Greek organizations have been a fundamental part of our country’s college life since the first social fraternity was founded in 1825.
The Greek system is one that prides itself on instilling leadership, philanthropy and scholarship among others.
According to Rebekah Druetzler, the director of Greek affairs and orientation programs, national organizations require membership, which is the source of a lot of confrontation on campus.
The Butler Greek community raised $142,000 last year and worked 25,000 service hours within the Indianapolis community.
National statistics also show leadership throughout our history and present in the Greek system.
For example, 40 of 47 Supreme Court Justices since 1910 were fraternity men.
A U.S. government study shows that over 70 percent of all those who join a fraternity or sorority graduate, while under 50 percent of all non-fraternity/sorority persons graduate, according to greekspeak.com.
The list of statistics continues on, but in the end you will find that many leaders of our country began with a background in a fraternity or sorority.
Many women who later went on to take leadership roles had a Greek background, such as the first female senator, Hattie Wyatt Caraway and the first female astronaut, Mae Carol Jemison.
The Greek system promotes leadership and teaches all involved its importance and relevance in both our world today and our individual futures.
Along with leadership, the Greek system strongly promotes philanthropy and community relationships. It is the largest network of volunteers in the U.S. with over 850,000 hours of volunteer work, according to greekspeak.com.
Greeks all over the country dedicate their time and they also give to their communities’ monetarily. Greeks nationwide raise $7 million every year.
Here on Butler’s campus, with our small student population, the Greek system is involved in many outlets of campus life.
Many Greek affiliates are also involved in other activities on campus and utilize the drive and leadership valued by Greek life.
With so much programming and a small population of students, we run into a recurring problem that affects many students on campus.
Every year during recruitment, there are some students who do not join a fraternity or sorority—for many different reasons. Some change their minds or don’t find a perfect fit. Others find themselves more interested in other programming.
Some of these people are hurt and even angered by this problem, but I think we should all remember that it is hard on both ends.
“It is restrictive and I understand that frustration,” Druetzler.
Being involved in Greek life, I have had the experience of having to turn away possible members during recruitment and it is hard to know you are hurting someone, but there isn’t anything to be done about it.
Butler has seen other issues arise from concerned students outside of the Greek community who don’t trust or positively recognize this traditional system.
There have been accusations made that the Greek system contorts the campus social system and divides the students here at Butler.
“It has been easy to group people together by where they live,” Druetzler said. “There is also no pressure for students to be greek, or not to, most students choose other organizations that are best for them.”
I suspect this argument will continue on across campus, but being a senior who is graduating in December, nothing else about Butler has made me a better, stronger person or more prepared for my future than the Greek system has and I believe many other students would agree with me, regardless of what organization they are part of on campus.