Saturday, November 27, 2010

USC Greeks Speak Out Against Misconceptions

Greek Misconceptions

By Rachel Cannon

Most non-affi liated students hold at least one misconception about what it means to be Greek. But a little research reveals that most of these ideas simply aren't true.

"A lot of people hear ‘Greek' and think, ‘Oh, those guys are all about drinking and partying," said Anthony Garcia, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, "Yeah, there's a lot of partying, just like with any college students. But there's so much more."

Partying is only one aspect of Greek life. Fraternities and sororities also contribute a lot to their communities through philanthropic events, and most hold their members to high academic and behavioral standards.

In fact, while every chapter has members known for partying and crazy antics, many Greeks choose not to drink at all.

"Greek organizations benefi t their members by teaching us about leadership, time management, co-operation and give us far more real-world business and life experience than college alone can offer," said Asher Kalef, Consul of Sigma Chi.

In fact, these opportunities play a major role in many students' decisions to go Greek.

The real-world benefi ts of being in a fraternity or sorority are very real.

According to Ecu.edu, almost all U.S. presidents and vice-presidents, 42 percent of U.S. senators, 40 percent of Supreme Court justices, and 30 percent of Fortune 500 executives are Greek – out of a mere 2 percent of the American population.

"I love knowing that after college, I'm going to have so many opportunities due to networking through my sorority," said Whitney Pataky, president of Zeta Tau Alpha.

Many other stereotypes about the Greek system pervade college campuses as well.

"A sorority is just paying for friends - I think that's one [stereotype] we all hear when we go through Rush," said Pataky.

In fact, this is a perception that I myself held before I went through sorority rush last year. But as I found out, this just isn't accurate.

Practically all organizations – from fraternities to sports teams to special-interest clubs – charge some type of fee. It's generally understood that these payments keep operations running, as well as allowing members other perks such as matching shirts, get-togethers, and other events.

This is epitomized in Greek organizations, which provide members with clothing, dances, events, and other great perks.

The benefi ts of being Greek last long before members have graduated from college, and they far outweigh the fees chapters must charge to keep things running.

Being Greek makes one feel a part of something so much larger than his- or herself, and larger even than one's college campus.

If you hold these or other negative beliefs about fraternities or sororities, you should get to know members here on campus and learn more about Greek life firsthand