The Unfortunate Facts of Greek Life (according to an anonymous "student")

I'm sorry but as a reject of the Greek community I can't agree with the article published on this site titled “6 Common Misconceptions of Greek Life at IU” by Catherine Huynh. While I respect her opinion and see many of the benefits of Greek Life here, too many of these misconceptions are conceived for very real reasons. In this article I will lay out the misconceptions miss Huynh attempted to debunk and would like to explain why I feel they may be unfortunate facts of our community. To gain a better understanding of what I’m responding to, I encourage you to read the article here. /blog/cat-huynhs-blog/6-common-misconceptions-about-greek-life-at-iu-and-the-truth

without further adieu

Misconception #1: You have to be a "type" of person to join Greek life.
I understand what you are saying that not all greek houses have the same kind of person, you are right, every house is different and every person in every house is at least a little different. However, by definition you need to be a type of person. Greek life is based on the idea of creating communities of like-minded individuals. In all Greek houses you need to be recruited and accepted into the house. I can’t walk off the street and into a sorority if I am born male, regardless of how I identify. The reason they created the LGBTQ fraternity is precisely because they are not generally welcomed into Greek houses. To make this a little more understandable to the average person, someone with a lower GPA, someone a little different can’t get into just any Greek house, I would know, I was rejected from one.
I do want to reiterate though that people in greek life are not all alike, in fact, the (in my opinion bullshit) reason I was told I was rejected was because “they wanted to take the fraternity in a different direction and I was too similar to the already existing brothers”. So yes, there is diversity in Greek houses but diversity doesn’t make exclusivity any more acceptable.

Misconception #2: We're all promiscuous alcoholics who party all the time.
Irrelevant, you're attempting to address the wrong issue, its not a matter of the individual Greek, when a Greek house puts on an average of 2 parties a weekend, and devotes most of their time and money into these parties the members are set up and encouraged to party. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with partying, I enjoy drinking and socializing just as much as the next guy, but there is a serious issue with the view of “a good time” to the average Greek house. If the party culture is not essential to Greek life, wouldn’t we then see mixers in bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities, movie theaters, roller rinks, comedy clubs, you name it? I’m not at all saying that every Greek member parties hard, it is a decision that each Greek member makes on their own, but on the whole, Greek life promotes and encourages this idea of drinking to an extreme degree.

Misconception #3: You can't hang out with anyone else.
I agree, there are no formal restrictions of who students can or cannot be friends with. Most—fine all of my friends are in Greek life, in multiple houses, so you’re right in this case. That being said, from personal experience, in the rushing process I made many friends, once I wasn’t in their fraternity, many suddenly stopped talking to me. This is not to say that all stopped talking to me or they lost interest in me. This is to say that as a whole, Greek houses determine which friends you need to have, in many cases, this over shadows the individuals’ desired friends. The concept lies in the fact that out of 100 people you can be friends with, 90 of which the house decides is worthy, it makes it much more difficulty for the remaining 10 to stay connected. But yes, you’re right, this can happen in any organization, its just the concept that exclusivity specifically is promoted in greek life.
Ugh, IUDM, don’t get me started on the exclusivity of IUDM. While I have minor issues with the way the event is run, that is for another post at another time. What I’m addressing and the only thing I’m addressing is the “greeks and non-greeks work together” bullshit as far as I understand, a large majority of dancers for IUDM are from Greek houses or other student organizations. As a GDI (proud to be god damn independent) it is much more difficult to join the marathon. To say “it brings everyone together” is just not true what about the remaining 75+% of our campus?

Misconception #4: We're all superficial, stupid and narrow-minded.
You’re right, anyone who thinks this is just wrong. Many Greeks have excellent grades, and just like any sample population you’ll have a spectrum of superficiality and narrow-mindedness.

Misconception #5: You're essentially "paying for friends."
Ok, ok, this sounds pretty extreme and truthfully I don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m friends with many people in Greek life and no one is paying to be friends with me. On the other hand you are paying fees to the house for the community it provides. So yes, you are paying for friends, but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. As the article points out, most organizations require fees; it’s just a matter of the organizations’ primary goals and what you’re really paying for.

Misconception #6: You have to submit to hazing to be a part of Greek life.
Can’t say much about this one, I just really hope you’re right.

So yes, Greek life can be great it has some awesome benefits; it provides brotherhood/ sisterhood, it requires social action, and it shows the members a great time. Greek life can be great in so many ways, I just would like it to be known that the greek communities of our school need to go a long way before we can say that our greek system is perfect for the greater community of IU. Thanks for reading, and I hope I didn’t piss anyone off too much.


Name: John Doe
Hometown: los angeles
Degree and Major: Informatics
Graduation Year: 2016

Editors note: The views expressed by this "student" do not necessarily reflect our feelings or experiences. However, in the interest of fairness, and because this website is about giving folks a 360 degree view of life at IU, we are publishing this article unedited. We would like to let you know that there are some other excellent stories from some of our student bloggers who also shared their insights and experiences on this subject. We strongly encourage all of you to consider these as you develop your own perspective on Greek life at IU.

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