Monday, June 04, 2007

My Big Fat Greek Life at UT-Arlington

Fraternities and sororities offer campus life opportunities
Story by: Caleb Gremmer
The Shorthorn staff

With the barrage of campus activities marketed to bored students — especially unassuming freshmen — it’s obvious why it is difficult for those new to the university to find their place or crowd.

That said, each semester many students find the cure to their transition anxiety by searching out an active college experience through the campus’ Greek organizations.

Greek life is a term broadly used to describe the activities and experience associated with joining a fraternity or sorority, but it doesn’t completely relate what all is involved. By joining an organization, many students find Greek life becomes exactly that — their life.

“I think it provides an immediate place to have friends and a support network right when you come to school,” said Julie Murphy, Greek Life and University Event assistant director.

One of the most important aspects of Greek Life is choosing the correct organization. Luckily for students, the university offers several groups, each with its own identity.

Along with the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils, the university also offers the Multicultural Greek and National Pan-Hellenic councils. Among the 29 groups, it is almost guaranteed that anyone can find the right one for them.

Along with general social support, Greek life also provides an opportunity for business connections. Many students find potential employers in alumni or future professional peers in the active members of their organizations.

“Being that we are a Metroplex campus, the networking, in my opinion, is what makes Greek life one of the best groups to join if you really want to advance your career,” said Mike Taddesse, Greek Life and University Events program coordinator.

Many potential members often fret over the stereotypes associated with Greek life, but the university has gone to great lengths to help its organizations live them down.

Modern Greek organizations adhere to strict laws that prohibit mental and physical hazing. Instead, they serve more to promote the goal of the university’s Greek program — to prepare young men and women to be contributing members of society.

“Greeks are everywhere,” Taddesse said. “They do a good job of coming out and supporting university events and athletics programs, so I think Greeks do a good job of bridging the gaps between the overall student body and the administration and the university as a whole.”