Fraternities and sororities can be found across the nation at college campuses everywhere. There is a very good reason that there is a large variety of chapters and why you see them at almost every college or university; they simply work. Greek social organizations can open up a whole new world to the average college student. If you’ve ever given thought to joining one of these mysterious organizations, or even if you think you could never be the typical “frat guy” or “preppy sorority girl,” then this article is for you. I’ll explain my own experience as a fraternity brother and enlighten you on the multiple benefits of Greek life: leadership, scholarship, service, and brother/sisterhood.
When I started college, I was looking to do something with my life. I wanted the good grades, lifelong friends, job connections, resume building experience, and be involved with community service projects. The fraternity world gave me all of these things, plus the experience that can’t be found in the dorms or living in an apartment with a couple of your friends. I would not be half the man I am today without the help of my Kappa Sigma brothers and I owe everything to them. There is not one fraternity on the campus that is a typical chapter that you see in the movies (we even discourage the word ‘frat’ due to its negative connotation). We are all just a bunch of regular guys who knew that we wanted more from life. Granted, each chapter on my campus and yours has its own style and its own individual members, so you should find the one where you fit in best and can really relate with the other brothers.
There are two ways I tend to describe my experience as a Kappa Sigma. (1) “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” This is very true since it is something you have to experience to really grasp the whole concept. (2) “It’s like living with 20 of your best friends and always having somebody to rely on.” I know every one of my fellow Kappa Sigmas and can count on each and every one of them to have my back in any situation and push me to become the best man I can be.
Greek life offers you more at college than any other comparable organization at that level. You are able to utilize a support system at your university that will enhance your college life. As a fraternity or sorority member, you will be given numerous opportunities to hold a dynamic and important position within your chapter and the entire Greek population. Good chapters strongly encourage and assist in developing the leadership potential of their members.
Just soak in the following facts from www.greekpages.com and try to deny the potential which you can attain by being Greek:
- All but two U.S. presidents since 1825 have been fraternity men, and 63% of the U.S. presidents’ cabinet members since 1900 have also been fraternity men.
- Studies show that 76% of Congress, 71% of the men listed in “Who’s Who in America,” and 85% of the Fortune 500 executives belong to a fraternity.
- Since 1910, 85% of the Supreme Court justices have been Greek.
It is a fact that Greek organizations as a whole earn a higher average GPA than the rest of the campus and also have a higher graduation rate. Academic success is a core in every chapter and each organization has an individual scholarship program, sets minimum standards for membership, and keeps you in line through both incentives to get good grades and punishments for not achieving your potential.
- Scholarships—receive money for your academic achievement either from your own chapter or nationals.
- Academic Advising—get help choosing classes and professors.
- Study Banks—use the chapter’s notes and old exams for review in certain classes.
- Study Tables/Hours—many chapters require their members to study a certain amount of time per week and organize study sessions to achieve that end.
The Greek system on most campuses is the most involved and active when it comes to community service. They raise the most money and put in the most hours all for the greater good. Individual chapters typically have their own organization which they focus on, but at the same time, they support many other philanthropic associations. On my own campus, we raise over $30,000 each year for multiple organizations as well as countless hours to support the food bank, humane society, Red Cross, area schools, Adopt a Highway, Relay for Life, Up ‘Til Dawn, juvenile diabetes, Boys & Girls Club, and etc. Not only does the community service show your charitable side to future employers, you know that you were part of something greater than yourself and lent a hand to your fellow man.
This is perhaps the best part of being a fraternity or sorority member. As I said at the top of this article, as a brother or sister, you can’t explain it to someone who isn’t a member. It’s something that each person must experience for themselves. Even now, it is hard to find the words which accurately describe the level of commoradory and friendship that you feel with each and every member of your chapter. You will see them at their best and their worst. You will fight and disagree with them. You will go places and do things that you never would have been able to do before. You will share your college life with them. Most of all, you will have a group of not just friends, but true brothers or sisters who you can call upon for anything, anytime, anywhere. It’s a feeling you can only truly experience while in the Greek system and it’s not one that you should lightly pass up.
I will leave you with three things:
- The link to the national Kappa Sigma website.
- The link to my own chapter's website.
- My personal bio from my chapter’s website about why I joined…
I was hesitant at first to join a fraternity--just like most everyone else. But I decided to join Kappa Sigma because the guys offered me leadership, life experience, and multiple opportunities to prove myself. They helped get me elected to student government, win scholarship money to help pay for college, gain lifelong friends, and break out of my comfort zone. I can honestly say that without Kappa Sigma, I wouldn't be the man that I am today; I would still be the same boy I was in high school.