When you think Greek Life, how many of you think of John Belushi in “Animal House”? Raise your hands kids because I know you’re thinking it. Toga parties, waterfalls of alcohol, endless one night stands, what draws people to these “animalistic” behaviors? Well I’ve never seen a lion in the Sahara holding a red Solo cup yelling “Turn down for what?” But I’ve seen Greek Life and I’ve seen life as a GDI or a “God Damn Independent” as they say. I’ve seen how other groups socialize and the difference isn’t really that different.
Being part of an organization gives anyone a sense of entitlement to that group and a sense of pride and tradition that no one on the outside understands. Many see a large group of frat guys and might feel intimidated or they’ll look to their friend and whisper, “What tools.”
True, it can be easy to feel lost in such a huge crowd. But maybe that is why some people choose to join Greek Life. Most people are looking to belong and whether you went Greek, joined an intramural club, or chose a major, we all belong to something and there should be a sense of pride associated with that membership.
This isn’t me promoting Greek Life. I realize it isn’t economically feasible for most people to pay chapter dues and it can be awkward withdrawing from a sorority after you and your former fraternity boyfriend broke up. *awkwardly raises hand* But whether or not you’ve stayed in Greek Life, left, or haven’t joined at all, you have some thoughts about Greek Life.
If you used to be part of Greek Life, you might feel hesitant about hanging out with the group after you’ve left. But running into each other around campus, you say hello and have mutual respect for one another because you’re a human being and that’s what you do. Maybe I’m being a little too” Kumbaya”, let’s gather ‘round the campfire and hold hands together, but I believe it all comes down to being decent to each other. You don’t have to agree with how various organizations conduct themselves around campus, but you should respect one another.
I’m sure at one time the organization you are involved in had a party to celebrate something and everyone had a great time that nobody else understood except those belonging to the group.
I may not have the same opinion about Greek Life as some of my fellow peers, but as a fellow member I think I hold a different point of view. Part of the reason I joined a sorority had to deal with the fact that I never had an older sister of my own. It’s simple, but I wanted to know what that felt like.
Many of the girls told me when I was being embarrassing and helped me conduct myself as a woman in public and not just a girl. Yes we had good times, but everyone looked out for each other. No one made drunken mistakes as the other girls pointed and laughed. Girls would step in and say, “Okay, it’s time for you to go home.” And they would give them a sober ride home. It was that easy. Risk management was something the Greeks did well and while some people would get annoyed with it from time to time, they protected us all.
Nights weren’t filled with drunken stupors. Some nights were filled with arts and crafts and sisterly bonding. It was easy to order pizza and watch a movie, play board games and share some laughs .I don’t regret being a member of a Greek organization for a minute. It helped me find a sense of belongingness if only for a moment and it taught me some great life lessons.
It’s like the final scene of Mean Girls when everyone just gets it. Some of us have gone our separate ways since then, but we have a mutual understanding each other’s life journeys.
I wouldn’t wish disrespect on any organization SRU has formed over the years. I realize we still have a lot to learn when it comes to respecting each other to form that true melting pot. But I believe attitude can change all of that.
I remember Orientation Ambassadors telling us to look out for each other when I was a freshman and I still believe we should do that, no matter how badly some people want out of here. The moral to the story: have pride for something and respect those who may have a different kind of pride for something else.