Greek Life Myths Exposed!

You’ve read the newspapers. You’ve watched the movies. You know what Greek Life is all about, right? Wrong. What is seen on the surface is just the beginning of the story, and what is seen in the media comes from the smallest percentage of members that ultimately won’t retain this membership. Here are some of the most common myths dispelled.

Myth #1: By joining a fraternity/sorority, I’m just paying for my friends!

Fact: Greek members know the money they pay goes toward benefits for their national chapters, like many other non-affiliated organizations. In this way, Greek organizations are much like corporations. You wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for a lab, knowing you had to pay a lab fee, right? The rewards that stem from paying these dues always come back to the members in that chapter. The way dues work have nothing to do with buying membership – they pick you for being you. What makes members friends has nothing to do with dues. It comes from time spent together, memories made staying up late studying for a test or having endless Netflix binge sessions, or the bond made from learning each other’s deepest secrets and passions.

Myths #2: Fraternities and Sororities only care about partying! They don’t care about grades or school at all.

Fact: In order to go out for recruitment and to maintain membership, all students must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 Additionally, here at SJU the Greek organization’s average GPA is overall higher than the GPA of students who are not in these organizations. The Greek men and women at SJU care deeply about their education and have many resources to use to their advantage just from being a brother or sister. These resources include study hours, mentor programs, and incentives for academic achievements. All organizations also have a designated member on the executive board whose main job is to help members raise or maintain their GPAs. Greek organizations are also useful after graduation as a network for seeking internships and job opportunities.

Myth #3: I’m going to get hazed when I pledge a sorority/fraternity.

Fact: SJU has a very strict policy against hazing.  Hazing is defined as “any action or situation created intentionally, whether on or off campus premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule.” Saint Joseph’s University prohibits all forms of hazing. The Anti-Hazing Law of Pennsylvania states that any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a misdemeanor of the third degree. It also includes the willful destruction or removal of public or private property in its definition of hazing.  Aside from the legal aspect of hazing, the University believes that hazing is contrary to the Christian teaching of human dignity and contradicts an environment of friendship, maturity and charity within its collegiate community.

Individuals found responsible of hazing may be fined, placed on probation, suspended or dismissed. Likewise, organizations, clubs and teams may be fined, placed on probation or disbanded. Other sanctions may also be appropriately issued. Organizations, teams, or chapters may also face sanctions by University departments under which they function. For Greek Life chapters this also includes sanctions from national/international organizations.

Myth #4: If I join Greek Life, my only friends will be in my sorority/fraternity.

Fact: While joining a Greek organization bonds its members by brotherhood and sisterhood, the men and women at SJU pride themselves in bonds beyond only their brothers and sisters. SJU Greek Life is unique in that the members recognize that they are all one organization and bonded by core values of being a Greek. Put simply, just because a woman is in one sorority doesn’t mean she won’t be friends with women in other sororities. In fact, many women live with women who are in different sororities. Because there are no sorority or fraternity houses, women and men choose to live with whomever they want, regardless of Greek membership. Additionally, what you put into your organization is what you will get out. While you will make best friends in your organization, it does not have to take up all of your time. You can choose to be in a leadership position in your organization, or you can choose to just be an active member while participating in other organizations on campus. All Greek members at SJU are required to participate in one organization outside of Greek Life as well. This allows members to be well-rounded and have many other friends outside their brotherhood or sisterhood. Additionally, having brothers or sisters in other organizations on campus opens many doors for membership and getting involved.