By Paige Vonk
The Atlantic, a monthly American magazine, in its March issue carried an article about how terrible fraternities are. “The Dark Power of Fraternities” seriously misguides its readers.
I am a proud member of a local Canadian sorority and to see the different ways Greek life is defamed is frustrating. Although this was based on American fraternities, the stereotype gets brought to Canada too.
The article just lists lawsuit after lawsuit that have had a connection to Greek organizations. Sure, there have been some problems at frat houses but there have also been problems with non-Greek houses. College students get drunk and do stupid things whether they are in a Greek organization or not. College is about making mistakes and finding yourself. Greek life has only positively impacted my life.
A good chunk of the issues the writer brought up I could argue were just people being stupid. There are only a few select people who would think it’s a good idea to light a bottle rocket in their butts. That may have happened at a frat house but it has nothing to do with being Greek. Same with falling off the roof, it could have happened at any house party.
Frat houses are usually a dump but what student housing isn’t? All student housing should be looked at to make sure it is up to standards and a safe place to live. There’s the risk that someone could fall off of any balcony if there isn’t a railing not just frat houses.
The examples the writer uses are not specific to frat’s or sororities. These are problems in college, with alcohol and drugs and with those who aren’t necessarily the sharpest.
Greeks get picked on all the time because the stereotype has been around for so long, that it’s easy. Hollywood movies also don’t help our reputation. But I don’t really mind when people stereotype me because I know I’m not the stereotypical sorority girl. I’m not ditzy or blonde. I don’t sleep around. And I’m not always getting blackout drunk.
Greek life is part of the social aspect of university or college but it is also about community involvement and philanthropy. The amount of money raised each year by Greek organizations is amazing. It’s something that we all work on together; no matter what organization we are a part of.
When I first came to Ottawa I didn’t know sororities existed and had no intention of joining one. After attending a fraternity party however I realized how awesome the girls were. They were such close friends and got to participate in some really great events ranging from social, to academic and athletic. As an introvert I was worried about making friends in university but now I have 122 sisters and I’ve never looked back.
The situations in the article also involve a lot of the largest international fraternities and there are many smaller or local Greek organizations who operate differently.
This article doesn’t properly represent fraternities or Greek life. There are so many positive aspects to being in these organizations and they all do some great things for their communities. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives and I wish the article had shown more of both sides.
My experience in a sorority is going to be different from those in fraternities, but I would recommend Greek life to most people because it made my university/college experience what it is.