Is Greek Life Worth It?

Isabella Rees, Journalist

College has begun to dominate the minds of current upperclassmen. Upcoming deadlines and essay writing has worn down many students who count down the days until graduation day. However, what comes after the flurry of applications and decisions?

Greek life is defined as a social organization of (college) students broken up into fraternities for men and sororities for women that have national ties that are overseen by a Greek Life office. Different students have different motivations for joining a Greek life chapter. For example, prospective-sorority sister Cassidy Canzano says, “I just like the idea of meeting a lot of people and meeting a lot of people from a lot of different grades.” In addition, guidance counselor Justine May finds that “Some people want to find themselves a community when they go off to a brand new place. Others may join because it’s a tradition of the school and they may not have other options or it aligns with their interests.” Overall, Greek life attendance can be attributed to a new student wanting to form bonds early in their college careers that can carry on later in their lives. It is also notable to mention that Greek life is typically focused on developing leadership, philanthropy, community service, and strong bonds among like-minded students, so there is still work that goes into it. 

There are many different pros to joining a Greek life organization. For example, US News found that Greek life members tend to graduate at higher rates than those not involved. In addition, many chapters have GPA standards — meaning that many Greek life members also have higher GPAs than the overall campus average. 


For instance, “on many campuses, the average GPA for (Interfraternity Council) fraternity men is above the all-men’s average which is supported by fraternity requirements of members maintaining a specified grade point average or higher” (US News). In addition, many Greek life organizations are based around philanthropy, which is charitable acts that help better the community.

Consequently, there are also many negatives to Greek life that are the main contributors to the reputation that fraternities and sororities are given. Most prominently are instances of hazing-related deaths, alcohol/drug abuse, and sexual assault cases. For example, studies found that men who join fraternities are three times more likely to commit sexual assault, and women in sororities are twice as likely to be victims than college students not involved in Greek life. Comparatively, 60 people died from 2004-2014 in hazing-related accidents. 

Of course, to every problem, there is some kind of a solution. To combat Greek life-related issues, some schools have begun to abolish Greek life activities on their campus. These include big-name colleges such as Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University. Similarly, schools such as Harvard do not actively recognize Greek life organizations as a part of their school, but students have formed organizations that could fall under the Greek life title. To avoid negative Greek life experiences, experts warn to 1) be wary of councils that aren’t affiliated with their respective universities, 2) listen to how fraternity members talk about women, 3) be wary of chapters that brag about how much they party, 4) check campus disciplinary records, 5) lookup news reports about Greek life at a campus of interest, and 6) pay attention to house condition.