Many people stereotype Greek life with the belief that it solely consists of hazing, cult-like friendships and narcissism. While this is true in some Greek organizations, to assume all Greek life has become unified in this immoral behavior is wrong.
Greek life embodies more than social sororities and fraternities; there are also honor societies, service organizations and professional organizations. These different forms of Greek life have set moral standards and regulations that members are expected to follow. Not all chapters will abide by and uphold those morals and rules, and that should not discredit the chapters that do.
Many fraternities and sororities have a national, and sometimes local, philanthropy. Throughout any given semester, the organizations raise money to give back to the community.
For example, Texas State's Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Omicron Chapter donates to the Kids Against Drugs (KAD) youth development service in San Marcos, which provides a safe environment for kids of all ages. The 453rd chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. donates to March for Babies, which funds research to prevent pre-term births and congenital disabilities. Both showcase that Greek life highlights the importance of seeing past one's privilege and helping those who need it.
Focusing on the negativity that some chapters bring to Texas State would be unfair to those that work diligently to ensure all guidelines are followed and go above and beyond to aid the community.
Greek life organizations at Texas State have requirements pledges and members must meet. Although all organizations have different requirements, a demand is that the student has a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Some organizations also highly encourage their members to dedicate more time to their classes through study hours. When asked about how its organization manages to maintain its GPA requirement, the Kappa Delta Chi Omicron Chapter said, "Our members sometimes complete 10 or more study hours a week." Through these encouraged study hours, Kappa Delta Chi was able to keep an overall 3.40 GPA, recorded in spring 2020.
Aside from the academic and philanthropic aid that Greek organizations provide, they also help students looking for a family away from family. These organizations build a caring and supportive community for their members. Having a community to turn to when students are facing a crisis allows them to speak about their mental health struggles among other problems they might be experiencing.
Some believe relationships in Greek life are purchased and not genuine. However, Greek organizations create a network of sisterhood and brotherhood that lasts a lifetime. Members hold one other accountable for mistakes made inside and outside of their organizations.
Organization brothers and sisters also provide resources likely not possible elsewhere. From something as simple as giving someone a ride to an interview or a place to stay, Greek life families are there for one another, much like a biological family.
Truthfully, some in Texas State Greek Life have not made it easy for students to find the good in it. Several incidents in the past led to its criticism and character derailment. In 2017, all Greek Life was suspended after a pledge, Matthew Ellis, from Phi Kappa Psi, was found dead from alcohol intoxication.
An incident occurred in Oct. 2019, when a student was severely attacked at a fraternity party by two members of Pi Kappa Phi. Early this year, the fraternity received a seven-year suspension, and the university emailed a hazing memorandum to students, reminding them what hazing is and the legalities behind it.
To be clear, these organizations, and others like them, should have no place on Texas State's campus. There is absolutely no excuse for their actions. They are irresponsible, dangerous, reckless, immature and pose a serious threat to the community.
Greek Life is so much better than that. It is not fair to categorize all organizations under a dangerous umbrella, as some have proven they care about creating a unified and safe culture for students looking for an away-from-home family.
Incoming freshmen, or any students interested in Greek life, should make an effort to explore what Texas State sororities and fraternities have to offer. Condemn the bad ones. Hate the bad ones. Show love to and recognize those that do good.
- Angela Guerrero is a journalism and mass communication sophomore
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