To Greek or not to Greek


Submitted by Caroline Kelly

Mississippi State’s Phi Mu sorority pose together for Derby Day. This annual charitable event takes place in the campus square where Phi Mu sorority members compete in sporting activities.

Daniella Vivas, Features co-Editor

Dropping everything you know and moving somewhere far from home is likely to induce some common side effects: stress, homesickness and a sense of being lost. For some, college is like a whole new world, especially for those who have grown up in the bubble, also known as Peachtree City. A way to lessen those inevitable side effects seems to be going Greek.

What do over half of the executives of Fortune 500 companies and many United States Presidents have in common? They have all been a part of the Greek association. ”

— Features co-Editor Daniella Vivas

The start of the Greek life phenomenon dates back to 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where the first fraternity was founded. Since then the trend exploded and expanded throughout universities nationwide.

With graduation fast-approaching the college freshmen-to-be are starting to weigh their options upon entering their prospective university. “Being a part of a sorority is something I have always looked forward to. It seems like it would make the transition from living at home a lot easier,” senior Emily Clevenger said.

The first and most crucial part of becoming a part of a Greek association is rush week. A week jam-packed of meetings with the different philanthropies. During this week the societies will bid on future pledges. Once a pledge receives a bid they have the option of accepting or declining. If accepted, the pledge will later go on to become an official sister or brother.  

More often than not the people who chose to go Greek have been predisposed to the idea from previous family members. Oftentimes when there is a“legacy” in the family, going Greek seems like an expectation rather than a choice. “With all my aunts being legacies I did feel like there was a slight pressure for me to consider going into a sorority,” Clevenger said.

At-home exposure is not the only way these ideas get put into adolescent mind. It’s no secret that movies play a role in the over glorification of Greek associations with movies like “Neighbors,” “Legally Blonde,” and “The House Bunny.” All of these productions target one demographic—teenagers, luring them in with the appearance of constant thrill while attending college.

But when looking at the facts, what do over half of the executives of Fortune 500 companies and many United States Presidents have in common? They have all been a part of the Greek association. This can make the idea look much more appealing. “Knowing that a lot of successful people have been a part of Greek life acts as an incentive [that] many opportunities come with going Greek,” senior Luke Ninneman said.

Though Greek life can be seen as an opportunity for success, they can just as easily turn into a vortex of distraction and failure, as being a member of a sorority or fraternity is a year-round commitment with certain obligations. Attendance is mandatory for the Greek chapter meetings, one has to attend a certain number of formal events and depending on the school, and one has to attend a certain number of football games too.

“Although the ‘rules’ that sororities have seem extremely time consuming there are countless benefits to gain from the experience,” senior Olivia Walker said. “Networking is a priceless tool that will have its advantages years beyond college.”

There are some Greek associations that are not all about the social aspect. These focus solely on academic qualifications, prior achievements, and intended majors. However beneficial these grade-based Greek associations are, the more social-centered associations typically appeal to incoming freshman.

In the end, many students don’t have the privilege of joining a sorority or fraternity due to its pricey tendencies. “It is kind of ridiculous how expensive joining a Greek association can be,” senior Ashton Nowicki said. New inductees have to pay fees for pretty much everything, like new member fees, chapter dues, social expenses, and fines for unexcused absences or tardiness. These expenses do not include room and board in the chapter house, according to USA Today College. Also, recent data from USA Today has shown that it is significantly more expensive to be a part of a sorority than a fraternity.  

Even though Greek life may not be for everyone, many students will agree that college offers opportunities that are fitting for  everyone. “As of now I have no plans to go Greek but I’m excited to see all the other clubs I will be able to join,” senior Sydney Soto said.