Merits and Drawbacks of Greek Life
Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor
Affiliation in Greek life can tend to have a polarizing effect. Knowing that you’ve got brothers or sisters in your chapter to call upon creates a certain bond that not everyone on campus may understand. That being said, at the same time incidents by other Greek organizations in the past, as well as portrayal in movies and TV, have in some ways tarnished what Greek life is.
The question then becomes, what is Greek life at Southern? It’s certainly not what you may think if you don’t look for yourself. In many ways Greek life provides social infrastructure at Southern. Countless events are held throughout the year hosted by fraternities and sororities. For some students, it’s a way to become involved when they may not normally have the opportunity. In both aspects Greek life is actively playing a role both for the campus as well as the individuals involved.
Much of our student population is made up of commuters; it can be difficult becoming involved when you’re only on campus for classes. However, Greek life provides a means to unite students.
“I joined last year when I was a freshman,” said Brianna Grippo an elementary education major. “I’m a commuter so it was really tough to make friends here so joining Delta Phi Epsilon I got to know so many girls.” However, thats not all that can come out of affiliation. “Its teaching me a lot of life skills,” said Brianna. “How to present myself when I speak in front of people, it’s helped me grow within this year.”
A great deal of what Greek life has to offer students is what they’re willing to give back to the system. All organizations help out around campus in different ways, sometimes creating lasting memories.
“We do a formal for the Special Olympics,” said Paul Barlow a finance major and Beta Mu Sigma member. “So what we do is we meet all the special athletes in the ballroom at the student center. The look on their face when you’re going up to dance with them and when you’re dancing with all your fraternal brothers has been one of the best moments to come out of it.”
Although you may not even be aware of all that Greek life is doing to help out. It can be a presence at an event, but at a smaller level these organizations are providing highly motivated individuals to contribute their time. However, this may be the drawback to being a part of Greek life.
“Time is a big one I’m a peer mentor as well,” said Mike Dorrico a business finance major and Alpha Phi Delta vice president. “I’ve done something every single night this week for the fraternity.”
However, just as there are social benefits to being in a fraternity or sorority, the time commitment pays off with opportunities to network and meet other members, some from all around the country.
“We went to a national convention,” said Mike. “It was the first time I met a lot of people. A lot of kids from New York, but some from Florida and Colorado. Most of them I never met before but everyone is friends regardless. Even if you don’t someone, chances are they’ll know someone in your chapter.”
That kind of benefit of being involved with Greek life is all part of a trade. If you’re going to be Greek, you’re going to be connected with Southern life as well as your organization, even beyond your chapter. Much like anything else, what you’re willing to put into Greek life is what you’ll get out.
Photo Credit: Greek Life Facebook