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Greek life on campus (Fraternities & Sororities)





Magicman
For a time now on my college campus, there seem to be many dissenters of Greek life. It seems like the Greek houses get blamed for any problems with our school. As a recent initiate of a fraternity, I know the many benefits of membership. I feel that those who are not part of the Greek system don't understand what it is all about. How do you feel about fraternities and sororities and their contributions to college life?
Ophois
Personally, I see the Greek fraternities/sororities as yet another way to divide people. It is elitist. From my experience, these institutions have only served to feed the ego of the members. It's very much like a country club; only select members get in. I declined the opportunity to join a fraternity in college, because I don't like the attitude that they have; "we are better because we are exclusive".

Your fraternity may not hold this view, but many do, and honestly, there is no point. It's a club. Preferential treatment is shown to people who are legacies of certain fraternal clubs, and others are viewed as "trouble makers". Either way, the outcome of institutions like these, is that they destroy individualism and replace it with mediocrity.

Like I said, maybe your frat house is great and doesn't operate this way. And if that's the case, more power to you. Just be wary of following that flock, they tend to run off cliffs sometimes.
Vrythramax
Ophois wrote:
Personally, I see the Greek fraternities/sororities as yet another way to divide people. It is elitist. From my experience, these institutions have only served to feed the ego of the members. It's very much like a country club; only select members get in. I declined the opportunity to join a fraternity in college, because I don't like the attitude that they have; "we are better because we are exclusive".

Your fraternity may not hold this view, but many do, and honestly, there is no point. It's a club. Preferential treatment is shown to people who are legacies of certain fraternal clubs, and others are viewed as "trouble makers". Either way, the outcome of institutions like these, is that they destroy individualism and replace it with mediocrity.

Like I said, maybe your frat house is great and doesn't operate this way. And if that's the case, more power to you. Just be wary of following that flock, they tend to run off cliffs sometimes.


I have to agree with Ophois here. Any group that singles out a section of the whole, makes them prove you are "worthy" to belong, can only be deemed as, at best elitist...or worst as discriminatory.

The end goals notwithstanding, this type of organisation/group is, IMO, no different than any racially or religiously motivated groups and can serve no useful purpose except to create a sense of discontentment, disharmony, and discord.

Not exactly the kind of situation I would want to see in an educational establishment that is (allegedly) there to teach values to our youth.

Socrates was condemned for teaching values that went against the "norm" of the time...how are these organisations any different?
BinahZ
I will join Vrythramax in agreeing with Ophois. I find the concept of the fraternity / sorority campus lifestyle one of elitism and seperatism. It serves no positive purpose, but in fact seems to perpetuate the high school clique mentality. In the broad view of things, it is a blight on acadamia imo.
coreymanshack
Why would you want to join one of these clubs? You go to college to learn in a specific field of study. How can you keep up on your work if you have to attend these club meetings, and on top of that have a real job.
I take for granted your parents didn't pay for all of your college, or you didn't get a huge grant/loan/scholarship .
Magicman
Everyone who has responded thus far is clearly unaffiliated with any Greek organization and therefore cannot know the benefits as an affiliated person can. Let me note here that I don't find Greek members to be elite above non-Greeks, and I believe that this view is shared by the members of my organization. We often allow anyone who wants to come hang out with us to do so as long as we don't have a particular reason not to do so (that reason generally being one in which their presence could cause trouble).

Quote:
The end goals notwithstanding, this type of organisation/group is, IMO, no different than any racially or religiously motivated groups and can serve no useful purpose except to create a sense of discontentment, disharmony, and discord.

I can only truly speak of my fraternity, and I have yet to be involved in the selection of people to give bids to, but I do not find this to be true. Selection of new members is not based on race or religion in any way. My organization is fairly diverse relative to the diversity of my campus as a whole. Men are only judged by their character when it comes to decide who will be invited to join. I don't see how this is all that different from any job or school.

Quote:
Why would you want to join one of these clubs? You go to college to learn in a specific field of study. How can you keep up on your work if you have to attend these club meetings, and on top of that have a real job.

College shouldn't just be about learning about your specific field of study. Sure, that's what you are paying for, and if all you do is study and go to class for four years, that's what you'll get out of it. But if you get involved in other things, including fraternities and sororities, you will grow and develop in so many different ways. Membership in a fraternity helps to develop interpersonal skills as well as a sense of responsibility. Every member depends on others to do their assigned tasks so the group can be successful. Besides that fact, when it does come to learning my particular subject, fellow members of my fraternity can often help me in my studies.

