Should I Join Greek Life? Three Pros and Cons to Consider
Recently, I was accepted into the national honors society “Mortar Board,” or Pi Sigma Alpha (ΠΣΑ). Joining a Greek national honors society has benefits, and for many the benefits outweigh the costs. However, most people do not take the time to sit down and really think about how much those costs might affect them.
Greek societies are known for promoting brotherhood (and sisterhood) among its members. Companionship based on similar interests has the potential to last not only in college, but well into the future as well.
Most fraternities and sororities have a community service component, which allows for its members to give back to the world. Not only do fraternities tend to give back to the community, stewardship to society opens doors to networking and personal character development.
Future Career Opportunities
Because of the academic nature of Mortar Board, being a member reflects well on me. For example, if I list Mortar Board on my resume, an interviewer or recruiter may be familiar with or even a previous member of the society; my membership would give me an edge over other candidates. Mortar Board, along with many other Greek organizations, also has an alumnae job board.
Most Greek societies have a fee involved for joining their fraternity or sorority, and many tend to renew their dues every year. Mortar Board has a fee of $75 for each member. Luckily, as a senior, I only have to pay it once. Many fraternities and sororities have a dress code for events, and don’t think that clothes don’t cost money. In addition, if they have a house, they have to pay for upkeep and rent. Cha-ching!
In order to be an active part of Greek life, one is expected to attend all of their fraternity’s events and sometimes even live in their “house.” That means giving up valuable time normally set aside for work and play to the fraternity.
Rushing, recruitment, hazing, and drinking
Though the TV version of Greek life is a little outdated and exaggerated, there does tend to be an association with hazing and alcoholism with some fraternities and sororities (please note: not all). Also, initiated members of the chapter have the power to pick new members; if they don’t like you, tough luck. Rushing can be stressful and hazing can be nasty; if you are not up to it and the fraternity/sorority participates in such endeavors, I don’t recommend trying.
After considering the pros and cons of joining Mortar Board, I signed my $75 check and turned it in. However, I know that many of my peers who were accepted decided not to join after realizing the cost of dues. I, personally, don’t blame them.