Breaking the Stigma: Greek Life

Posted by on November 25, 2015

When I was looking for colleges, I noticed a figure that schools often showed off; the percentage of students involved in Greek life seemed to be a major statistic, usually highlighted the same way acceptance percentages and graduation rates were. In visiting Wofford before my acceptance, I asked around about Greek life and heard a pretty uniform opinion on Wofford’s Greek organizations: Wofford is different in the best way.

Greek life is under a big magnifying glass lately, mostly because of terrible things that have happened around the country as a result of hazing. Wofford has never been caught in anything like that, but nonetheless has responded to the criticisms: hazing is banned completely at Wofford.

Greek life is big at Wofford, and those planning to rush have nothing to worry about as the school is very conscious with what fraternities and sororities do to and require from new members or pledges. Further, the school also implemented a strong hazing policy that clearly defines what constitutes hazing and what punishments an organization will face.

The Greek organizations on campus are very involved; each holds several philanthropy events and holds its members to a high standard of conduct. They offer a fun way to meet new people and find eternal bonds that are hard to find elsewhere. They also offer a way to advance oneself academically and in leadership.

I recently pledged a fraternity* and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made, right up there with choosing Wofford! I went through Rush with an open mind as I did not know much about the organizations on campus nor fraternity life at large. I was happy to hear each fraternity pitch their various philanthropy events and overall brotherhood, all rejecting the classic media portrayals of fraternities (usually only associated with alcohol, parties, and irresponsibility in popular media). I found my home in the fraternity I pledged and can attest to the comment I heard as I first started looking into Wofford’s Greek life: Wofford really is different. Friends at various major schools in the state have told me their pledgeship stories and I think the administration at those schools have lost touch with their students and as a result are oblivious to the things those students go through to become a brother or sister. Further, it seems the classic Total Frat Move, Blue Mountain State image of Greek life is the ideal to those organizations’ executives. At Wofford, Greek organizations’ aim is merely to enhance the overall experience and lives of the members.

While around half the students at Wofford are involved at Greek life, it does not necessarily dominate life here. WAC (the Wofford Activities Council) puts on other, all-inclusive events regularly including band parties, dances, and themed parties. These events are open to all students and are a fun way to get to know people you wouldn’t otherwise see during the week. Also, fraternities and sororities put on plenty of all-inclusive events; members tend to not only hang out with people in their organizations as we are all first and foremost Terriers and therefore a family.

Greek Life is certainly under a large magnifying glass nationally. Wofford has taken initiative and responded to public outcry, banning all hazing and showing the positives of Greek life. Altogether, Wofford has defined itself and its Greek life and as a result, created a great atmosphere where these organizations only add positive aspects to the college life.

 

*For the sake of journalistic integrity, I will not name the fraternity I am a member of on this blog

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