Going Greek

Members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority participate at Homecoming.  Marketing and Communication.
Members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority participate at Homecoming. Marketing and Communication.

Community service and philanthropy at the heart of Greek organizations

“People tend to focus on the negative portrayals of the social aspects of Greek life that they see in movies and on TV,” Junior Social Studies Education Major Karen Rogotzke said. Most people don’t realize that the social aspect of Greek life at Gustavus is over shadowed by their volunteering and community service. This common misconception is just one of the many stereotypes faced by students that chose to pledge Greek organizations.

Gustavus is the home of nine recognized sororities and fraternities to which 15 percent of students belong. During students’ careers at Gustavus, they have most likely spotted these groups around campus or out in the St. Peter community. The volunteering aspect of Greek life tends to be one of the deciding factors for those who choose to pledge. “People involved in Greek life are highly involved on campus and in the community through service and philanthropy,” Rogotzke said.

The Greek system has been in charge of many campus activities at Gustavus, including raising money and awareness for diabetes, holding a yearly Breast Cancer Convention and collecting food for those who can’t afford it.

Being involved in the Greek system takes time, energy and dedication to improving the school and the community. The commitment can be overwhelming.

“Pledging overlapped with swimming, so balancing pledging, school, homework, swimming and sleep was really difficult. But in the end it was very worth it,” Sophomore Jill Rykken said.

Belonging to a sorority or fraternity is not just about parties or social status. It is about building lasting friendships that change lives and inspire community awareness. According to Sophomore Emily Hoene, who pledged the Deltas this fall, one of the most rewarding experiences about rushing a sorority has been “becoming extremely close to her pledge class.”

Greek life takes on many different meanings for each person. “Greek life is a bunch of guys working together to better the community and themselves,” Junior Health Fitness Major Dain Clausen said.

Some students decide to pledge to meet new people and make lasting friendships. “[A few friends and I decided to pledge] because we thought it would be a great way to meet 50 amazing and different girls. I think that the Greek community as a whole does so much good for our community, and that is something that I wanted to be involved in,” Sophomore Danika Anastasi said.

Rogotzke has similar reasons for choosing to join a sorority. “I was drawn to the Delta sorority because of their great presence on campus. I wanted to be a part of an organization that was dedicated to giving back to the community,” Rogotzke said.

“I decided to pledge because I really wanted to be more involved on campus. I also wanted to give back to the community. I know that the Greek system is the best opportunity to do good for the surrounding community,” Sophomore Abbey Burkel said.

Every member of the Greek system has his or her own reason for joining a sorority or fraternity. But they all work toward one common goal: to support their community, their school and most importantly, each other.