In 1776, Phi Beta Kappa was the first and only fraternity. Now in 2018, there are over 120,000 different chapters of Greek life in the U.S. and Canada alone.
Greek life is one of the most talked about aspects of college life. It’s frequently depicted in movies and books. College students can’t walk anywhere on campus without encountering Greek letters or someone talking about a fraternity or sorority.
“Whether or not you’re involved in Greek life,” PSUC sophomore Hailey Frey said. “You’re going to go to events hosted by Greek life or have someone knock on your door trying to raise money for their cause.”
An organization as large as Greek life doesn’t come without its downfalls. After a year of particularly large downfalls in Tennessee involving student deaths, a bill was proposed that would ban all sororities and fraternities from Tennessee colleges and universities.
“Its an important aspect of college,” said Nyela Graham, PSUC sophomore. “It’s a way to make friends and get involved in organizations that support really good causes.”
Greek organizations are portrayed in media as nothing but places of drugs, alcohol, hazing, and parties, but in actuality, Greek organizations raise money and hold events for a cause that they choose. They perform community service events and are very involved in charity.
“I had friends in high school,” Graham said. “That said from the outset, ‘yeah I’m gonna do Greek life, and I can’t see myself in college without Greek life.’”
Being a part of Greek life means being a part of an organization. Members have to participate in events and fundraisers, and they tend to be very involved on campus and in their Greek chapter.
“Time is the issue for me,” Graham said. “Greek life was something I had interest in, but I’m so busy that I just wouldn’t have time for it.”
There will always be students interested in joining Greek life, and that shouldn’t be a choice that they don’t get the option of making.
“There are always going to be a couple of people that make it hard for everyone else,” Frey said. “And that can be applied to every situation.”
In most Greek, chapters pledging is when the pledges learn about the Greek organization and all the members and its history. There are a few who practice initiation hazing, and they impact the perception of all the other Greek organizations.
“It’s sad that the few organizations who do haze affect everyone involved,” Frey said. “But with everything happening, I can see why someone would want to shut them all down.”
Students’ everyday life is touched in some ways by an aspect of Greek life, whether it’s by attending an event or actually joining an organization there is an impact. In 2018, there are over 120,000 chapters of Greek life, but in 2019, will there be any?
Email Abby Talcott at firstname.lastname@example.org