A 2011 survey of Butler University Greek students found that more than 90 percent of respondents felt they were a part of the campus community. The survey said Butler Greeks felt included in their campus community more than other private institutions’ Greek organizations.
However, some Butler students not involved in Greek life feel less involved on campus, said Irene Stevens, dean of student life.
“Students have said they feel like they have more opportunities for involvement if they join,” Stevens said. “I don’t know that I necessarily believe that. You can be as involved as you want to be.”
Stevens said every student should join some student organization to relieve the stress that comes with college life.
Independent Council President Regan Girten said the stress associated with being left out at Butler almost caused her to leave during her freshman year.
Girten said Independent Council exists to bridge the gap between Greeks and non-Greeks, who may feel left out because they do not choose to rush.
“I just want people to be included in things,” Girten said. “It seems like all events are Greek-related.”
Alexis Spooner, president of the Panhellenic Association that serves as the governing body of sororities, said Greek life does not dominate opportunities and events available on campus. It just makes student involvement easier.
“Before I joined a house, I was literally in my dorm room not doing anything but dance,” Spooner said. “And then I joined, and it was like there was so much I could be doing, and then I kind of just took off from there.”
Becky Druetzler, director of Greek life, said Butler’s Greek life is viewed quite positively at Butler and in the community at-large and said interested and prospective students often seek her and student leaders out to ask about how to get involved.
Girten said she’s yet to attend a homecoming because she is unhappy with the lack of opportunity to get involved as an independent student.
“I think a lot of people look down to (Independent Council),” Girten said.
“There’s the stereotype that Independent Council doesn’t do anything, so why should we include them?” said Sean Sullivan, recent Butler alumnus and former vice president of recruiting for the Interfraternity Council that serves as the governing body of fraternities. “The fraternity or sorority is not the be-all and end-all.”
Sullivan said he did not join a fraternity because of the “Animal House” stereotype of fraternities but because he wanted to make friends. He said his involvement helps at his current job as a technical recruiter for Robert Half Technology in Indianapolis.
“Greek life helped me prepare to relate with people day-in day-out,” Sullivan said. “Being in a fraternity or sorority is kind of like a business in that it has to be well-run.”