Greeks: We’re Not All Sorostitutes and Popped Collars

“Because this is a very big idea my friends. We’re talking about a non-exclusive egalitarian brotherhood where community status and more importantly age have no bearing whatsoever. Legally speaking there will be a loose affiliation. But, we will give nothing back to the academic community. As well as provide no public service of any kind. This much I promise you.” – Old School

If I were to look up the definition for “Greeks” in the unofficial college dictionary, it would probably read “frat boy: a brother who rocks the popped collar, obtains a GPA of no higher than a 2.5, and consumes mass quantities of natty light and later crushes the empty beer cans on his head while yelling “I am so college.”

Likewise, “sorority girl,” otherwise known as a “sorostitute,” would probably be defined as “a sister whose favorite activities include spending a day at the mall, drinking Bacardi Razz, talking about their BFF behind their back, and dream of someday appearing on one of Snoop Dogg’s ‘Girls Gone Wild’ videos.”

Media such as MTV’s “Sorority Life” and National Lampoon’s “Animal House” have given Greek life a bad rap. It is no wonder why incoming students have such harsh judgments about the Greek system.

Greek life is a lot more than keg parties and wearing sweatshirts with letters. Greek life involves friendship, support/ network, scholarship, community service and leadership. In a large school like UVM, finding people you can count on can be difficult. Becoming a brother or sister can provide a tight knit community of support. These are the types of friendships that will last far beyond the college years. Your friends from the Greek community become your family; your home away from home. In addition, members are encouraged to strive for academic excellence and are supported through incentive programs, workshops, and study partners.

Community service is one of the most rewarding aspects of Greek life. Greeks are committed to helping those in need or who are less fortunate. Some of the philanthropic efforts include raising money and or awareness for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Women Helping Battered Women, and Links to Literacy. Greeks have volunteered at soup kitchens, led clothing/food drives, as well as hosted events such as car washes and pancake breakfasts for a number a charities. Being involved in these activities takes you out of the insular college student life and builds social awareness and moral character -important lifetime attributes.

Becoming a Greek member also gives you the opportunity to take on an active leadership role. The leadership skills you gain will teach you a lot about yourself, how to work effectively with others and will prepare you for life after college. Additionally, the Greek life is an instant introduction to wide networking opportunities for internships, job searches and careers.

Entertainment and fun are never far away when you are Greek. Whether it is the final Greek week flag football game, a karaoke contest, a night out bowling, a fund-raising event, spring formals, or just a Sunday morning recap of the night before at Pennycluse, when you are Greek, a good time is always just around the corner. One Greek member says the reason she joined a house is because “the Greek members looked like they were the people on campus having the most fun and constantly laughing with each other.”

No one definition can describe the Greeks on campus. The men and women of the Greek community are leaders, snowboarders, philanthropists, Phish fans, preps, liberals, jocks, Vermonters, girly girls, flatlanders, vegans, conservatives, etc. The Greeks encompass a whole lot more than any one stereotype can label.

So why go Greek? Why not? What do you have to loose?! It’s fun and a chance to get involved and contribute to the UVM community and is a priceless experience; but don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Try it yourself. I challenge you to attend a recruitment event this spring semester. If over the coming weeks you find yourself finished with your homework, watching T.V., get out of your dorm room and take a walk across campus. Visit a fraternity or sorority, because isn’t it better to say you at least tried something than regretting that you never did?