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Greek life offers involvement, connections

Nov. 12, 2004

By JESSICA BROWN, reporter

Masses of T-shirts hit Baylor's campus bearing greek letters on a daily basis. As a staple item in a greek woman's wardrobe, it's fun to show off cute shirts and your greek letters.

But being greek is more than wearing T-shirts. The greek system is constantly opening up doors. With alumnae, employers and other students, being greek is an immediate conversation starter. Women in my hometown love to hear about what sororities are doing on campus.

As a law firm intern, immediate connections were made with two female attorneys when they realized I was in the greek system at Baylor.

While studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, immediate friendships were made with Chi Omegas from Ohio, Delta Delta Deltas from Illinois, and Delta Gammas from Oklahoma.

The bond created through the recruitment and pledging experience is common among all groups.

With greek life, comes the necessity to balance one's life. Life only seemed busy as a freshman. Fulfilling duties within the greek system brings a whole new meaning to the word busyness. In a week, it's not uncommon to spend anywhere from eight to 15 hours in the Panhellenic building with meetings and practices, all the while, maintaining a spiritual and academic life. Being greek takes discipline and dedication.

"With the greek system you get an all-in-one group. Within each group, is a spiritual aspect, academic aspect, social aspect and service aspect," Tam Dunn, coordinator of Panhellenic for Baylor, said.

The greek system keeps many aspects of Baylor functioning. In healthy competition, we vie for top spots in All-University Sing, intramurals and homecoming parade floats. The homecoming parade would be much less exciting, and Sing weekend couldn't go on without the greek system.

With fall parties on Saturday, potential new members will be able to see what being greek is all about.

The greek system is criticized with the claim that one is "buying friends." Or there is the thought that sororities lead to one being exclusive rather than inclusive. For me, that is quite the contrary.

As a sorority woman, I step outside my circle to participate in weekly service projects, shyly join in crushing more than 800 guys and welcome hundreds of girls looking to join the greek system into our chapter room. Friendships made through being greek aren't purchased, but rather, are based on love, respect and what each of us can bring to the chapter.

If my parents were asked, "What has been most influential in my life at Baylor?" both would respond without hesitation.

Their response would directly correlate with the greek system. Through dancing on stage, building a float, serving the Waco community, participating in Bible studies and developing friendships, they have seen me grow and acquire rhythm, leadership and people skills that would otherwise be lacking in my life.

Especially the rhythm.