Nationally Recognized Student Organizations: The Greek System

As we move through our investigation of the benefits of membership to student organizations, it is important to remember that organizations come in all shapes and sizes. In the last post, we began looking at nationally recognized student organizations whose membership was based on academics. Today, we will wrap up our look at nationally recognized student organizations by giving a brief overview of the Greek System on college campuses: what it is, why it can be beneficial, and how to join.

The Greek System is most commonly known as sororities and fraternities, with sororities being limited to female membership and fraternities being limited to male membership. These organizations are known as the Greek System because they are identified by two or three letters of the Greek alphabet. Generally, sororities and fraternities have houses–or chapters–all over the country. There are sororities and fraternities for everyone: some base membership on major, some on family, and some on whomever wants to join. Most people join the Greek System their freshman year, although some wait until their sophomore year.

People who wish to join the Greek System must undergo a “pledge period”, usually occurring at the beginning of every semester or quarter, where the person who wishes to be a member must undergo intensive activities relating to the sorority or fraternity. Once initiated, the members live together in houses, often sharing rooms, meals and expenses. For many, this is a great alternative to living in dorms.

While it is true that members of the Greek System have a reputation of being wild and unruly, this is not a universal, and membership to these organizations has many benefits, as well. For instance, because most sororities and fraternities have chapters nationwide, membership gives you a vast array of contacts across the country. Also, membership means you will be in constant contacted with like-minded individuals. And finally, many employers look upon membership in a sorority or fraternity favorably upon graduation, as it shows that you can be part of a team.

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