Should You Go Greek?
A common question both prospective and current FSU students may ask themselves is whether or not they want to become a member of Greek life. While I am personally not involved in a sorority, I know several people that are associates of both sororities and fraternities, and are exceptionally passionate about it. However, it is certainly not for everyone, so it’s necessary to know exactly how Greek life works before deciding if this is something that will be beneficial to your college experience.
Greek life at every school differs. At FSU, approximately 18 percent of the student population is involved in Greek life, which equals about 7,000 students. There is a combined total of 55 sororities and fraternities to choose from, most of which have their own houses. While this may not seem like a significant amount, it is actually a key component of FSU. A common question you will always be asked when meeting someone is, “Are you in a sorority/ fraternity?” You will often find several students on campus proudly representing their Greek apparel, no matter which corner you turn. But the students who join these organizations are fully committed to them by choice, as it definitely requires both time and a vast amount of dedication.
One of the positive aspects of joining a sorority is having your meals prepared for you throughout the week. Any sorority member is entitled to eat at the house for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, which can save both time and money from buying groceries and cooking every night. Sororities are also known for hosting a variety of social events, whether it’s simply for fun or a philanthropic cause. They are the perfect organization for those who are eager to develop a close group of set friends in such an overwhelmingly large university. Generally, the girls will share the same interests and ideals, since they are chosen for their particular sorority based on mutual personalities. They will be alongside you at most occasions- date functions, 21st birthday waltzes, philanthropies such as Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, tailgates, parties, etc. Essentially, they will become your family away from home.
Another aspect, which can be considered both good and bad, is living in the sorority house. Members are by no means required to live in the house, but it’s definitely an effective way to save money and conveniently live across the street from campus. Also, it saves the commute of going to the house for each meal. The downside, however, is that you are unable to have the privacy of your own room; you usually have to room with 2 or 3 other girls, considering about 40 girls live in each house. You are also not allowed to have any male visitors, unless they remain on the first floor, where the kitchen and general living rooms are located.
Fraternities are similar to sororities in a number of ways. They are essentially for college males interested in nightlife, parties, and tailgates. It is, as I stated earlier, definitely the best way to meet a variety of people, gain connections, and hold a sturdy social life. Fraternities and sororities will often get paired up for different types of social events; you will generally see sororities paired with a particular fraternity for tailgates and date functions. While it is possible and quite common to live in the fraternity houses, it can also be a wreck. The houses are exceptionally filthy from all of the parties and pregames. Plus, it’s a bunch of college guys living under roof, so it’s certainly expected to lack anything along the lines of shiny cabinets and polished floors.
It’s important to keep in mind that being part of Greek life requires money, time, and commitment. If you have a stressful, busy schedule, or nightlife isn’t your go-to on the weekends, then Greek life is probably not the organization for you at FSU. It is also very expensive. While it varies for each organization, the fees range from $2,500-$4,000 per semester. If you decide to go Greek for all four years, this can result in an accumulated total of about $32,000. The costs can be a huge hit to your wallet on top of tuition alone, so it is crucial that you are completely set on your decision. PanHellenic Recruitment is a very difficult process as well, which is held the week before classes for sororities and the first few weeks of classes for fraternities. During sorority rush week, each girl is expected to walk from house to house in the blazing summer sun, wearing heels, dresses, and makeup. Every day, they are interviewed by members to learn about each sorority and its unique aspects that may or may not fit their personality. This alone can be very stressful for girls; about 30 percent are known to drop during the recruitment process.
Lastly, these organizations will always come with specific stereotypes. Sorority girls at FSU are named as partyers and known to wear leggings, tank tops with their Greek letters, and Nike sneakers to class. At the bars, you will find them in high waisted denim shorts, crop tops, and wedges, and always traveling in packs. Guys in fraternities are stereotyped to wear short shorts, paired with a polo shirt and Sperry’s; and again, they are heavy drinkers. But remember, this is just a common judgment and misconception. Members of Greek life are constantly volunteering and partaking in multiple philanthropies for the community. Additionally, they are required to have a minimum GPA, usually around 2.8, in order to remain a member of their organization. So while some stereotypes may be true, such as girls throwing up their sorority sign in every other picture on social media, it is also important to recognize the positives of Greek life members.
Becoming involved in Greek life will demonstrate strong leadership skills, commitment, and time management, which is always a plus for building a solid resume. It is also beneficial for having multiple connections when searching for a job. Joining is not something that you need to decide on your freshman year either; Greek life can be joined anytime throughout your four years of college, usually in the fall semester. But when making this decision, it is crucial to recognize if the pros outweigh the cons, and vice versa. There are countless ways to become involved at FSU, so do not assume that Greek life is the only way to make friends and enhance your resume. FSU offers over 600 student organizations. So explore your options to see what fit is best for you, whether it’s Greek life or simply writing for the on-campus magazine (as do I). The choice is yours.