As Told by Tam: Why it is okay to go Greek

Tamra Smalewitz

Members of the Fraternities and Sororities of Colorado State take part in the annual Stroll, a dance competition for Greek Life.
Members of the Fraternities and Sororities of Colorado State take part in the annual Stroll, a dance competition for Greek Life.

We have all seen the movies and TV shows revolving around Greek life. There is the movie “Sydney White”, where the sorority is shown telling women what they need to change about their appearance or body to get into the sorority. There are the news articles where fraternities or sororities are cast in a bad light for doing something wrong and then the rest of Greek life gets a bad rap because of something they were never involved in. Along with the movies and TV shows, there are the rumors we have all heard around campus, such as “Greek life hazes,” “You are paying for your friends,” and, my personal favorite, “Don’t all the sororities and fraternities dislike one another?”

The answers to these questions are simple.

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No, Greek life does not haze. We are not in the 1900’s anymore and every fraternity and sorority has a national headquarters that take hazing allegations very seriously. Colorado State University also takes hazing allegations very seriously. Not to mention, everyone in Colorado is too nice and would ask you how your day was going or hold open the door for you before they would ever haze you.

No, we are not paying for our friends. The money goes towards different aspects of every organization and towards philanthropies. You know those shirts you see members of sororities and fraternities wearing and they all match? Most of those shirts are for their philanthropies, raising awareness for a good cause.

Tom Jennings, the Lafe and Greek InterVarsity leader, meets with Hannah Bocher, a sophomore human development and family studies major, and Kelsey Lewis, a senior social work major, to discuss InterVarsity within Greek life. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)
Tom Jennings, the Lafe and Greek InterVarsity leader, meets with Hannah Bocher, a sophomore human development and family studies major, and Kelsey Lewis, a senior social work major, to discuss InterVarsity within Greek life. (Photo credit: Zara DeGroot)

Yes, fraternity men and sorority women have friends in other chapters on campus. I have seen the awe in many individual’s faces when I say that I have friends in other chapters. Yes, we do not always just hang out with our sorority or fraternity, and we have friends throughout the Greek organization as a whole as well as individuals from our classes.

With all this in mind, many individuals still have a bad attitude towards Greek life, but there is no need. When I came to CSU three years ago as a freshman, I was an out of state student who knew nobody. I decided to go through recruitment to meet new individuals and make more friends. Other women on my dorm floor were going through recruitment as well, so it made it more fun to go to each day. We would ride our bikes together every morning during recruitment and wait for one another at the end of the day to ride back together. If I would have never gone through recruitment, I would have never developed the friendship I have with them. All three of us ended up joining three different chapters, which only made it more fun when going to each others’ philanthropies.

I will admit that, after going through sorority recruitment, I did not know if the chapter I joined was right for me, but I stuck with it and ended up making great friends because of it.

I will not lie, recruitment is easy for some and hard on others. However, try to look at it with a positive attitude and without prior judgments of the chapters on campus. Every campus has rumors that go around about the different chapters, but the only person you are hurting by listening to the rumors is yourself. Everyone is different, which means every chapter is different and every member is different.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for recruitment. Even if you end up not liking it, you will have made new friends who will recognize you on campus or in your classes. There is still time to register online, and it may be the best decision of your life.

Collegian writer Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter at @tamrasmalewitz. Leave a comment!!