Those of us who are about to become college freshmen in little more than three months are always faced with the same three questions: Where are you going to college? What’s your major? And finally, Are you planning on rushing?
Many people shake their head vigorously to this last question — they see Greek life as “buying friends” and question the sorts of activities that members of sororities or fraternities are involved in. And, in some cases, these critics of Greek life (or GDI’s, as they are called at UNC) have a point. There is a high percentage of drinking, drug use and sex crimes associated with the Greek system.
However, the benefits of going Greek outweigh the negative reputations that may follow certain sororities or fraternities, which is why I plan on joining a sorority next year. One of the most exciting parts of rushing right at the beginning of the year is having the opportunity to meet hundreds of girls at once.
“People just rush, especially at a big school, because it immediately makes you a part of something at the school,” said Amy Kreis, sophomore at UNC-CH. “Sometimes people say you’re paying for friends, but what people fail to consider is that sororities just bring together people who are similar and may not have met yet.”
Going into a school where you are only friends with a handful of people makes finding a group of friends extremely important, especially in those first few weeks. Rich Frost, sophomore at UNC-CH, agrees, although he poses a warning about the stresses of pledging.
“Joining a fraternity or sorority is a good way to meet new people, as long as you avoid falling into negative Greek stereotypes and can handle the time commitment, which is especially onerous during pledging,” said Frost.
Sororities and fraternities also offer many opportunities to get involved in the school. Along with hosting social events, these organizations also hold fundraisers and provide ways to help out in the community. As well as giving members the chance to volunteer and help others, the Greek system can provide students with a smaller niche at a large college.
Of those I know who are involved in Greek life, not a single person has negative things to say about their sorority or fraternity. Instead, they talk about the amazing friends they have made, events they have participated in and how it enriched their college experiences.
I cannot wait to see what the Greek experience will have in store for me.