Student Life

Should I Join a Fraternity or Sorority?

Greek Life is certainly a consideration as you either enter college or continue on.  For many students, joining a fraternity or sorority can help them make friends and will be one of their fondest memories in their college experience.  However, Greek Life isn’t for everyone, so we’ve put together some information for you about fraternities and sororities that will help you decide if Greek Life is right for you.

What is Greek Life and what are fraternities and sororities?

In an article we read at USA Education Guides, Hannah Roberts explains that sororities and fraternities are groups for women and men (respectively) and have been around since about 1776.  These are primarily considered social organizations, however, they can be focused on other points of shared interest such as community service, academics, or religion.  The main purpose of these organizations according to CollegeHelper.com, is to join young men and women together “to offer fellowship, leadership, academic support, participation in campus activities, service to the community, and preparation for future careers.” These organizations are then considered part of Greek Life, in that their names involve letters of the Greek alphabet.

What are some of the benefits associated with fraternities and sororities?

According to CollegeHelper.com, fraternities and sororities can foster lifelong friendships, can help students to get involved in social activities on campus, and offer students a chance to do community service; they also help with networking and offer students leadership opportunities.

What are some of the disadvantages associated with fraternities and sororities?

According to CollegeHelper.com, there will often be fees associated with pledging and initiation, and then regular annual dues that you must pay.  Fees also include social activities, retreats, and other events.  Greek Life can also require a lot of time, as there are many meetings and social activities you have to participate and organize as part of the fraternity or sorority.  Lastly, there is an issue of hazing; although it is illegal to haze, many fraternities and sororities still haze those who they are initiating.  You should be sure to stay away from fraternities and sororities who have a history of doing this.

How can I find out more about the fraternities and sororities at my school?

Greek organizations will typically have a “Rush Week” in the fall semester where students considering Greek Life can attend events and information sessions put on by the fraternities and sororities on campus.  In this way, students can find out more about which fraternity or sorority fits them.

What does it mean to “rush”?

According to an article we read by Jane Schreier Jones at College View, when you choose to participate in Rush Week, you will be considered a “rushee”.  This means that you are going to visit various fraternities or sororities and meeting the members.

What is the difference between “rushing” and “pledging”?

When you “rush” you are participating in Rush Week.  It is then after Rush Week, fraternities and sororities will send invitations to rushees to join their organization (“bids”).  If a rushee accepts a fraternity or sorority’s bid, they will then be considered a “pledge,” and will go through a period in which they will learn more about that particular organization.

While your decision to participate in a fraternity or sorority entirely depends on your own preferences, we hope that this has helped make the decision just a little bit easier.

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