For anybody in college, the first day of the new semester brings many ups and downs, from creating the “ideal” schedule to wondering what types of clubs and organizations are available on campus. So it is no surprise that Greek life is on many people’s minds in both a positive and negative way. A new semester gives these Greek organizations an opportunity to gain new people they can call brothers or sisters.
On many social networks, there is talk about aspirations of “going Greek,” but the surprising fact is that only a small percentage of students actually join a fraternity or sorority. Instead, most people choose to spend their time in various clubs or causes that are near and dear to their heart. With positives such as professional development, obtaining a career after college, meeting new people, doing good for the community, and being affiliated with a national organization, why are these numbers so low?
I have been on both ends of the spectrum: I see the positives that a fraternity would bring to my social circle and my personal development in terms of contacts for a job upon graduation, but sadly there are also many deterrents to joining these organizations. I have found that some members of the Greek community seem to think themselves superior to non-Greeks, an attitude that annoys many students.
Next, on many college campuses, including mine, there are fears of hazing. In the past, when I thought of a college fraternity, I associated them with hazing. While it is not technically allowed and the fraternity may be banned from the university for hazing, it still happens, and I think that this turns prospective rushers away, including myself. Also, if a student is serious about his or her studies, a fraternity/sorority is more of a distraction than anything else because there are parties or mixers every day that impede studying and other extracurricular activities.
I leave you with these statistics from my school alone. Only 10% of all undergraduate men at the University of Delaware are in a fraternity and 14% of women are in a sorority. Why are the numbers so low? We can never truly know. Maybe students would much rather obtain membership in a co-curricular organization rather than party every day. Maybe they care about their schoolwork and want to obtain a good job after college. Maybe they are worried about the potential of hazing. But considering that aspirations are so high in the beginning of each semester, these numbers are really low. Before a student completely decides against rushing, he or she could consider positives such as personal development through leadership and contacts with employers. Even knowing these statistics, I think Greek life could be a worthwhile aspect of anyone’s college experience.