Greek life can be positive

By David Shellhamer

There has been much response lately to an e-mail received by many students concerning greek life. Most of these responses have been from students not associated with members of a fraternity or sorority. Although I agree with some statements about the disconnect between greeks and “GDIs,” I disagree with the suggestions that greek life does not have many positive aspects. As a graduate student, I am not actively involved with my fraternity on this campus. I am, however, a member of Phi Kappa Psi and am still active in my undergraduate chapter.

Joining a fraternity is the best decision that I have ever made. Fraternities teach members leadership. Chapter presidents learn how to solve problems; treasurers learn how to handle a budget. Committee heads learn how to delegate responsibilities and see amazing results from their hard work. Being a member in a greek house means holding responsibility. It has been suggested that greek life does not strengthen one’s individuality, but I would like to argue the exact opposite. In a house, members have different opinions, different cultures and different priorities (as surprising as this may seem, it’s true). Learning how to deal with different opinions and compromise are skills that are taught every day in these houses. Everyone will meet someone in the workplace they may not enjoy being around, but knowing how to handle this situation is invaluable.

At a national conference this summer, I met numerous alumni, a third advantage of joining a house. Hearing advice from some of the most successful people in the country is not an opportunity everyone can have.

These are just a few of many reasons why greek life can be positive. I hope before anyone makes a judgment about any organization on campus, they at least become informed before expressing their opinion.