The Gustavian Weekly

Greek life: more than a stereotype | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lauren Casey - Opinion Columnist | September 28, 2018 | Opinion

Greek life new member education night brought several to Alumni Hall.

Greek life new member education night brought several to Alumni Hall.

When the words “fraternity” and “sorority” are brought up, it is common to automatically picture a bunch of guys wearing boat shoes with perfectly parted hair, or a pack of sorority girls squatting the day away. This stereotype has been building for ages through movies and social media, oftentimes putting a bad taste in people’s mouths about Greek life. While some sororities and fraternities strive to match those stereotypes, Greek life at Gustavus is much more than a stereotype, and has a positive impact on campus in various ways.

When going through recruitment, it is made clear to all potential new members the role they play once they join Greek life. “I joined Greek life because I wanted to contribute to the community,” Sophomore Emma Lohman said. Members of the Greek community at Gustavus are passionate about serving the community, as well as philanthropy. 

Each chapter supports an organization through fundraising, educating, and raising awareness on campus with fun and engaging events. Greek life is centered around helping others, and each chapters’ philanthropies are meaningful to all those who support it. 

What is great about Gustavus Greek life is that our chapters go beyond philanthropy to help serve the community around us. The Greek organizations help on campus with events such as the Nobel Conference, host ing educational speakers, serve as role models, and put on fun events for students on campus. 

Sororities and fraternities alike participate in window painting.

Sororities and fraternities alike participate in window painting.

The most popular event is Death by Chocolate which includes all chocolate everything, because desserts is stressed spelled backwards, and college students definitely need more dessert than stress in our lives. Furthermore, Gustavus Greek life helps out in St. Peter with events such as the Fall 5K, Special Olympics, and Senior Living Prom. This is just one part of Greek life that the movies don’t show.

Greek life offers many opportunities to develop leadership and other skills. Within each chapter there are the traditional roles of president, vice president, treasurer, committees, etc. 

What most don’t know is that there are even more opportunities to be involved in Greek life such as in Order of Omega, and being on the Inter Greek Senate (IGS) board which governs all of Gustavus Greek life. “Being IGS president has allowed me to get to know the 250 plus individuals in Greek Life far beyond just facial recognition. I’ve met people I would have never otherwise interacted with, both students and faculty,” Senior McKenna Patrow said. There is also the chance to serve on the governing body for the two national sororities on campus called Panhellenic. Through the national sororities and fraternities, there is the opportunity to go to leadership development conferences all around the US. Many Greek life members on campus take advantage of these opportunities every year, and it is a great way to learn how to lead.

“Members of the Greek community at Gustavus are passionate about serving the community, as well as philanthropy.”

This one may be a given and a bit cliché, but being a part of a fraternity or sorority creates lifelong friendships. So much time is spent with sisters and brothers that it is inevitable to not become each other’s best friends. 

Being a part of Greek ife allows for the opportunity to meet a group of people who all share the same values, are welcoming, and stand for what their chapter believes in, making it easier to create strong friendships. “I joined Greek Life because I wanted to be with a bunch of guys that are similar to me,” Sophomore Jake Veness said. 

Once joining a chapter, you get the brothers and sisters you wished you always had, and the privilege of saying that you are connected for life through the oath made to the chapter. “At recruitment events, I always felt accepted and like I was one of the sisters that I can now actually call my sisters,” Senior Erin Wells said.

 It is the little things that mean the most such as always having someone to go to dinner with, a constant study buddy, entertaining group chats, chapter bonding events, and it is guaranteed that at least one member from your chapter will be up for a Family Fresh run for some popcorn at 11 at night. Greek life also creates bonds between chapters through chapter socials, and all Greek life events. Some honorable mentions are all-greek bowling night, and Tri Sigma/ SAE swing dancing. 

Greek life creates a sense of unity on campus because chapters support other chapters and are a strong group of students that care about the community. Being a part of Greek life at Gustavus was one of the best decisions that I ever made because it instantly brought me my best friends whom I do and share everything with.

Greek life at Gustavus makes a tight knit campus even tighter. The support that each chapter gives to Greek life, as well as to other organizations on campus can be felt and recognized. 

wWe wear our letters with pride and love what we do and who we are with. “I love being in Greek life because of the amazing people who go out of their way to make me feel loved and valued,” Sophomore Macy Erson said. That may not be what Greek life members in the movies say, but in my opinion,feeling loved and valued is so much better. 

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