Monday, April 4, 2011

To Greek or Not to Greek...

I got a Facebook message from a sorority sister that she was asked to speak at her Greek Awards ceremony about the relevance of the Greek system today. She sent out a request for insight from a group of us that are still close.  What were our thoughts?

I pondered this question for two days before our call...was it still relevant?  I could go on and on for days and pages about my fabulous experience and my fabulous sorority in college, but in today's world-was the Greek system still relevant? I have my thoughts on the generation going into college and I don't know if it's accurate or a stereotype but I had to wonder if they could appreciate what Greek life really had to offer and honestly, if they could handle it.  If not then my question of relevance would receive a resounding no.

But then I thought back to when I rushed and the question came to me, was Greek life relevant when I went to school?  There were many many students who hated the Greek system and what it stood for.  They were very vocal about their thoughts for some of us who chose to rush...they didn't need to buy their friends and they didn't need a sorority-so why did I feel strongly enough to continue with the process-there had to be some relevance, right?  Even thinking and talking about it, I still can't pin point it but maybe it's because relevance is a bad choice of words.  When your talking about college kids, what truly is relevant?  And doesn't relevance change over the course of your four years?  My Physics II class was relevant when I took it, being that I was a Physics major-BUT surprise, I changed my major to Communications, so it kind of became a waste of time, money and credits.  Greek life is relevant to those who believe in it, and not everybody does-which is fine.  I lived, ate and breathed my sorority in college and still hold it very dear to my heart.  You better believe that The Ster was registered as a legacy with my sorority.  It was my true constant through college and that was my relevance.

So I think relevance comes with the person and it has always been that way and always will be.  Not everyone wants to be Greek and that's ok, but for those who do-it's relevant in their own way.  Everyone rushes for different reasons and who are we to decide if the reason is relevant or not. 

I think what we have to work on is the few bad eggs who have cast a dark shadow over the entire Greek system.  It would be nice if the media could show all the great stuff Greek life does, like community service and philanthropic events for great causes-but that stuff goes by the wayside for the negatives.  I'm not saying we should dismiss the bad stuff-it needs to be dealt with and firmly, but I'm just saying their can be some bad seeds in any organization at any point in your life-does that mean that we should shut down sports, schools or corporations? 

I guess my goal of this post was to just point some things out and simply state-I loved being Greek!  I love my sorority, I love my sisters and I loved my experience.  I wouldn't trade it for anything and still look back on it as some of my greatest memories thus far in my life.  I still have my letters, I still wear my letters and I will defend the Greek system until I am blue in the face!  My sorority was amazing and still is and here is why:

Saturday morning at 11am a Director of Greek affairs for a college requested a conference call with a stay-at-home mom, a physical therapist, a psychiatrist, a superstar director, a teacher, an administrator and another director to ask them if the one thing that brought them all together over 10 years ago was still relevant?  Everyone called in to discuss and the consensus was a unanimous yes.  Many theories and examples where given but I walked away with that phone call.  That call was the true testament to the relevance of our experience.  All walks of life, all different points in life, all making the time to help a friend-a sister defend the common bond they all shared, their sorority.

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