Greek Life Isn't The Problem, The People Are The Problem

by Briana Luca

For the past few months, the world has been bombarded with stories about the dangers of fraternities (and sororities), whether it’s a campus rape scandal or a story about a hazing death.

Rape and sexual assault are never topics to joke about or make light of, and those who commit such terrible, disgusting crimes should be put away for a very, very long time.

Some of those articles, however, offer a more opinionated tone on the matter at hand and solely blame Greek life for all of these issues.

People who aren’t Greek in college cause many problems as well, but when there are Greek letters attached to someone’s persona, the problem gets blown up into a much bigger issue.

People on the outside looking in begin to say things like Greek life should be banned… forever.

But, the problem isn’t Greek life, the problem is the mindset of those few bad people who give us a bad name.

Did you know that there have been just three US presidents since 1825 who weren't in fraternities during their college years? Even the first female astronaut was in a sorority.

According to an article in USA Today, the graduation rate is 20 percent higher amongst members of Greek organizations.

Some of this may seem like old news, while some of it is worth thinking about. How bad could Greek life actually be if those statistics exist?

I was part of a sorority in college (in case you haven’t guessed that by now) and I have to say, I’ve never met a more wonderful group of people.

My small liberal arts school wasn’t a breeding ground for issues pertaining to Greek life since we made up less than one percent of the campus, but I’ve met my fair share of other Greek life members from other schools and have heard their stories.

Greek life made me who I am today. It gave me networking connections, it taught me how to run a business and how to be a true leader.

It taught me how to interact, how to stand up for what I believe in and how to work with a group of 80 plus women who all have very different views on issues. It taught me how to bring people together, how to problem solve and how to be an adult.

Nothing that teaches how to be true and honorable men and women who live by their values can be that bad.

It’s when a small number of people take advantage of this platform, commit crimes and only care about partying, that Greek life reflects its long-held stereotypes.

That’s not true to everyone, and it’s not fair for all of the upstanding organizations to get the blame.

I’m proud of my Greek affiliation, and I’ll be dammed if I let some idiots take that away from me.

As a member and leader in my sorority and throughout campus, I witness all Greek organizations working very hard not to live down to their stereotypical perceptions.

Yes, we partied. Yes, we had fun. Yes, there were always (false) allegations of hazing. But, on the other side, one organization raised more than $10,000 for Relay for Life.

Another organization worked with disabled people in the community. One of the sorority's hosted blood drives twice a year for members of campus and the community.

This doesn’t just apply to my small campus in Westchester; this applies to every organization across the country.

Those things don’t make headlines, though. No one cares if an organization hosts a philanthropy event, the public only cares when something bad happens.

Not all Greek members are rapists or participate in hazing or only care about drinking and partying.

We do a lot of good, I promise.