Column: The decision to go Greek must be a personal one

Ben Breier

After unloading my belongings on the sixth floor of Wright Hall, I went out in typical freshman fashion — my goal was to find a party, and see what this college thing was all about.

I roamed around with a group of relative strangers, bopping across fraternity houses while sampling different kinds of budget beer.

When I happened upon a crowded narrow house on University Street, illuminated only by the glow of haphazard blacklights, I was accosted by a group of fraternity members shortly after my arrival. We made small talk, but I was ultimately interested in one thing — beer.

Less than an hour later, I was offered a bid — the Greek Life equivalent of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket; the gateway into their society. All of this after an hour of inebriated conversation over a couple of cans of Busch Light that was barely audible over repetitive Lil Jon baselines.

What’s wrong with this picture?

How were these guys able to deduce that I was a high-caliber gentleman that met the requirements to be eligible to join their fraternity? Hell, I have trouble deciding whether or not I truly like somebody after a month of truly intimate conversation.

Here’s the truth: there was absolutely no way they were able to deduce anything reasonable about the quality of my being from one night at their fraternity house — they were trying to sucker me in.

But I was smarter than that — why would I want to be tricked into paying monthly fees to associate with people who I had almost nothing in common with? If I waited around, a better option would present itself where I could find a group of people and become a part of something meaningful.

For some people, this is fine — all they really need is a social outlet, and they’re willing to cough up the Benjamins to become a member of that society.

But I’m not one of those people.

A year and a half later, opportunity came knocking. When I made my debut at the Daily Kent Stater as a general assignment reporter last summer, I had no idea just how much it would impact my life.

I have formed bonds in that Taylor Hall newsroom that would’ve been all but impossible a year ago. The Stater presented me with numerous opportunities — from flying out to New York City to cover the mtvU Woodies, to a last-minute trip down to New Orleans in order to find out just who in the world Lester Lefton is.

And here’s a backward concept: they pay me! What a novel idea!

For people who want something more, get involved — join an organization that pertains to what you want to do. From the All-Campus Programming Board to Black United Students; from the Undergraduate Student Senate to the Collegiate Business Association, there are many opportunities waiting for you.

If you eventually decide to make the plunge into Greek Life, don’t let the system ambush you upon arrival — make that decision on your own terms.

Ben Breier is the managing editor of the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].