Greek life. What is it, and why should you care?
Even if you’re not interested in going Greek, it’s still a prevalent part of life at RIT. You’re always bound to see, while you head to class, at least one group fundraising or hosting some other philanthropic event. Or even large events in which a large portion of the campus participates (such as Mud Tug or Beach Day). It’s the goal of #RITStudents to show you what campus life is like, and Greek life is part of campus. Let’s see what all the hubub’s about!
Why do people go Greek?
People choose to go Greek for a multitude of reasons. Many students want leadership opportunities, and Greek life offers a ludicrous amount of those. To say that you were part of the leadership for a group of individuals, where numbers can range anywhere from 10 to over 60 individuals in not only an achievement, but looks great on a resumé. It’s even a little different from leading other organizations because of the sense of closeness, of Brotherhood / Sisterhood (we’ll touch upon that later), allowing even more in-depth personal development to occur.
Some go Greek because of philanthropy and community service. Almost every single organization has a philanthropy of choice, for which they typically support with events and fundraisers throughout the year. These causes include efforts against cancer, alzheimers, cystic fibrosis, and other diseases, as well as supporting the homeless, and ill children.
Greeks also participate in large amounts of community service, both on campus and in the larger area.
Greeks also seek to make themselves and others proud of their organization, not only through the above causes, but through academic achievement. Many organizations have requirements for their members in terms of GPA, and will have members help each other achieve and excel academically through study sessions, sharing of academic resources, and other techniques.
There’s also the plus side of joining an alumni network. When some organizations have been on campus for over 50 years, what are the chances that there’s an alum out there who might have a job opening wherever they work? Networking, boom. There is, of course, the social and recreational aspect as well. Going Greek gives you numerous opportunities to meet people, and make new friends.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the idea of Brotherhood and/or Sisterhood. These are terms that are used a lot by Greeks, and are hard to truly understand until you’re a part of Greek life. But the best description I can give, is that Greeks have the opportunity to develop lifelong, strong connections with their Brothers and Sisters. More than just friends you make in college and perhaps keep in touch with a little after college, Brothers and Sisters are stronger than that. They hold each other accountable. Instead of having perhaps one best friend out of a group of friends, what if they could all be your best friend? That friend you can always count on, no matter what? That’s the idea behind Brotherhood and Sisterhood.
What is it like being Greek at RIT?
Greeks at RIT, if their organization has one, are able to live in their House. There are six Greek mansions behind Global Village, and four Greek floors in the residence halls. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will regularly hold all-greek events, including Greek Week (a week-long inter-organizational competition), and other programming.
Now, it’s true that RIT is most certainly not in the SEC. Many schools in other parts of the nation have upwards of 70% of their student body as Greeks. RIT, on the other hand, has 5%.
However, you wouldn’t think that if you took a look. Every day, you’ll see countless people wearing their letters on the quarter mile. You’ll see some group set up with a table, selling baked goods for medical research, or pedalling on a stationary bike for a week straight, to raise money to support people with disabilities. You’ll see what feels like half the school showing up to mud tug, to participate in a massive tug-of-war tournament.
I can talk all I want about why going Greek is so great, and I’m perhaps a little biased. But there’s why people do it, and what it’s like at RIT. Why not check out our video, and get a visual look at what it’s like?