My Take on The Redlands Greek System
As part of a National Greek Music Organization/Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, I should know about how the Greek System works at the University of Redlands. However, our organization is classified as an Honor’s Society instead of part of Greek life, so we don’t follow the same rules that Greek Organizations do here on campus. Instead, I only hear about the behind-the-scenes that happens around campus from my multiple friends in Greek Organizations about how process goes, how parties are planned, and generally how Greek Organizations operate. Here are a few things I’ve learned as an outsider.
Our Greek System consists of local sororities and fraternities as well as many national organizations that are Non-Greek (me included). I won’t pick on any specific ones, as they’re all great, but all bring different things to the table. There are those focused on sustainability, social life, community service, as well as other important tasks on campus. All of these organizations are meant to make a community and an enjoyable time for those students on campus.
In the past year, Greek organizations have gone to an all-time high and an all-time low. School attendance went up, so that means more prospective Greek organization members. Which can be good for record rush numbers, but bad in the sense of more people, more problems. As someone who lived near all the Greek houses, unfortunate things happen on a pretty regular basis. The severity of the situations, I believe, got much worse. You can throw every stereotype you want around the subject; most of it is unfortunately true. There are parties that get out of hand. For instance, one night, near my house, my girlfriend and I were about to walk to her car in the parking lot near my place. We found that most of the cars in that parking lot had rocks thrown into them, including hers. On that same night, our recycling bin was taken. Now, it wasn’t the worst situation to happen, just the one that I was directly involved in. One day in the afternoon, as I was walking back to my house, someone had lit fire to one of the houses on fraternity row and I just had come to witness police and fire department hit the scene. These two things happened in the course of a school year along with many other incidents. Again, unfortunate things happen, but I had learned a lot by living by all of these happenstances.
That being said, this is not to leave a negative light on the organizations. Most of my closest friends have come from the organization I’ve been a part of. I’ve seen countless of my friends in other organizations come out of their shell a little more and truly be happy with the decisions they made. I also feel that most of my more organized and go-getter types of friends come from these organizations, simply because they are always busy and putting time into their respective tasks. All the community service reflects well on the university and I love seeing the trip pictures that organizations go on for their formals or beach clean-ups.
Don’t be sucked in by the negative light of Greek life, but definitely don’t be unrealistic about what goes on with Greek organizations. A lot of good comes out and a lot of bad, as with normal everyday life. Be prepared for the best and the worst. Whatever you put into the organization is what you’re going to get back.