by Lauren Kiker
The first fraternity in the United States to adopt Greek letters, Phi Beta Kappa, was started in 1776. A couple hundred years later, there are more than 150 different fraternities and sororities throughout the U.S. Some are socially-oriented, while others are service and career-oriented. At RIT there are 30 different Greek organizations, and those are just the nationally-recognized social fraternities and sororities. There are plenty more service and career fraternities on campus as well.
I knew that I wanted to be in a sorority long before I came to college. I always loved the idea of having this whole sisterhood that will always be there for you. And I thought it would be a great way to be involved in college. My freshman year of college, I rushed Zeta Tau Alpha. Eight weeks into my first fall quarter, I became an initiated sister.
My friends and family from home were very hesitant about my decision and tried not to reign on my parade of happiness. Again and again they kept telling me that I was “going to get hazed” or stereotypical things like that. Some of them still refuse to believe me when I told them I have never been hazed.
There has always been this stigma thrust upon anyone who joins a Greek organization.
Oh, he joined a fraternity? He must be a beer-guzzling, “Animal House,” hoodlum.
She rushed a sorority? She must be a trashy, party girl.
I’m not going to lie to you, there definitely are those people. They’re the reason why the stereotype Greek student exist. But those are absolutely not the only type of people that join Greek organizations, especially at RIT.
At a school that is known for its ‘grade A’ academics, Greek life has become more of an afterthought to students that come here. The vast majority of students here came to RIT for the academics first, and then realized later on that they wanted to go Greek.
Now, I could go on forever about how RIT’s Greek life breaks the norm of the stereotypical Greek life (in fact I wrote an entire 10-page paper on the matter). But I’m not going to. All I’m going to say is that people should take another look, a deeper look, at Greek life here before assuming the worst.
I may get a lot of crap for being a member of a Greek organization, but I know – and anyone else involved in Greek life knows – the truth. That college is what you make it out to be, from the classes you take, down to the groups you associate yourself with.