Skeptic turns Greek believer

Skeptic turns Greek believer

by Laura Keller

That guy in your English class who makes all those hilarious comments? He’s one. That amazing soprano in the choir? Yeah, she is too. The great softball player in the outfield? So’s she. The hot soccer player with the great butt? Definitely is.

You may not realize it, but there’s a good chance a lot of your fellow students are Greek. All these people went Greek for one reason or another, but what’s more important is they all stayed Greek. By spending time with a member of a sorority or a fraternity on campus you’ll notice one thing: we’re all proud of our houses and proud to be a part of our houses. Within them we get amazing opportunities we cannot get anywhere else on campus.

Long before most students arrive on campus, many already know – and believe – the stereotypes associated with Greek life. Fraternities are supposedly full of young men whose favorite pastimes are getting wasted, hazing and getting laid. And sorority girls are mindless, snobbish and easy in bed.

One look around our campus will prove otherwise.

Approximately 25 percent of Simpson’s students are members of Greek chapters. We’re involved in many of the sponsored activities and charity drives that take place during the year. Many student leaders are members of the Greek system, as are many of our school’s brightest minds. For just one example, last spring the all-Greek GPA – 3.22 – was higher than the all-full-time-student GPA – 3.15. This has been a recurring pattern at Simpson.

Probably the most common stereotype against Greeks are the extent to which they party. However, aren’t all college students, Greek or not, stereotyped to be big partiers? Go to any party and you’ll see just as many non-Greeks as Greeks.

What many cynics also like to point out are the horror stories associated with Greek recruitment and initiation, namely hazing. Although hazing can be found on larger campuses, Simpson has a zero-tolerance policy against hazing and enforces very strict rules against it. New members are strongly encouraged to report problems if at any moment they feel hazed by a sorority or fraternity. In my experience these are needless worries: never once as a new member did I ever feel singled out or harassed by any of the chapter members.

When I first came to Simpson last year, I was very skeptical about joining a sorority. Although my mother and sister had both participated in Greek life, I, like many other freshmen, believed the stereotypes about Greeks. I had never liked the types of girls that I thought were usually in sororities and I thought it was stupid to “buy” my friends. I was happy enough with friends I’d met in my residence hall, and I didn’t see a reason to join a house. However, my family strongly encouraged me to go through formal recruitment, and I did, knowing that if I didn’t like what I saw – and I was sure I wouldn’t – I would not have to join.

Little did I know what was in store for me. When I went through formal recruitment I recognized many girls I never expected to be in a sorority and surprisingly, met many down-to-earth, intelligent and wonderful women. I knew I had been wrong about sororities. I decided to become Greek, and have never regretted my decision for a second.

After I joined a sorority, I really began to take notice of all the bad reputations associated with Greek life. When I came home from college for the first time and told my old friends I had joined a house, I always got the same reaction: “Oh, really?” I was bewildered by their reactions. But then again, none of them had gone Greek so they couldn’t really understand what it’s like to be part of a Greek chapter.

It made me mad to realize that people are unwilling to give fraternities and sororities a chance to be something other than a place to party. People seem to selectively choose what parts of Greek life they see; they look at what we do socially, but not what we do scholastically.

During the year, you’ll find Greeks everywhere on campus, in the library, on the field, sitting behind a philanthropic table in BSC, working on the Zenith and answering questions in the classroom.

Every non-Greek should at least take a second look at Greek life at Simpson before passing judgment. We’re bound to be found in the most unlikely places.

Take a chance and see what Simpson’s sororities and fraternities are really like on the inside. You might actually like what you see.