This is the third part of a multi-part series on the benefits and drawbacks of Greek Life on Transy’s campus.
If you’ve been out of your room on Transy’s campus for the last few weeks, you’ve seen or heard about all the wonderful things that social fraternities or sororities are doing. That’s one of the joys of living on a small campus. But if you’re like me, it’s one of the worst parts.
Many of my friends are involved in Greek life, and at times it can seem like everyone on campus is too. But I’m at least one person (and my roommate’s another) who won’t be joining any social Greek organization on campus for any of our four years here. To preface this, I am non-binary, meaning I am neither a male nor a female, so that doesn’t help when all the social Greek organizations are gender exclusive. Further, I don’t have any experience with the specific inner workings of the chapters on Transy’s campus, and I won’t pretend that I do. To be completely honest, I don’t want that knowledge.
Social fraternities have so many stereotypes associated with them, and I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the more I learn about and the more experience I have with the social Greek life on campus, the more it seems to fit into those stereotypes. Greek organizations have overlooked some pretty major flaws in their members, and are not always taking disciplinary measures for actions that should warrant them. I look around and I see that one fraternity is for the party-ers, one is for the racists, one accepts everyone and then the other has like six members on campus.
Sororities, on the other hand, have their own unique challenges that put me off of them as well. Most of the sorority girls I’ve met have been kind and welcoming, or at least not outright disrespectful to my face. However, the sorority as an organization tends to be elitist, and snobby. The organization as a whole, and the members when in groups of more than about three usually, often give off–to me at least– an air of superiority. Each sorority has its own associations on campus, and I tend to get the feeling that the members think they’re better than non-members because of those special differences in the sororities.
I understand the purpose of a social organization like Greek life is to create a space for like minded people, but there are infinitely better ways to find those people than elitist, xenophobic hierarchical organizations with only that purpose. I understand that many fraternities have other regulations, such as service and grade requirements, but the focus seems to almost always be on social events, and what dances or functions or food events or smokers are going on when.
This campus is so ingrained in social Greek life that many other groups and organizations build their practice or meeting schedules around Greek life events. No groups meet on Monday night, because all the socials meet then. Multiple times I’ve had meetings rearranged or cancelled because one fraternity or the other was having a function. Often times, you feel left out if you aren’t a part of social Greek life because so much of Transy’s social life is Greek life.