Joining a Fraternity: Pros and Cons of Greek Life in College

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Pros and Cons of Greek Life in College

Fraternity comes from “frater,” which in Latin means brother. This is a very old academic practice in countries like the United States, and although the films convey the idea that they are only made up of parties, drinks, and making out, fraternity is of great importance in the academic life of a student abroad. It is a club or an association of young students united by the same interest. For the study area, it could be for a sport, for the social level, a hobby. It doesn’t matter! Your fraternity companions will be a constant companion during your university years abroad and will become lifelong friends. A very big bond is created, which can also be a positive point professionally since you will accumulate different contacts.

They are almost always located on campus; they are almost like our republics. But they don’t just serve as housing scheme or a place of study. The fraternities aim to “know how to live,” almost like a school of life. They organize events, study groups, do volunteer work, etc.

However, there are still many secrets regarding their practices. They are almost like secret societies, just taking part to know what is going on inside them. There are also rumors about the prank calls and tests that first-year students need to pass to fraternities. Usually, they use symbolism to name each one, taken from the Greek alphabet, such as alpha, gamma, delta, beta, etc. They have their anthem and flag.

Brotherhood

At the beginning of university history in the United States, attending a university was permitted only to men. When women were accepted into higher education institutions, sororities, the female version of fraternities, were invented. Only women are allowed in them while attending their degrees.

Pros of Fraternity

Philanthropy

At the center of every Greek organization is philanthropy. Greek organizations across the world raise a lot of money for donation to support various reasons. Even more impressive, fraternities and sororities give hours of service to those in need. Spending time doing good work for others is not only good for the audience; it’s also good for those who do the work and raise the money. Learning to give back is a big part of becoming a young adult.

You create a networking group for life

Greek life is not just about making friends; it is also a great resource for networking. Sorority brothers and sisters have some of the best connections in business, and participating in alumni groups in your city or town can open doors to job opportunities that might otherwise have been missed. Even other sorority and fraternity alumni can be a good connection if they come from college. When looking for work, we all need as much help as we can! 

Your incentive to study increases

Fraternities and sororities are sometimes seen as detrimental to getting good grades in college, but the reverse is true. To stay in good standing in a Greek organization, university students are generally required to maintain a minimum GPA, and in most houses, they are encouraged to study and get good grades to improve the position of the house both on campus and at the national level. Many of the nation’s PanHellenic and inter-frater councils maintain strict guidelines as well. Sororities and Fraternities have study sessions, tutoring, and awards for those who earn the highest grades and GPA.

Housing on campus

Living in the sorority or fraternity house with sisters or brothers is an experience that goes hand in hand with Greek life. As in bedrooms, friendships are made and cemented simply because of closeness and the time we spend together. There is no more bonding experience for Greeks than when they live with other fraternity or brotherhood members. Also, food is usually better than bedroom food. 

Learning about public image

Being in a sorority or fraternity comes with responsibility. There are many opportunities for men and women to interact with the community as representatives of their Greek organizations. Some get involved on college boards of directors for Greek life, while others can connect deeply with home-chosen philanthropy. Using the Greek letters of their fraternity or sorority is considered a privilege, and it extends only to members at initiation.

Commitment is essential

Once you decide to struggle, when you will meet members of the Greek organizations on your campus, you are committing yourself to the house you promise. Fraternity and sorority life are full of commitments, including financial (dues, dances, clothing, etc.), attending meetings, participating in activities, and more. Although you may be in a sorority or fraternity and not spend a lot of time with it, you will get the little benefit without getting involved. 

Resume improvement

Employers love to see initiative and leadership on a resume and having an office in a sorority or fraternity is a great way to establish yourself. From the president, who can be as tiring and time-consuming as a full-time job, organizing all aspects of the new member rush for your fraternity or sorority, there are plenty of jobs for all kinds of personalities. Taking on a leadership role in your Greek organization is a good way to feel how you work in an organization with other people who have strong opinions and possibly different ideas from you – great training for the real world.

A Place to Seek Help

Sororities and fraternities are made up of up to 100 or more college students with various abilities, talents, interests, and backgrounds. Chances are if you have a problem in a class, need someone to help you with a computer problem, or need relationship counseling; there will be someone in your fraternity or sorority who can advise or help out.

 Greek Life Cons

It Costs Money

It is quite costly to live a Greek life. The need to pay dues and other association fees pops up. The membership and maintenance fees are always high for students who are not from a wealthy background. Joining a fraternity is often an expensive proposition. According to the Campus Explorer website, average costs can range from $ 400 to $ 500 per semester membership fee at Boston University to $ 5,300 per year at the University of Kansas, once room and board are included. New members must also budget for numerous related expenses, including Greek-letter clothing, parties, and social events, and contributing to their fraternity’s favored causes.

It Takes Up Considerable Time

It is important to know that joining a fraternity requires commitment and dedication. Besides going to class and for some part-time job, joining a fraternity adds more activity to your schedule. Although some are optional, some are mandatory.

Peer Pressure to Drink

Peer pressure is a reality on university campuses across the country, but it is significantly higher in the Greek system. More than half of fraternity members indulge in binge drinking or consuming five or more drinks at once, for example, according to health experts. Members of the Fraternity also report experiencing negative consequences of high-risk drinking – including blackouts, hangovers, and unplanned sexual activity – at a higher rate than the general student population.

Hazing risk

They are often associated with hazing rituals that involve abuse, harassment, or humiliation. According to many studies, 55% of college students in the United States experience hazing, which frequently coincides with excessive alcohol use, lack of sleep, and risky sexual behavior.

Dealing with the stigma

Not everyone views the Greek system favorably. Many stereotypes exist about Greek life. By joining it, you are subjected to judgment by others. Often, certain fraternities or sororities have different reputations, so consider that and if you want to be associated with anything negative. The stigma itself is unfair but, unfortunately, still real.