College is not just a place to study, do homework, and attend classes. College is also a major part of your social development. A popular social organization that students join to become more involved is Greek life.
Greek life refers to the social organizations, or fraternities and sororities, at colleges and universities. Each of these organizations usually has its own special name, philanthropy they affiliate with, traditions, symbols, and other activities that are specific to them.
How do you join Greek life?
Students have to go through what is called “rushing” in order to be part of a fraternity or a sorority. Rushing in college is a series of days where you meet the fraternity and sorority members, get to know them, and hope to build a connection. Through this process, the members will decide if they’ll invite you to join their fraternity or sorority. You can also decide if you want to be a part of it based on your interactions during rush. Receiving a “bid” on Bid Day means the organization has invited you to join. Bid day is a big tradition in sororities. Popular sororities hold elaborate celebrations for their newcomers.
Greek life on a college campus is sometimes a draw for someone to attend the school. However, joining Greek life is not something that should be taken lightly. When deciding if you should join Greek life, consider these pros and cons.
Pros to rushing in college:
After rush, you are invited to join a network of the current and past members in your chapter. While you will likely form a tight-knit group of friends, you will know tons of other students that you can talk to around campus and throughout your life.
Every fraternity and sorority is required to affiliate with philanthropy. Throughout the school year, the organizations participate in and host many fundraising events for their respective charity. For example, Kappa Delta is affiliated with Girl Scouts of the United States and places its efforts towards helping women and children. The sorority raises an average of $2 million dollars a year.
Fraternity and sorority organizations provide their members with a number of leadership opportunities. Every year the organization opens its executive board positions and members can choose to run for a number of positions. These positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Risk Management. These positions hold a great deal of responsibility and help provide the student with pivotal skills they’ll use when looking for employment after graduation.
Cons to rushing in college:
One of the most well-known facts about Greek life is that it’s an expensive involvement. Joining these organizations isn’t free. Your monthly fees can vary but these fees typically include things like merch, events, meal plans, and housing. According to an article on Credit.com, one student recounts spending nearly $15,000 after all four years of college just on their Greek organization alone. This doesn’t include the additional money spent on gifts, swag, car decals, and other branded knick-knacks.
Being part of a Greek organization can take up a large amount of your time. Sororities and fraternities put on weekly meetings, events, small meetups, and larger commitments throughout the school year.
It can be difficult for students to focus on their school work, campus jobs, and other commitments when their greek organization comprises their time. Make sure you are able to commit the time needed to be a productive member before you rush.
A con every student should think about before joining is the reputation that fraternities and sororities get nationwide. They often receive bad press and have a history of hazing, abuse, and sexual assault allegations.
Greek life organizations have taken part in illegal hazing scandals that have resulted in injured students. The universities themselves do little to prevent or punish the Greek organizations so the hazing continues.
So, should you rush?
As previously mentioned, joining a greek organization comes with many benefits as well as drawbacks. Greek life is a huge tradition on campuses and can contribute to your experience in many positive ways. Should you decide to rush make sure you have done your research and are certain you want to affiliate yourself with a group of people for your college experience.