To pledge or not to pledge, that is the question.
To many, Greek life is all students can think about.
They run events and wear their shirts with pride.
To others, it’s a lifestyle best avoided.
To the rest, it’s a mystery.
Charlotte Bell, a 20-year-old junior, has never had any interest in the sororities at Temple University.
“Frat parties were a great way to meet people at first,” she said. “Most sorority girls I’ve seen here are just about drinking and going out all the time.”
Sean Doherty, a junior and three-year member of Alpha Tau Omega, could not say enough positive things about his experiences.
“I was looking for something big and found lasting friendships,” he said.
Directly addressing the skeptics, Doherty said, “You’re not paying for your friends, you’re surrounding yourself with people that inspire you.”
Lately, it seems students can’t go anywhere on campus without spotting some sort of advertisement promoting Temple’s Greek life.
If new to the school or just new to the system, here’s a little “101” on what to expect.
There are two types of Greek organizations on campus: social and academic.
For the confusing part, both promote positive social and academic lives.
The social is more likely to throw parties, and the academic is more likely going to build the resume.
The steps to joining a sorority or fraternity are painless, but nonetheless, very time consuming.
The whole process first begins with two weeks of window shopping, otherwise known as rush.
This is a time for hopefuls to stop by different organizations and decide which group fits them.
Recruitment goes hand in hand at this point.
The hopefuls will choose a brotherhood or sisterhood they hope to join and wait until they receive a bid to begin pledging.
Typically, the next seven to nine weeks are cast aside as the pledge period.
Although the happenings for this period differ at each fraternity or sorority, most focus on helping their pledges get to know who they are and who they are going to become.
In addition to helping them get to know each other, they begin to learn what they are joining.
And as for the pledging horror stories everyone has heard, Doherty said, “We don’t beat pledges and then the next week call them ‘brother.’ Those stories about hazing are just untrue.”
So whether you’re interested or not, the almost 30 registered chapters on campus make it seem like this lifestyle is here to stay.
If you can’t decide, know that there’s a way to thrive in Greek life, but there’s also life outside of it.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org..