33 brothers I have. It’s the fact that at any given time during the day, I can walk the halls of my house and find someone to talk to. Whether it’s to laugh at the latest episode of “The Office” or to vent about a class that I didn’t do my best in. It’s the random trips we make to CiCi’s pizza, the small town games we go to and the formals that take place twice a year. It’s the band of brothers I will have for the rest of my life who all have my back at any given moment.

I could go on for hours talking about how Greek life has impacted me, how great it is, and I could continue to list more impressive facts and figures. In the end, I could never accurately describe how truly amazing it is. It’s something you have to experience yourself.

I’m not going to delude myself into thinking Greek life is for everyone. It isn’t. But I do know it probably has been the greatest decision I’ve made since coming to Simpson.

Greeks can’t conquer this Roman…

Ok not really, but the point is that I didn’t go Greek. And I’m still kicking. For those of you who now proclaim yourself as a Mediterranean-dweller, bear with me. My aim is not to offend. For those still preferring Lake Ahquabi, get excited.

I didn’t rush. Didn’t even consider it really. Am I crazy? Possibly. But am I happy? Most definitely.

Backdrop: Pfeiffer picnic. Fellow grub-shovelers: other freshmen female cross country runners. Supporting cast: some Greeks aiming to bolster their ranks, an originally noble deed indeed. My table is approached by a sorority girl. One who was having a rough day. She started talking to us about rushing. Bad idea.

Distance runners are sometimes grumpy after a time trial, especially one at Pickard. Some at the table voiced their questions and concerns. Somehow, we hit a nerve. Whether she was already a grumpus fuss bucket will never be known. A squabble ensued, and we vowed to never go Greek.

Alright, alright, I’ll admit it: I came in with some not-so-friendly notions about being a member of something that ends in -ity and involves living with a lot of people of the same sex-chromosome composition.

When the best place to hang out is in the middle of a cornfield – yes, I’m being completely serious, you come to prefer a communal, multi-gender, pee-on-the-stalk-with-everyone-else setup. The prospect of living with a bunch of girls was terrifying. I haven’t read it, but I’m pretty sure drama comes with the job description of carrying two X chromosomes.

But even if I wanted to find myself a posse of “sisters” who I know have always got my back-which truthfully sounds like a magnificent deal-I didn’t need to. I came to college with a handful of kids pre-selected for me to identify myself with.

We spent a week together. And I mean together. Every meal. Two-a-days. Team bonding. Those things called icebreakers that everyone adores.

We sweated together, ice-bathed together and tossed our cookies together. Now that’s a community. That multi-gender, sticky-salty-smelly, excrete-on-the-side-of-the-bike-trail-with-everyone-else setup was just what I was used to. I belonged to something. I was a part of a program that both depended on me and promised to back me up.

Thus the urge to go Greek simply never hit me as it does for some.

I’m a self-proclaimed Roman.