Here’s what to consider before rushing into Greek life

Mckenna+Daly%2C+President+of+Chi+Omega+in+front+of+the+sorority+home

Collegian | Tri Duong

McKenna Daly, president of Chi Omega at the sorority home July 30. “The biggest benefit of sorority life is networking,” Daly said. “It is (a) way of professional development in various area of studies.”

Ivy Secrest, Life and Culture Director

Crazy parties may be all that comes to mind when thinking of joining a fraternity or sorority this fall, but the reality is much more complex. If you really intend to join in on the fun, you should consider if the commitment is right for you. 

While movies like “Neighbors” may have you believing fraternities and sororities are full of vindictive pranksters, many students at Colorado State University have found their Ramily within the historic Greek life organizations. 

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“It’s important to look for the people you get along with,” said Trey Wallen, president of fraternity Delta Tau Delta. “A lot of people come in looking for a frat they saw in a movie or the place their dad went to, and not every frat is going to be the same on every campus.” 

Greek life is founded on the idea of brotherhood and sisterhood, and at CSU, the goal is “to challenge and encourage one’s journey toward growth and the achievement of unique potential,” according to the CSU Fraternity and Sorority Life website.

This kind of commitment isn’t for everyone, and if you aren’t interested, there are plenty of alternative communities and clubs willing to welcome you. But there’s a lot more variety at CSU than you may think. And the sense of community these organizations provide is appealing to many students. 

“(New pledges) should strive to find the fraternity that fits them,” said Sean Lowry, FarmHouse Fraternity diversity and inclusion chair and scholarship director. “Fraternities aren’t all the same, especially at CSU.”

“In some ways, rightfully so, fraternity and sorority life gets a bad reputation because of a lot of terrible instances that do happen. But I do think at CSU we work really hard to be progressive and make positive changes.” -McKenna Daly, Chi Omega president

Choosing what best fits you is essential because the connections built within Greek life are invaluable. 

“When my mom’s parents passed away, all of her sorority sisters were at our house,” said McKenna Daly, president of Chi Omega at CSU. “My dad was helping her cope, and they were making us meals and driving me to school.”

Mckenna Daly, President of Chi Omega in front of the sorority home
McKenna Daly has been leading sorority Chi Omega as president since January of this year, July 30, 2022. Daly said she hopes more first-years would take the opportunity to expand their networks through Greek life. (Collegian | Tri Duong)

“A lot of people say that joining a sorority is you buying friends, and in a way, you’re not wrong,” Daly said. “But it’s not that. It’s you paying for an organization, networking opportunities and meeting awesome people along the way.” 

This community aspect of Greek life is universal, and even the rush process can help you make lifelong friendships. A lot of students find their people through the Greek life community, but it isn’t essential to having a healthy social life in college. 

“If you don’t want to rush a frat, don’t feel pressured to,” Wallen said. “You can meet people naturally, and if that leads you to a frat you like, great. If not, great.”

Some aspects of Greek life can be overwhelming, so being transparent with yourself and your needs as an individual is crucial when going through recruitment.

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Drinking culture is one of the aspects that can throw off members’ academics, Lowry said. When students prioritize partying over academics is when they see the most issues in scholarships. 

“It depends on how seriously you take it,” Lowry said. “For me personally, when I see people drinking, it makes me aware, and for other people, they may not have as many excuses to drink if they weren’t in a fraternity.” 

Even with some of the typical issues associated with Greek life, like hazing and pressure to drink, CSU tries its best to make Greek life safe and enjoyable for members.

“In some ways, rightfully so, fraternity and sorority life gets a bad reputation because of a lot of terrible instances that do happen,” Daly said. “But I do think at CSU we work really hard to be progressive and make positive changes.”

“We work really hard to make it accessible for all individuals to the best of our ability,” Daly said. “In our chapter in particular, nationally we accept all individuals who identify as a woman, so trans women are allowed in our organization, and it’s not tied to your birth gender in any way.” 

Inclusivity is important to the CSU community and is listed as one of the university’s pillars of community. And while Greek life isn’t for everyone, there’s a lot of variety for those interested — it doesn’t have to be like the movies. 

“There are social organizations, such as Chi Omega, but we also have cultural organizations, and we have a STEM sorority and things like that,” Daly said. “You end up where you’re meant to be.”

If you’re looking for a community to jump into this fall, consider going through Greek life recruitment. Even if you don’t commit, you’ll likely make some lifelong friendships in the process. 

Reach Ivy Secrest at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.