Greek life: myth vs. reality

Hallee Haar

Movies such as “Animal House” and “The House Bunny” portray Greek Life as a group of college kids who do nothing but drink, party and act rude to the rest of campus. However, Washburn Greek students have a different view on what Greek Life is all about.

Googling online articles on Greek Life, you will see lists of activities such as drinking, partying, only eating junk food and hazing new recruits through ritualistic traditions. The news has shown crazy recruitment videos such as the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi sorority recruitment video which perpetuated the stereotype that sororities are full of stuck-up girls who only care about looking good and partying.

Washburn Greek Life has a different view on what it means to be a member of its community, many even laughing at the thought of their reality being like those infamous viral videos. According to Meggan Schrock, a sorority member, Greek Life “…is completely different from the stereotypes that they have…it is not just preppy girls, its not just academics and charity work, there is a lot more to it.”

Leah Coons, an active member of Greek Life, had more to say on what all Greek Life does at Washburn. “We are philanthropic, and we support different community outreaches like Harvesters…each chapter does their own week, and the other chapters come and support. We support our athletes and we do homecoming, as well as Greek Week,” said Coons. She also mentioned the socials and formals that Greek Life does with each other. “We support everything Washburn,” Coons said.

Contradictory to the stereotypical Greek member, both fraternity and sorority members alike were active volunteers during “Welcome Week” for freshmen, engaging new students and trying to help them feel at home. Greek students have also shown house pride by wearing shirts with their letters printed on them. While wearing Greek shirts, students engaged in activities such as Move-In Day” where they served as the official Move Crew.

Another student, Branden Childers, made it very clear that fraternities live by a moral code. “For example, Sigma Phi Epsilon operates based off of the cardinal principles of virtue, diligence and brotherly love and the philosophy of building balanced men,” Childers wrote.

Whether or not students abide by these rules is up to the individuals. Greek students are confident that they abide by the rules set up in their by-laws.

A common theme in Greek students that were interviewed regarding Greek Life was a feeling of gratitude towards their sorority or fraternity. ” I owe nearly all of the success that I have enjoyed to my participation and growth in my fraternity and the Greek community,” said Blake Porter, another Greek member as well as the president of the WSGA.

In short: Greek Life is not always like the media portrays. It is not crazy teenagers ruining town parades, or judging everyone based on how they look. It is just another group on campus that offers students a different college experience.