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Greek organizations don't guarantee love

Nov. 16, 1999

Everyone has an opinion about Greek life. Some think it makes college a fulfilling experience and some think it makes college shallow and meaningless. Both points of view can be argued, but neither is completely correct.

A sorority or fraternity is just another organization and really nothing more or less. Members of fraternities and sororities make friends with the other members, participate in social activities together and regularly do service at Baylor or in the community. These characteristics are part of most organizations, Greek or not.

The problem is that students put too much emphasis on Greek life, and try to make it appear to be something it is not. 'Going Greek' is just another way to meet people, get connected to campus and have another activity on a transcript.

Proponents of Greek life claim it is a brotherhood or sisterhood, and while some make great friends in their Greek group, rarely are all the members as close as brothers and sisters.

Friendship cannot be bought or forced. When people become a part of a fraternity or sorority, they are led to believe they will be a part of a close-knit family. This is simply not the truth.

Reality is that everyone is more concerned with his or her own affairs than the affairs of others and when people choose to join a Greek group, they are misled by claims that they will be a 'brother or sister' of everyone else in the group.

Students need to look past the fluffy claims and see that being part of Greek life can be a positive experience, but it is not likely they will be unconditionally loved and supported by everyone in their fraternity or sorority.

Having a Greek connection can be a good way to get networking done in the business world. It can allow students to be exposed to service opportunities, friendships and activities that they would not have been a part of otherwise. It gives student a chance to be a part of fun social activities.

Being Greek can be rewarding, but to say it will provide you with lifelong memories of friends as close as brothers or sisters and a place to go 'where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came' is highly unlikely.

Greek life has a good side, but if students would see it as it really is, just another college organization, it would prevent disappointment and unreasonable expectations.

Erin Gullickson is a junior business journalism and management major from Overland Park, Kan.