Column: Greek life offers more than social benefits

Jada Huddlestun, Staff Reporter

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word sorority or fraternity?

I am sure many of you have negative meanings attached to these words. Stupid, waste of money, stuck up, and party animals are all things that come to mind.

When I think of those two words I think of friendship, support and community.

Many people believe that Greek life is just a waste of money. Many think that you are buying your friends, and that all those people do is party and get bad grades.

I want people to know that there is so much more to Greek life than social events and partying.

As a freshman here at EIU last year I was not affiliated with Greek life. I knew several people who were, but it was just not something I was interested in. I had heard so many positive things about it, so I decided to look more into what going Greek had to offer.

I am so happy with my decision to give it a try this year. I have only been a part of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, for a few short months, and have already fallen in love.

Sororities and fraternities push you to be the best person you can be while away at school. No matter what is going on in the hectic day of a college kid, there is always someone there pushing you to become the best version of yourself.

Whether it is in the classroom by pushing you to keep studying so you ace that midterm, fighting with your roommates, battling homesickness or even just talking about your problems, there is always someone right there that you can count on to help and listen to you.

Being involved in the Greek community gives you amazing opportunities. There is always something going on you can get involved in.

Philanthropies, community service and holding leadership positions are just a few of many things you can do.

One of my favorite things that going Greek has to offer is the opportunity to participate in all the other chapters philanthropies.

I love raising money for our foundation, which supports children’s play therapy, but it is amazing to be able to help raise money for other great causes that other houses support such as, St. Jude’s Research Hospital, the American Diabetes Association, Girls on the Run and so many more.

As a group you are also able to give back to the community around you by community service events.

Community trash clean ups, can drives, donations and blood drives are some of the things chapters do.

There are several executive board positions you can hold. President, vice president, and new member educator are just a few of the positions you can hold to represent your members and chapter as a whole.

Another great thing is the Greek community. No matter what the chapter, there are still friendships and bonds between people.

A girl in a different chapter than my own had a death in her family recently and to see all the support she received from the entire Greek community was truly amazing. We are all one family no matter what the letters.

I have already made friendships that are everlasting, and that is the greatest thing I could have asked for. It gives you something to help make EIU your home away from home with countless numbers of brothers and sisters around you at all times.

When I think of the words sorority or fraternity, I think of life long bonds, family, and knowing someone always has my back during these rough four years.

Greek life is not for everyone, but next time you think or talk about it, I encourage you to think about all the positive things Greek life has to offer.

Jada Huddlestun is a sophomore journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]