I realize that Greek organizations have reputations to be troublemakers, and while this may be true for some, it is not true for all. I have much more I could say about the Greek system and its benefits, but I will save that for when someone brings up a relevant objection.
coreymanshack
Quote:
College shouldn't just be about learning about your specific field of study. Sure, that's what you are paying for, and if all you do is study and go to class for four years, that's what you'll get out of it. But if you get involved in other things, including fraternities and sororities, you will grow and develop in so many different ways. Membership in a fraternity helps to develop interpersonal skills as well as a sense of responsibility. Every member depends on others to do their assigned tasks so the group can be successful. Besides that fact, when it does come to learning my particular subject, fellow members of my fraternity can often help me in my studies.


You can get all of this by having a thing called friends. You don't have to belong to an exclusive club to have friends. With friends, you wouldn't have any of the problems you started the topic over(getting blamed for things because you belong to club).

If you don't like getting blamed for things just because you belong to a club, get out of the club! Why is it so important that you stay in this club and receive heartache from being blamed for things.
Vrythramax
Quote:
... Men are only judged by their character when it comes to decide who will be invited to join. I don't see how this is all that different from any job or school.


In the workplace we are judged more on ability as opposed to moral fiber, granted this is not right...but show me any successful executive with a stellar character and I'll tell you to dig deeper.

There are 5 key words in the above quote that ring of elitism... "judged by" and "invited to join".

Judged by whom? Why does one need an invitation?

Character is built not by shutting people out who don't make the grade. In my current job I deal daily with people who are, to put it as eloquently as possible...downtrodden. I highly doubt ANY of these people would be invited to join one of the greek societies...quite the opposite actually. It has been my experience that members of "frat houses" would show them nothing but cruelty and ridicule.

The sad part about that is that they would not be excluded because of their character defects, but because of the hand life has dealt them.

@coreymanshack

WELL SAID!! Cool Applause
deanhills
coreymanshack wrote:
Why would you want to join one of these clubs? You go to college to learn in a specific field of study. How can you keep up on your work if you have to attend these club meetings, and on top of that have a real job.
I take for granted your parents didn't pay for all of your college, or you didn't get a huge grant/loan/scholarship .
Maybe peer pressure? I still wonder that those clubs are allowed to operate with the seriousness and intensity that they do, as the little I've heard they can create real damage.
Fatality
The things I know about fraternities/sororities is word- of-mouth or what is seen on TV or movies. I do have to agree that there a separation of the "classes", if you will. I have never understood the idea of "pledges" being hazed and abused to become a member. I'm not much for partying, but I do believe that when you put a large group of college students together, add intoxication and mix, there are mistakes and regrets.

I go to a tech school so we don't have a "Greek Row" and I'm glad. I would much rather spend time with college friends elsewhere.
Magicman
I think I should point out here that not all fraternities/sororities are created equally. You can't generalize so extremely as some of you are here. To be quite honest, my fraternity is different than most others on campus.

corymanshack wrote:
You can get all of this by having a thing called friends. You don't have to belong to an exclusive club to have friends. With friends, you wouldn't have any of the problems you started the topic over(getting blamed for things because you belong to club).

I have many friends outside the fraternity and I'm not saying you can't develop those skills without Greek membership. Many of the guys in the fraternity were my friends before I joined and still would be if I had not, so 'having friends' was not one of the reasons I joined. Also, I wasn't complaining when I started the topic, I just thought that since it was being discussed so much on my campus that it could make for an interesting discussion here.

Vrythramax wrote:
Character is built not by shutting people out who don't make the grade.

I never claimed it was. But you should understand that the people who join will be the ones running the organization and representing it on campus. If you had a business, would you hire people who are 'downtrodden', as you say, knowing that they would represent your business and will eventually be in management positions? The character of an organization is made of by the character of its members, so new members should be chosen so that the integrity of the organization is maintained. Besides, if just anyone could join, then the fraternity would grow to be far too big and could not operate properly.

deanhills wrote:
Maybe peer pressure?

Peer pressure had nothing to do with it. I chose to join on my own.

Fatality wrote:
The things I know about fraternities/sororities is word- of-mouth or what is seen on TV or movies. I do have to agree that there a separation of the "classes", if you will. I have never understood the idea of "pledges" being hazed and abused to become a member.

I'm sure you realize that TV, movies, and word of mouth accounts will focus on the extreme cases. They will never focus on the day to day things that actually happen in a fraternity. If they did the stories would be just plain boring. So it follows that you, and likely everyone else in this discussion, know next to nothing when it comes to what being in a fraternity is actually about.

I agree that some organizations engage in dangerous hazing activities, which I find stupid, but not all do. During my pledging period, I was told that if I was uncomfortable doing something, I could say so and not have to do it. As it turned out, I never had to do anything of that sort. All activities we had to do served a purpose; mostly to help the pledge class and the current members get to know each other or to teach us the history of the fraternity. The purpose of the pledge period is for fraternity education and making sure that the pledges truly want to join.
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