There are so many different misconceptions of Greek culture. Whether influenced by the media, your peers or your sorority/fraternity itself, Greek Life stereotypes are easy to find, but hard to break.
1. It’s only about the parties.
Frat parties are no obscurity on college campuses. In fact, if you ask a group of people to write down five things college-related, frat parties will almost always make the list. However, parties are not the center of all sororities and frats. Greek organizations try to coordinate various events to benefit the campus or create awareness about a larger cause. They will sometimes team up to pool together their resources. While the events might be social, like a barbecue, they can also be community related events like a 5k.
2. Frat boys = trouble.
More often than not, the words ‘frat boy’ sends a chill down a father’s spine, thanks to Greek life stereotypes. The words ‘frat boy’ have become synonymous with trouble, drinking, and blatantly, nonsense. It’s just someone you probably don’t want to be around. However, not all brothers fall guilty to the infamous ‘frat boy’ reputation. Most are responsible individuals who actually give back to the community. They help raise money for charity and even represent their universities at showcases and career fairs. If you strike up a conversation with one you will find that they are more sophisticated than you thought.
3. A package deal.
Being part of a Greek organization means having a support group that is there for you no matter what. Your sorority or fraternity becomes your family. You do end up hanging out with them a lot, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing you’ll ever do. The same rings true for all members. Members of a Greek organization can come from all backgrounds and enjoy taking part in various different organizations on campus. While one sister is part of the school’s Acapella group, another might be the captain of the Robotics team. Not to mention, sisters and brothers have lived in entirely different parts of the world. Emma might be from South Carolina while Ashley might have lived under the Brazilian sun her entire life. Diversity is something that might not come to mind when you first think of sororities or frats, but it’s definitely there.
4. Greek Life is only meant for social purposes.
This is false. There are numerous Greek organizations out there that are based on a profession or discipline. For Pre-Meds, there is Beta Psi Omega. If you’re into Marketing or Sales, keep a look out for Pi Sigma Epsilon. When researching what fraternities or sororities are at your school, you will find that there will be many contenders that cater to your taste. Although some fraternities are limited to those in a particular major or area of work, some welcome all majors. It is an excellent way to learn about other fields. Depending on your major, the majority of people you will meet in your college career will have the same major as you or something close to it. This is a great opportunity to find out more about how college feels from a completely different perspective, not to mention form new circles.
5. You won’t get in unless you get past the hazing.
Hazing is one of the most iconic parts of the ‘Greek scene’ and there’s no shortage of it in Hollywood’s productions. However, don’t let these movies fool you. Brothers and sisters aren’t all that cruel. Hazing is often prohibited in most Greek organizations and when it happens it rarely goes unchecked. It is bad for the organization’s reputation and the entire fraternity or sorority can be reprimanded as a consequence. Punishments range from not being able to hold events to actually being suspended. Sororities and fraternities are very strict about hazing and will take action if you report it. You can talk to a member of the executive board if this does happen to you.
6. You have to have “the look.”
If there is one thing about Greek Life and the way it is portrayed, it’s appearance. Guys a ripped and have faces too perfect to even look at and girls are skinny-minis with long blonde hair, monogrammed everything and 54 dresses in their closets. This could be farther from the truth. Frats and sororities are made up of real people with different looks and from different backgrounds. There isn’t a cookie cutter image requirement. In fact, most Greek Life associations thrive on its diversity.
Well, there you have it. Sororities and fraternities are much more than their party reputation might suggest. To see what your school has to offer, visit their Greek life page, or go to rush events to get a first-hand look at what it’s all about.
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.