Greek life on campus, is it just a party?
Members and nonmembers of Greek organizations weigh in--LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD AUDIO STORY HERE!
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 08:07
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Fraternities and sororities are a part of the college experience. Whether you a member of one or not, they are impossible to ignore. At least that's the way it is on Westminster's campus in New Wilmington Pennsylvania. Many people have a preconceived notion of what fraternities and sororities are like before coming to college. Many associate them with crazy parties, and popular culture encourages this view. Movies like National Lampoon's Animal House and Old School promote the idea of college, and specifically Greek life, being a four year party.
I interviewed five Westminster students, both members and nonmembers of Greek organizations to see why they chose the path they did, and what their view of Greek life was. There were vastly different views, and it made me wonder what the real reason for people joining Greek organizations were. It's interesting to note that in my five interviews, I did not once mention the partying that is associated with Greek organizations. All of the students touched on it on their own in one way or another. I sat down with three independent students and two Greek students. One of the independent students, senior Matt Pereslucha says the party culture played a big part in his decision to not join a fraternity.
"One of the biggest things is probably the party culture," Pereslucha said "it's just not who i am, as much as fraternities and Greek life might like to say we're about philanthropy and yeah, I've seen philanthropy come from it, that is not what i have ever seen it all being the primary focal point of Greek life."
President of the Sigma Kappa sorority Caitie Fleckenstein says that's the kind of view she wish she could change.
"The negative view that people from the outside give on sororities.” Fleckenstein said, “People who don’t go to Westminster or are looking into Westminster look at sorority life as something like in Animal House, they think it’s only about the party scene, when we're completely different than that, and we do so many more things. I think that stinks because we have to stand up for ourselves and show people that instead of them just believing us?”
Senior Independent Angela Tucker says she decided to stay independent not because of the party culture, but because her privacy would be jeopardized.
"I just felt like if I joined it, you'd always be hanging out with them,” Tucker said, “and when there's so many [girls] someone's going to be calling you and be wanting to do stuff, and I like to be in control of myself, the fact that they have to dress up the first of every month, nobody's telling me to do that.”
Fleckenstein says the fact that there are so many girls in the sorority is her favorite part.
“Knowing that I have sixty plus sisters behind me no matter what. no matter what I need or if I’m just having a bad day they're there for me and you can always turn to at least one of them with you."
President of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity Mike O'Leary agrees with Fleckenstein that the interaction with his brothers is the most important part to him.