Greek Vs Non Greek
To be or not to be…Greek that is. This is a question most in coming freshmen face when entering college. The Greek system has come under a lot of criticism and scrutiny due to the stereotypes given to them such as partiers, alcoholics, promiscuous, and good for nothing. Though those not in the Greek system have as well, being referred to as losers, weird, and even “Goddamn Independents (GDI)” (Greek vs. Non-Greek 1 of 2). There is no right or wrong way to go, to be or not to be Greek, it is simply a matter of opinion and choice of lifestyle, and there is, a dramatic difference in lifestyle that will be discussed, as well as, cost of living, and stereotypes that go along with the choice of being Greek or not.
The Greek system is traced back all the way to 1776 at The College of William and Mary where a small group of friends created the chapter Phi Beta Kappa. Since then the Greek system has expanded to more than 40% of colleges and universities, though some bigger than others such as Purdue University with their 45 fraternities and 26 sororities, as well as some smaller like at Tufts University with 13 fraternities and sororities (What’s the Rush? 1 of 3). Most Greek chapters are named after two or three letters of the Greek alphabet and there cannot be a same named chapter at a single school. Greek life has changed over the years as well as the purpose to join. What was once created as a means to help college students with school as well as create a tight knit of friends with common interests, has now seemed to turn into nothing more than a means to get dates and party, but isn’t that what college is all about? College students Greek or not all seem to have this perception that college is the time to let loose and party.
Though Greeks are misconstrued as constant partiers and that, being all they do there is more to being apart of the Greek system then just partying. Fraternities are always doing community service as well as creating a support structure for their members to help through hard times and academics struggles. Studies have shown that members of the Greek system have a higher graduation rate than non-Greeks. A study done by UNC-CH showed that there is a 11% higher graduation rate in Greek females and a 5% higher rate in Greek males with a combined rate of 16% higher graduation than non-Greeks (UNC-CH Greek vs. Non-Greek Undergraduate Graduation rate 1 of 1). As well as community service and having a support system for each other, fraternities have also hosted events, functions, fund raisers, and yes parties for their schools. In some cases these events are designed with a certain group in mind to attend, such as strictly their own, or just other fraternities and sororities, or open to all. Let this not be misconstrued as a form of persuasion to try and say Greeks do not have wild parties as they are said to have, this is not all that they do. Non-Greeks as well participate in community service and interact with their school, it is just not as widely known for most are not in a publicized group such as the Greeks. Non-Greeks do party and can throw just as wild of parties as Greeks but again not widely known because they are not in the public eye. Greeks are held to a certain standard from the public. Greeks are expected to be responsible, mature, and well mannered because they have been inducted into a fraternity based upon traditions and school involvement.
People think going to college alone puts a huge dent in the bank, becoming Greek is an even larger cost that may even double the standard tuition of the school of choice. At FSU the cost to be in a sorority is $2,500 per semester, which is more than the in-state tuition (Greek vs. Non-Greek 1 of 2). Most college student live on campus for the first year, so not only are they paying tuition, books, and living expenses, but they are paying for room and board as well. On top of these costs Greeks are paying to be associated in a fraternity or sorority that can double the expenses that college students are already paying. At FSU approximately 12% of the college is Greek affiliated, so that means that on top of the normal college expenses, 12% of FSU is paying double the tuition costs just to be Greek (Greek vs. Non-Greek 1 of 2). Some Greeks choose to live in the Greek chapter house were as some chose to live close to the house in regular college dorms. Depending on the school and fraternity living in the chapter house may be cheaper or more expensive, depending on the way the chapter is set up.
Like said before Greeks are known to be non-stop partiers and alcoholics, where as Non-Greeks are referred to as outcasts and weird because they don’t want to join the Greek system. Greeks and Non-Greeks alike are stereotyped and wish to have these perceptions revoked and be seen for what they really are. However not all of these fraternities and sororities can do this for the stereotypes that are said to be affiliated with these chapters are true. Some Greek chapters chose to live up to these stereotypes and throw the wildest, craziest, and most dangerous parties that are known, and these are the parties we hear about in the news where some kids got drunk and did something stupid and died because of it. The media never talks about some of the non-alcoholic socials sororities have thrown or the community services they have done, all that is heard about is the hazing, parties, and alcoholic related deaths, due to fraternities. CU-Boulder conducted a study in 1997 that showed the different percentages of alcohol and drug use between Greeks and Non-Greeks. This study showed that 0% of Greeks abstain to drinking compared to the 9% of Non-Greeks. 54% of Greeks had binge drank in the last two weeks of the survey verses 30% of Non-Greeks. And finally 64% of Greeks had missed a class due to drinking, verses 38% of Non-Greeks (Greek vs. Non-Greek differences in Alcohol and Drug Use 1 of 3). Though some sororities and fraternities have banned drinking in their chapters, there is still and over abundance of fraternities that do not wish to change their destructive ways. Non-Greeks alike have also tried to throw the best parties and have done the same destructive activities that Greeks have done but unless there is something amazingly tragic about this, it is not a high priority in the news.
Greeks and Non-Greeks have their differences and similarities, and in some schools actually socialize with each other. But it seems that Greeks don’t really want to be around Non-Greeks and vice-versa. At Northwestern Greeks and Non-Greeks are constantly at each other’s throats attacking each other through their schools newsletter. Lara Kattan a Northwestern student wrote an editorial in the school newsletter stating “Can’t we all just get along?” She even goes as far to state “we’ve made our own campus Finkelsteins and Dershowitzs. “ (Greeks verses Non-Greeks: Can’t we all just get along? 1 of 1). Greek and Non-Greek lifestyles differ in a lot of way as well as the cost of living. It is a choice freshmen have to make. Most freshmen choose to stay Non-Greek their first year of college, but those who join either say they loved it or they hated it, either way is the way to go.
Garrett, Deanna M. “The Value of the Greek System: Should Fraternities and Sororities Have a Place on Campus?” 1997. 29 Apr. 2008
“Graduation Rate of Greeks and Non-Greeks.” 2007. 29 Apr. 2008
“Greek Vs Non-Greek Differences in Alcohol and Drug Use.” University of Colorado At Boulder. 8 July 2005. 29 Apr. 2008
Kattan, Lara. “Greek Verses Non-Greek: Can’t We All Just Get Along?” North by Northwestern. 18 Feb. 2008. 29 Apr. 2008
Murphy, Brendan. “Greek Vs. Non-Greek.” FSView & Florida Flambeau. 29 Nov. 2004. 29 Apr. 2008
“The Greek System.” SparkCollege. 2006. 29 Apr. 2008
“What’s the Rush? the Greek System 101.” The Princeton Review. 2008. 29 Apr. 2008