These days, when we hear about sororities and fraternities on college campuses, we don’t hear encouraging news. Reports of binge drinking, racism, sexism, and a disregard for standards set by a college’s Greek Council cast a shadow over these organizations.
What often gets lost amidst the media blitz is the fact that Greek Life provides distinct benefits that enhance the college experience for many students, such as:
On campus social activities
Opportunities to join in community service efforts while in college
A circle of friends that can otherwise be hard to establish on larger campuses
Development of organizational and leadership skills --as part of the chapter and, if available, the living quarters
Networking that supports finding internships during college and jobs after college
It’s this last benefit that could be the most beneficial. The Fraternity Advisor cites statistics that support the idea that Greek Life can have long-term value:
The graduation rate for fraternity and sorority members is 70% while that of non-members is under 50%
43 of the largest US companies are headed by fraternity members
85% of Fortune 500 executives belong to fraternities
Moreover, there is research (from Schmidt and Davis, economists at Union College) to indicate that while frat boys have .25 points lower GPAs, they end up earning 36% more. As relationships may play a key role in career success, the extraordinarily tight bonds formed through fraternity brothership may lead to life-long opportunities.
After You Graduate
So, once the keggers are a distant memory, there are still ways to take full advantage of what Greek Life has to offer:
Join the LinkedIn group sponsored by your fraternity or sorority. Reach out to members who may work in an industry you’re trying to break into.
Keep up to date on and attend networking events sponsored by the national organization of which your group is a part.
Attend alumni events held by your chapter. Alums of all ages attend, and most who are there have fond memories of their time on campus.Your conversation can start with sharing co
mmon ground and then move on to a productive discussion about career.
Joining a fraternity or sorority can be a positive experience during college and can be a crucial factor in your success throughout your life. Our only caveat: Make sure the organization you choose to join has a reputation you can be proud of.