Blouch: Greek life can provide community, but it’s not for everyone

Cat Blouch

The Chi Omega house sits in the sun, while the letters are displayed prominently above the front door. (Tri Duong | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

With formal recruitment for Greek life coming up, many Colorado State University students are questioning whether or not they want to rush. There’s a lot to consider. If you’ve thought about rushing and want to know what you’re getting yourself into, keep reading. I sat down with five individuals to discuss their experience with Greek life at CSU, and it might help to solidify your decision.


Julia Love, a third-year student studying veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at CSU and member of the sorority Chi Omega, said that anyone looking to go through recruitment “can expect a lot of different personalities per house, and that’s a really good thing because you’ll find your home no matter what. … Don’t fake it, … and you’ll find the right home.”

Jackson Pitts, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at CSU and fourth-year journalism and media communication student, touched on the importance of someone interested in going through the recruitment process and reminded them to be “ready to be uncomfortable.”

Though there are many conceptions about fraternities prioritizing surface-level relationships, Pitts said you should be “able to reveal who you really are as a person.” Vulnerability is par for the course.

While Greek life may provide the opportunity for a group of individuals to be more vulnerable and speak on significant topics, the large mix of people can lend itself to harsh disagreements about subjects that hit close to home for many people.”

This sentiment was echoed by Samuel Sommer, third-year journalism and media communication student at CSU and member of the Theta Chi fraternity. He said his favorite part of Greek life is the opportunity to foster deeper connections.

“Every year we just do a brotherhood up in the mountains where we get a big Airbnb, and it’s a dry event,” Sommer said. “It’s just like a three-day-long camping trip. I really appreciate those events where you really get to know people.” 

I took note that Sommer said his favorite part of Greek life is a dry event. While Sommer recognized that partying is a part of Greek life, from the variety of interviews I conducted, it seems as though the appeal is greater than simply partying. 

When asked something that’s not common knowledge about Greek life, Anne Claire Tangen, a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and a neuroscience student at CSU, said, “I just feel like we never talk about the philanthropy part. … This is so much of what we do. We spend so much time and effort in our philanthropies.” 

Though individuals boasted about the community and service among other positives, keep in mind that there can be some negatives to Greek life. Natalie Rose Beck, a third-year zoology major, resigned from her membership of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. Beck said she “dropped because it was a very toxic environment. … Living in the house was just horrible for me. Girls were always talking about each other behind each other’s backs.”

Beck said there was an unspoken social hierarchy, as while “most of the sororities are very anti-hazing, and they do a lot of hazing prevention. … It’s so much less physical with sororities and a lot more emotional and mental hazing.”

It’s easy to understand how the Greek life environment could lead to interpersonal contention, given that these are large groups with a large variety of personalities and values.


“You meet a lot of different people, and they just have a lot of interesting perspectives on a lot of different things like race and gender and politics, and getting all those different people in the same room is kind of weird,” Pitts said. 

In other words, vulnerability can be a double-edged sword. While Greek life may provide the opportunity for a group of individuals to be more vulnerable and speak on significant topics, the large mix of people can lend itself to harsh disagreements about subjects that hit close to home for many people. 

In my own experience in Greek life as a part of the coed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, I resonated with both the positives and negatives expressed by my peers. Though Alpha Phi Omega does not participate in formal recruitment and is in many ways non-traditional when compared to the Panhellenic organizations, many things still hold true. Based on my background and the information from the interviews, I came to a few basic conclusions about what one can expect from joining a Greek organization:

  • It is a good chance to find a community and build your network.
  • Greek life is an opportunity to participate in philanthropic activities. 
  • Partying is a central part of the Greek life experience. If the idea of being in environments of heavy alcohol consumption turns you off, you should consider if Greek life is the right fit for you. 
  • Partying is not the whole picture. Greek life can be a place to form deeper, more vulnerable relationships.
  • There are social hierarchies, and “cliques” are inevitable. 

If you’re thinking about rushing, give the decision some thought, but don’t be afraid to jump in. 

Cat Blouch can be reached at or on Twitter @BlouchCat.