While a number of students enjoy the lifestyles and aspects of Greek life, others find the program a waste of a college education. Both Greek and non-Greek students on campus gave their opinions on the image and program here at WSU.
FarmHouse Fraternity President Jared Beck said the Greek community on WSU’s campus is fairly revolutionary because they are on the edge of Greek movements on a national level like preventing negative behavior. He said the fraternities win a lot of awards at national conferences because they are more squared away than other chapters.
“We focus on prevention versus damage control and attend many workshops to support this,” Beck said. “Our impact on the school is positive because of our community service and networking.”
Beck said the unfortunate part of Greek life is it puts out a vibe that students have to change themselves in order to be a part of the community. However, he said he tries to beat the stereotypes by focusing on the fraternity’s values and building new relationships with the diverse people he meets.
“The Greek system can be a really easy scapegoat for the social problems,” Beck said. “The goal is to help anybody that comes through our organization get their degree, while supplementing their spare time with community service, athletics and events.”
The Greek community works to avoid actions that would inspire negative media and judgment, Beck said. He also said he credits his success in college to the opportunities he received in Greek life.
Lisa Aamot, a senior in human development and non-Greek student, said choosing to join a house depends on what a student wants out of their college experience. She said if they want to party and have fun, they should join a house.
“I know Greek life provides good connections later in life,” Aamot said. “However, they are very cliquey and do what they’re told.”
Aamot said the program does not support being an individual in life. In class, she said, Greek members get offended by their stereotypes, but outside of class they support the opinions to make them seem true.
“They’re like little packs, and you can spot them on campus,” Aamot said. “I feel like it sucks the individuality out of you.”
Anita Cory, the director of the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said sometimes negative activities happen, but for a long time that was all anyone knew about the Greek community. She said when they do have issues they tackle it as a problem and not as fixing their image.
“If we are in the media for hazing and we were hazing, we need to stop hazing,” Cory said. “We need to be better sororities and fraternities, not better secret keepers.”
Cory said the Greek community has made strides during the last ten years to overcoming the negative standards. One fraternity, she said, was shut down from 2003 to 2005, but they turned their chapter around and are now receiving national awards for their accomplishments.
“I’ve been here long enough to see those success stories,” Cory said. “Being what you say you’re going to be, now that’s something to be proud of.”
Junior human development major Julie Phillips said it takes a certain kind of person to be in Greek life. She said it is a high school like environment that limits relationships and acquaintances to Greek members.
“It fits for a lot of people, but for others it would drive them nuts,” Phillips said. “If you want to learn how to be independent, I don’t feel like Greek life prepares you for that.”
Greek Fast Facts
According to their WSU webpage, the Greek community is made up of four different councils that govern their own groups of fraternities or sororities: the National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPHC), the Panhellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the United Greek Council. The site said all of the councils work to discipline and instill standards in their respective fraternities and sororities.