Written By: Cassidy Elizabeth Cecilia Kotyla,
I can see your clear concern for Greek Life, especially at such a large school. Housing approximately 25,000 undergraduate students, my university does a pretty solid job of containing the good, the bad, and the ugly within its fine confines of the town. The greek system at my school is made up of around 10% of the student population. We seem like we’re a lot more because of how we all walk around with our letters… I know. I’ve gotten that before. The most popular misconception about greek life, especially at my very own university, is that we pay for our friends, we party way too much, and we give the university a bad name. Well, let’s discuss these things, shall we?
On the topic of that we “pay for our friends”, I really wish I could give you a breakdown of my personal finances and dues for the year. At no point in my billing statement does it have a fee for “friendship dues”. When people say this, it naturally gets me really angry because people just assume you magically make friends when you’re in a sorority. False. I know tons of people that don’t care for one or two girls within their own sorority. Some of the girls that I rushed with were even my friends beforehand. What we DO pay for within our dues includes things like a small fee for apparel (yes, these shirts aren’t cheap whatsoever), national dues (a fee paid to the National Headquarters so that we can stay a national chapter), chapter dues (dues that go to our very own chapter so that we can stay running on campus), and various dues for our philanthropy funding. So next time you see one of us walking together in a group with our letters, don’t assume we paid our way to get in there.
Secondly, let’s talk about the assumption that we party too hard. All sororities on my campus have socials with different fraternities, as well as some other registered organizations on campus or with a neighboring university. In my mind, if you can handle the fine balance between maintaining a good academic standpoint and a good social world, you’ve hit the ultimate balance of college life. Unfortunately, sometimes that isn’t possible when you’re balancing ten different things at once. There are plenty of times, more than I can count on my hands, that I’ve elected for a sleepover or movie night compared to going out in my heels.
Lastly, we do not, by any circumstances, shed a bad light onto the campus as a whole (now, I’m speaking in greek life in general–there definitely could be some certain chapters that shed light on their own faults during the year, and that is on them, but I am speaking in terms of “greek life”). We initiate in some of the most lucrative and prosperous community involvement that the university has ever seen. We also pose a great tool in mentoring and guidance for how to balance that busy work load with a social life. Trust me, we all do it somehow. We also hold some of the best leadership positions on campus. In a national standpoint, the majority of our nation’s Presidents were greek, as well as the majority of CEO’s from our Top Fortune 500 Companies.
With that being said, going greek or being in greek life should never be considered a bad thing. We’re constantly stereotyped by movies like Legally Blonde and portrayed as ditzes who don’t know quite much about anything except how to make friends, and that’s not at all true. Think twice about putting us down, and consider going greek yourself.
As always, xoxo.