On Monday, February 24, the Senate held a forum on Greek senators and their relevance to the student body. If I didn’t have another commitment at the time, I would have gone and defended Greek representation too, along with nearly two hundred of my Greek brothers and sisters. When it comes to Greek life, I’m a firm supporter. I pledged a fraternity first semester of my freshman year, and you can bet that I take pride in saying that. I’ve never experienced a organization like this that is so close-knit and holds traditions that are over 150 years old. I know there are social stigmas that surround Greek life; allow me to clear it up and reason you into joining us.
Nearly a third of RPI’s campus is Greek and consequently contributes significantly to student life, whether through charity events or social opportunities. In each of our respective Greek associations, we form bonds that are stronger and tighter than friendships outside the group. People reason that they’ll experience the same if they join clubs or other organizations; it is not the same. While they do offer their own traditions and culture, they are not on the same level as fraternities or sororities. It’s not like I’m going from nothing on this; I’m speaking from being a part of two clubs for nearly two years. The whole system, it’s just different. It’s unique. Through the pledging or candidacy process, people develop, they grow up together during their respective pledging events, and even after they are initiated, the bonds only become stronger. The whole process, it’s surreal.
When I first came to RPI, I had no intention of joining a fraternity. I had it so stuck in my head that the stereotypes were true; why would I associate myself with a crazy organization that had values like those depicted in Animal House? Fortunately, I met the right people that persuaded me otherwise. They were some of the most studious, competent, and amiable people that I’ve ever met; they were just your typical RPI students. And when I found out that they were part of a fraternity, it honestly shocked me. I realized then that people don’t join ideas or organizations, people join people. I enjoyed playing video games with them, playing sports with them, and talking with them. After I realized how much they were like me, I was more willing to embrace the ideals and tradition the organization had to offer me. I decided to join them and be part of this tight group of people who were so like me. I think it’s one of the best choices I’ve made for not just my college career, but also my future.
In joining my fraternity, I’ve never had more fun in my life opening up to people and making memories with my brothers. I wasn’t part of this fraternity stereotype; I was a person in a group of like-minded people, with its own traditions and culture. We hold charity events together, we play intramural sports together, and we live together. The group has matured me and has taught me social skills I wouldn’t have developed otherwise. I know that rush has past, but if you’re not in one right now, you should do some exploring; there’s a fraternity or sorority for everyone. They significantly contribute philanthropically, socially, and culturally to student life, whether through relay runs, goodie sales, or parties. And being a part of that, at least for me, makes me mighty proud.