The benefits of joining Greek organizations are often overshadowed by the negative images involving cases of hazing. Stereotypes flood popular news and because unfortunate circumstances make memorable headlines, it’s easy for an outsider to assume the worst.
Especially at Geneseo and other colleges like it, where the administration shows no tolerance toward the abuse of its students, hazing is rarely an issue. While the tragedies surrounding hazing often found in the news are imperative to note and work towards mitigating, it is equally important to acknowledge the positive developments that stem from Greek Life.
These hazing incidents can often deter students from joining Greek life, however, there are so many benefits to becoming a brother or a sister of an organization that should be recognized and prioritized.
USA Today reports, “85 percent of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life,” and that, “The first female astronaut was Greek. So was the first female senator. And college graduation rates are 20 percent higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.”
After joining a fraternity or sorority, many members take on leadership roles both in and outside of their organization, gaining important skills they otherwise might not have had the chance to develop.
Those who have joined Greek life cite their organization as a vital tool that has helped them obtain the skills required to be successful after graduation. Taking part in Greek life enables students to have the chance to hold leadership positions, plan and partake in philanthropy events and become involved on campus. Additionally, joining a Greek organization provides an additional outlet to form friendships.
Greeks also hold academic excellence above all else. Many organizations hold required study hours, tutoring and other programs catered toward helping members maintain high GPAs. Additionally, it is common for organizations to offer scholarships and awards to members for academic excellence. Statistics show that overall, members of Greek life have higher GPAs than non-Greeks. This is proven true even here at Geneseo, as our own statistics have shown that over the years Greeks tend to maintain higher GPAs than non-Greeks.
Aside from earning higher grades, though, these leadership experiences and opportunities for service ensue the formation of important bonds. When students join Greek life at a school like Geneseo, they are joining a family. For many students, going to college means moving away from home for the first time, an idea both daunting and exhilarating. Individuals like this often find that rushing and eventually pledging an organization is a way to find their niche or just a place among the masses that they can call their home.
So while it is crucial to note that sometimes Greek life is rightfully given a bad rap, it is up to those who partake in it to redefine their reputations.
If one were to try and report every single time a Greek organization held a philanthropy event, had members who made the Dean’s List, held executive board positions or did anything valuable, there would need to be an entire staff of writers to cover all of these accomplishments. A few isolated incidents should not become symbolic of all Greek life, the individual members and their successes should.
Members of Greek life are overachievers by nature; if every accomplishment made by fraternities and sororities were covered, many would find that the negative portrayals found in the media don’t apply to all organizations and that there are a lot of wonderful privileges that come with belonging to a Greek organization.