A Home Away From Home
When you arrive at college, joining a sorority or fraternity is one of the best decisions you can make.
Naturally, you will be unsure and even a little skeptical of what to expect, with friends’ and family’s voices skewing your decision. You may question whether the Greek system is worth your time, but these doubts are misleading. Rushing the Greek system is a choice you will not regret.
Your sorority or fraternity will guide you through the difficulties and awkwardness of meeting new people and making friends. Joining a sorority enabled me to meet and interact with new girls during rush and to form great bonds early in the year. The bonding activities that my sorority hosted, such as the new member retreat, several mixers with fraternities and other sororities, and date parties provided me with opportunities to adjust. I arrived at the University of Michigan as an out-of-state student not knowing many people, and I would have been a lot less comfortable if I hadn’t joined my sorority.
The bonds between Greek families will last throughout college and beyond. Having a Greek connection significantly increases your social and professional networks. This tie enables you to link up with sorority sisters or fraternity brothers from different schools when you look for jobs in the workplace.
In addition, Greek life can comfort you when you feel far from home. In my sorority house, I can always find someone to do something with, regardless of whether they are one of my best friends or an acquaintance that I am still getting to know. On a Friday night, you can always find a group of sisters to go to parties with or someone to help you prepare for that difficult test on Monday, or even someone willing to relax and see a movie. With tons of people worth getting to know, you will always have someone who wants to talk, laugh, party, study, work out, or shop. Also, the comfortable, cozy services that the sororities and fraternities provide such as home-cooked meals from well-trained chefs or catering services make for an easy transition from home to college. Living in a sorority or fraternity with people you know well is like a home away from home.
Your sorority or fraternity will also expose you to many campus activities. Members in the Greek system tend to be more involved in other activities on campus. Everything in which I am involved now was referred to me by older sisters. Additionally, you will always find someone in your sorority or fraternity who is also interested in getting involved with the same club or activity, so you will have a friend to go to meetings.
Throughout my two years in the Greek system, I have participated in many activities that I otherwise would have missed. I engaged in a week-long competition on campus called Greek Week to raise money for charity organizations, and my fellow fraternities and sororities work together and participate every year in Relay for Life. Also, with the Greek system’s GPA requirement, I am better prepared to excel in college.
To be in a sorority or a fraternity is a comforting backbone that will dare you to try new things. Your brothers and sisters will always be next to you, supporting you along your journey.
An Artificial Crutch
by: Charles Stone
Greek life: That glorious part of every college student’s world, including wild parties, selfless community service, and friends for life, right? Wrong.
Fraternities and sororities may be popular and enticing aspects of the University of Michigan’s social scene, but I assure you, they are not how they appear.
Over my last two years at the University of Michigan, I have observed these confusing congregations and concluded that they are superficial, discriminatory, and most of all, a giant, over-hyped waste of time and money.
When they first arrive on campus, most freshmen are in awe of the unusually large and obscenely unkempt houses labeled with unfamiliar jargon such as “Lambda Omega Lambda” (LOL). These mysterious houses dupe the freshmen into a process called “rushing,” during which they undoubtedly anticipate joining a fraternity or sorority that will lead them to great things, things particularly sexual, party-related, and if they are really lucky, their future-building.
As far as finding a niche where one can thrive at the University, this just does not seem to be the best formula. Good friendships are founded on common interests and general chemistry. They are more accessible in environments like a student group or even a residence hall, where people gravitate to each other based on established similarities instead of being forced into social situations where they may not be comfortable and are forced to cling on to anyone in order to survive.
Unfortunately, the judgment in the rush process does not stop at apparel or figure measurements; it includes racial, financial, and all other forms of imaginable discrimination. Furthermore, the lavishly well-landscaped and opulently decorated Greek houses, including their incredibly well stocked bars, which I have witnessed and fail to remember the details, are not subsidized by the University. Because members have to pay so much money for their beautiful hedges and plentiful Grey Goose, respectively, Greeks perpetuate a type of financial discrimination that is exactly what this University is against. The Board of Regents has fought hard to allow people of all economic backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful school. When the Greek system – presenting itself as fundamental to the heartbeat of this campus – overlooks a tenet so important to the rest of the institution by discriminating heavily against students of lower income brackets, there is obviously a problem.
Regardless of financial standing, all students entering their freshman year have high hopes for themselves later in life, particularly concerning the girth of their wallets. Hundreds of different opportunities for career development exist at the University. The demands of this institution are extensive and time consuming. Fraternities and sororities just aren’t productive enough for students at the University. I am not a job placement specialist, but I think it’s fair to assume that a substantial presence in student groups, volunteer work, or basically anything that does not include “let’s see how good we can look tonight” will look better to an employer than having been in a fraternity.
Social life is important and vital to everyone’s well-being, but seriously, the amount of time, money, interest, and, oh yeah, discrimination, are just not worth the supposed benefits. However, if you like superficiality, segregation, and spending lots of cash on stuff that would cost less elsewhere, rush LOL. You won’t be laughed at quietly.
edited by: Debbie Sherman