The choice to get involved in Greek life is one that involves many first-year students on campus. Though many students are eager to jump into a fraternity or sorority, others have well-motivated reservations. These reservations are because the cons of Greek life outweigh the pros.
The financial obligations to be in a fraternity or sorority are excessive. According to the USF Greek life website, pledges are charged a “pledge fee,” an “initiation fee” upon initiation into a chapter and “chapter dues” charged upon gaining membership into the sorority or fraternity.
The list of fees attached to joining Greek life seem never ending, especially for college students who have limited funds and often support themselves. New member fees for chapters under the Panhellenic Association start at $1,050 and can go as high as $1,173.
Another turnoff of Greek life is the time commitment it requires. Most first-year students are trying to figure out how to balance school, friends and family, and if students have a part-time job in the mix, they may struggle to fulfill such obligations as community service that are required of members of Greek life. The university’s Greek life website states “having a structured schedule is conducive to productivity,” but it’s doubtful that it’s productive to be burdened with extra commitments with a part-time job and taking 15 course credits freshman year.
Many people would counter that people in Greek life tend to have better grades because of the GPA requirements to stay in the organization, but the amount of distractions that these organizations can provide, such as tempting social engagements and mandatory community service, make keeping good grades twice as hard. While the Greek life website states that social engagements are not required, those engagements may be too tempting to miss, especially for a first-year student.
It is also interesting to note that under the FAQ section of the university’s Greek life website, it was asked if all sororities and fraternities do is drink and party. While the website admits that “the Animal House stigma is one that fraternities strive to relinquish every day” and states there are “policies to regulate social events,” it doesn’t deny the accusation implied by the question, but instead focuses on the philanthropic efforts of the Greek system.
Greek life can have many positive things to offer, but in light of all the cons, it’s safe to say it’s not worth the hassle for freshmen. It seems better fitted for older students who have more experience balancing hectic schedules, are more acclimated to college life and can potentially handle the extra financial obligations that come with being a member.
Bryana is a freshman majoring in mass communications.