Members of the armed forces find balance with Greek life

Leanne O’Neill

Students involved in both the military and Greek life face challenges of time commitment, but find benefits from being in both.

President of Interfraternity Council Joshua Cherok said the values of the military and Greek life go hand-in-hand.

“You figure someone spends years of their life to serve our country and put others before themselves,” Cherok said. “Those are qualities that chapters are looking for.”

Cherok explained that veterans founded many fraternities, such as his fraternity, Sigma Nu. He said he believes that fraternity organizations have similar values to those in the military.

“Values like organization and time management are emphasized in both military and Greek life,” Cherok said.

Josh Rider, director of the Center for Adult and Veteran Services, said Greek life gives a sense of structure and camaraderie many military members and veterans prefer to live by.

“I think it can be very beneficial,” Rider said. “Aspects like sense of duty, responsibility, watching out for your fellow brothers or sisters.”

Rider said he has seen many veterans come from combat and go on to find success  in their Greek roles.

Junior finance major Brittany Martin said being in Army ROTC requires more of a time commitment during the week but has more open weekends than military members in the National Guard or reserves.

“I have to pick and choose what events I attend during the week,” Martin said. “If there’s something happening on a Thursday night, I’m usually in bed.”

Martin said some of the rules enforced in her Panhellenic sorority, Delta Gamma, influence her behavior in the military.

“Being in a sorority definitely helps me by not doing stupid stuff,” Martin said. “I’m always representing each organization to the best of my ability.”

Martin explained that her sorority supports Service for Sight, which aids those with sight disabilities. Service for Sight has a branch called Joining Forces that specifically aids soldiers in need, which Martin said she enjoys supporting.

Mark Honsberger, junior criminology and justice studies major, found the balance between the Army and Sigma Nu to be simple. He said that the U.S. Army National Guard does not take a lot of time, but occasionally causes him to miss out on events. Honsberger said that his time commitment to the National Guard only requires his time one weekend per month and two weeks during the summer.

“It stinks missing out on things like Homecoming and our big-little reveal, but I always remember that I took an oath to serve my country,” Honsberger said. “And that oath is more important to me.”

Honsberger said the values he learned from the Army helped him grow as a member of his fraternity.

“Those values have helped me create a stronger bond with my brothers,” Honsberger said.

Contact Leanne O’Neill at [email protected].