I can remember back to when I was a freshman and saw all of the girls and guys dress up to find the sorority and fraternity that matched their needs. I remember thinking to myself, â€œThat is so not me.â€
Or so I thought. My sophomore year, I heard about a professional agricultural sorority, Sigma Alpha. I thought to myself, â€œIâ€™m not sure I want to be around all those girls. I donâ€™t think I fit into the sorority girl type.â€
After talking with my parents and family, I decided to give it a try and at least find out what it was all about. After those first couple of weeks, I realized that this group is one that I could identify with, and they supported me in all aspects of my college life.
Each sorority and fraternity is more alike than you might think. Although most of them are considered social and not professional, we all stand by the same principles and values: brotherhood, sisterhood, philanthropy, scholarship and leadership.
One of the most important things that we Greeks do is philanthropy and community service. I would hope most of you have done some in your life, and I had too, but nothing to the extent that I do now.
Last year, the four main councils that make up Greek Life â€“â€“ Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council â€“â€“ all participated in donating to charities and raising awareness about special causes. Most of the sororities and fraternities have a special group that they contribute money to, and they generally raise funds for that cause every year.
Greek Life also participates in community service, and almost all of the sorority and fraternities participate in CSUnity. We also put on a Spring Fling, in which members of Greek Life hold dances at local nursing homes.
The next thing that is very important is scholarship. Each semester, sorority and fraternity members are held to a higher standard than regular students, and must earn at least a 2.25 to stay active in their respective groups.
The average sorority GPA, average fraternity GPA, and average overall Greek GPA are all higher than the average for the entire campus, and that is something that is held in high regard.
The next thing that is important for Greek members is leadership. It doesnâ€™t matter what position you find yourself in later in life, leadership skills are things that can be utilized.
The leadership opportunities range from chapter president to council president, from Greek Week chairs to committee chairs. It doesnâ€™t matter who you are or how large the sorority or fraternity is, there is an opportunity for you to be involved and learn those skills.
The last pillar is one whose value is sometimes questioned, and that is the brotherhood or sisterhood aspect. I know some people think of Greek organizations as big parties, but they are completely wrong.
As Greek Life members, we do hold social events, and these are a chance to have fun, meet new people and socialize with each other.
I encourage all of you to open your eyes to all the great things that Greek Life has to offer. Next week is Greek Week, and you will see us out wearing our letters raising money for philanthropies, having barbecues to get to know one another and holding fun contests to promote friendly competition.
Before I became a member of Greek Life, I didnâ€™t realize how these things would transform my life. Now that I have, I will never regret the decision to join.
The women I have met are my sisters for life, and I know that I could call on them at any time for assistance, and they would be there. Itâ€™s been an amazing journey, and I encourage all of you to go Greek.
Robyn Scherer is a senior animal science, agricultural business and journalism and technical communication major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.