Fraternity and Sorority Life: Is it right for you?

Photo by Sara Schmitt

Yashvini Deva, Opinions Editor

When I started college, I was adamant about a few things. I was going to pass linear algebra, not get food poisoning at West Village and definitely not join Greek life. 

While I was thankfully correct about the first two, I could not have been more wrong about the last one. 

Coming into college, I had preconceived notions of Greek life. However, during the spring semester of my freshman year, I ended up rushing and joining a Multicultural Panhellenic Council (MPC) sorority — one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 

In some ways, joining a sorority helped me do that, but more importantly, it helped me realize what I wanted my college experience to be.

MPC fraternities and sororities are culturally-based, so through my time in my sorority, I felt that I was better able to connect to my culture as well as participate in culturally-relevant service projects.

Moreover, through my sorority, I was able to meet people from various chapters across the country and get in touch with alumni, expanding my own personal views and perspectives.

Regardless of whether you choose to join Greek life, MPC or not, I would say that as long as you’re making the choice for yourself, you can’t go wrong.

Rahul Deshpande, Technology Editor

My first semester of college was not the fun, first-time-away-from-home experience I was anticipating. I didn’t meet people on my way to classes, and I didn’t get free food from campus events. 

Instead, I got to spend August through December of 2020 in the same room I did my last semester of high school in, attending college classes over BlueJeans and WebEx. 

I met my friends over GroupMe and bonded with them over Zoom — all of us in a similar boat, stuck at our homes and taking classes from our dining tables as our idea of a change in pace.

Once the spring semester rolled around, I jumped at the chance to move on campus. But despite how much I’d heard about Greek life being a great way to meet people, I didn’t feel totally comfortable rushing with COVID-19 still deadly and on the rise. So I didn’t. 

Instead of rushing that next semester, I spent my second year getting more and more involved with some of the 500+ student organizations on campus — the Technique (obviously), RHA, College Democrats, Astronomy Club and GT Tour Guides, just to shout out a few. 

I soon discovered that student organizations were often filled with an even mix of people that went Greek and people who didn’t. 

Greek life at Tech is “just another thing” that you can do — it’s not the be-all-end-all of social life here at Tech. 

Unlike what I’d been told by movies and TV shows growing up, not being part of a frat or sorority wasn’t an act of social death. 

As you consider whether or not to go Greek, don’t entertain the notion that you have to go Greek to have a social life or to make friends. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to find your people in your residence hall, floor or in one of the numerous student organizations on campus. I mean, I started college in my tiny 10-by-12 room at home, and I turned out just fine. 

Will Fuss, Sports Editor

While I am admittedly not a large proponent of Greek life as a whole, I found reasons to join a Greek organization on Tech’s campus and think there can be benefits. 

With dozens of organizations on campus including the Multicultural Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity Council and Collegiate Panhellenic Council, there are homes for students beyond the traditional image of Greek life. 

While some sectors of Greek life are often exclusionary and problematic, some facets, including philanthropy and networking, are benefits to joining any organization. 

Every fraternity and sorority of any of the four councils on Tech’s campus has dedicated national philanthropy and many have local ones as well. These include fighting hunger, funding cancer research, assisting veterans and more. 

The philanthropy aspect of Greek life provides a good opportunity to make a philanthropic impact if a student is unsure how to start doing so. 

Having older members and recent alumni who have jobs in a number of industries allows for instant networking for new members. 

Recommendations, resume and interview help, and just familiarity with the complicated job application process, all boost the chances of getting a job, or more importantly, a job that one is happy with.  

The concept of “paying for your friends” is not an unfair critique of Greek life, but the fact remains that any organization will give a new member dozens of new peers to spend time with. 

One can share interests, have their ideas challenged and grow as a person if in the right setting. 

Every organization has its strengths and weaknesses, but engaging in philanthropy, improving odds of landing a good job and expanding friend groups are all benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority.