Sororities and fraternities are social organizations that are prominent on university and college campuses throughout North America. They consist of groups of women and men who share academic ambitions and engage in philanthropic activities such as volunteering and raising funds to support local and national outreach programs. In addition, sororities and fraternities host social events and help its members to take advantage of networking and career opportunities. Membership and involvement can also continue after graduation.
Many of these organizations have been a part of the college community since the 19th century, with the first fraternity in North America founded in the mid 18th century. They are also referred to as “Greek” because of the use of Greek letters to serve as names. Each letter serves as a reminder to each organization of the values and tenets of their mission. Some of the different fraternity and sororities in the Greek system include Pi Beta Phi (ΠΒΦ), Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΑΘ), Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ), to name a few. Each fraternity and sorority that is recognized as a campus-based organization by its national organization is recognized as a distinct chapter. Each chapter abides by their charter and operates according to the guidelines set by their national organization.
For many Greek organizations, the purpose is to promote character and leadership development, to strengthen academic achievement, and to help students to establish and foster lasting bonds with their peers. Likewise, the vision of fraternity and sorority organizations is to develop global citizens who are well-rounded leaders on their respective college campuses.
Becoming a member of a Greek organization is a great opportunity for students to become more involved on campus and to meet new friends. Fraternities and sororities host events and engage in a variety of activities both on and off campus, such as philanthropies, musical and theatrical productions, and themed social gatherings.
Greek organizations also offer scholarships to its members for academic achievement and leadership. Since they highly value philanthropy, higher education, and academic pursuits, offering financial opportunities to support its members is a staple among national chapters.
Many of the Greek organizations have strong alumni support and following. Future job connections and networking opportunities are a major benefit to joining as well as pursing leadership roles within the organization. Students can also take advantage of social networking opportunities to connect with people throughout their network. Greek organizations also provide students with opportunities to secure internships and employments and to stay connected to alumni.
Things To Be Careful About
Joining a Greek organization comes with expenses. There are often times incurred costs that accompany membership such as recruitment, house fees, and membership dues, in addition to social functions and activities.
Sororities and fraternities have been linked to excessive and underage drinking, which is a common problem among college students. However, with the added peer pressure in the Greek system to drink among peers, these problems can be exacerbated.
All in all, Greek organizations are incredibly dynamic, rooted in tradition, and offer many networking opportunities for its members. However, before committing to any organization, students who are interested in joining should research and gather information about the specific chapters on their campus.