Greeks do not deserve bad reputations

Kate Bigam

Oh, to be Greek and successful – the horror!

Let me introduce myself. I am a transfer student from Ohio University and a proud alumna of Sigma Kappa sorority.

Are you ready to discredit me yet? You might be, but hear me out.

I joined my sorority during sophomore year with my two best friends, Alison and Abbey. We joined because the rest of our friends were already members, and we wanted to be able to participate in the things they did – themed socials, Pure Romance parties and formals that took place on riverboats.

And in joining Sigma Kappa, we got what we wanted. We got all those fun, debauchery-ridden good times, but we also got a lot more.

I’d be lying if I said I loved my sorority, because I didn’t. I could tell you painful stories about behind-the-scenes Greek life that “national rules” prevent loyal, active members from discussing. And shelling out $175 a quarter for dues certainly took its toll on my wallet, but I bet buying your new iPod or digital camera did the same for yours – so maybe it’s just about prioritizing.

During my time at OU, our sorority was named the second-highest contributor to Alzheimer’s Research, a cause my chapter raised money for by hosting golf scrambles that we worked our butts off to organize and staff. We regularly served lunch to the local, understaffed elementary school and headed an award-winning Relay for Life team in honor of a sister’s mother.

Did you hear about it? No? Okay, maybe that’s because it was at OU, but how much do Kent State’s non-Greeks know about the Greek community’s philanthropic efforts?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a sorority or fraternity that will tell you its members don’t give a damn about the greater good. Lambda Chi Alpha broke a world record last spring while raising thousands of dollars for the Cleveland Clinic, and sisters of Delta Zeta nationwide raise money for Gallaudet University and other speech- and hearing-related causes. The list goes on.

Furthermore, don’t give me the “Greeks party harder than everyone else” crap, because that’s what it is – crap. Non-Greek students party just as hard and just as often, if not more. Sure, we pay dues for our parties, but while non-Greeks are paying for case after case of Miller Lite, we Greeks get house beer at every party we attend.

If you have any other complaints or critiques about Greek life and its thousands of members, ask a Greek. Even when we’re not thrilled with the rules imposed upon us, we can offer you a million responses as to why you don’t know what you’re talking about when you criticize us. Because you can watch Van Wilder and Animal House as many times as you want, but unless you’ve been Greek, you’ve probably got the facts wrong.

The truth is that at every campus across the country, Greeks dominate the philanthropic and political scene, and Kent State is no exception.

The Greek system has installed in us a passion for involvement and a drive to succeed, which means that really, we’re no different from any other campus organization, so there’s no reason you should hate us any more.

Unless, of course, you’re just jealous.

Kate Bigam is assistant news editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].