Gaining from the Sorority or Fraternity Tradition?

Nicole Glass (USA Today) has done some research that indicated that the percentage of students with a sorority or fraternity background who in a later stage are working for a Fortune 500 company is actually 85 percent. When you look at the number of students that join a Greek organization, it is estimated that almost ten million students across America are sorority or fraternity members.

Those students are totally happy with the idea that through these organizations they have the chance to make great friends and can form lifetime-lasting bonds. These students also understand that being a member of a Greek organization will bring many interesting networking opportunities. Students who are thinking about becoming a member of a Greek organization may wish to learn more before signing up.

Lawyers, actors, politicians, former presidents, and many famous celebrities have joined Greek organizations during their college years. Hillary Miller (Huffington Post) states how surprising it is that several celebrities were also part of a fraternity or sorority of who we would maybe not have expected it, for example, Harrison Ford, Paul Rudd, David Spade, Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Banks, or Ashley Judd. We also know that just three former U.S. presidents have never been a member of a fraternity, and isn’t it also surprising that a huge number of Hollywood celebrities were former fraternity or sorority members.

Some more statistics

The percentage graduating college students with a sorority or fraternity membership is considerably higher than the percentage of graduating students with a non-Greek organization background. In America, 50% of all students who are not part of a sorority or fraternity will graduate, while that percentage is almost 75% for Greek members, and over 80% of all our political leaders and those who hold leadership positions at universities and colleges are active members of a sorority or fraternity or sorority. College students who become members of these organizations will learn how to best work together with others, how to lead smaller or bigger groups, and how to communicate effectively.

It is true that movies and television shows and movies have made the Greek life sometimes look like one big partying event, but the students who are belonging to these organizations are actually doing several other things. They will help their communities, be active in charity, raise money for nonprofits, engage in community events, and will generally also help to run their college campuses. If you want to see if pledging a sorority or fraternity at your school is something for you, look at how many students on your campus have joined a Greek club and what it is that these students actually do.

What makes Greek life different?

What is it actually that makes Greek life so different from other college students organizations such as a sports team or a debate team? Well, in case you will join for example a chess club, you probably won’t have that rich, hundreds of years old tradition and history, you won’t be able to enjoy all the rituals, and you also won’t be able to benefit from millions of alumni that may later in life prove to be a valuable asset. There are Greek organization advisers and recruiters who find it pretty unfortunate that some members at times will create very negative stigmas because of their irresponsible behavior while wearing letters, but they still are convinced that the negatives are by far outweighed by the benefits of being a Greek club member, and that the students who join the clubs for proper reasons, will reach far.

Social skills

Having well-rounded social skills have time and again been proven to lead students up successful paths. David Brooks, a well-known columnist for the New York Times, emphasized at his recent visit to American University how important it is to understand others if you want to become successful. This is a skill that former U.S. president Bill Clinton was and still is mastering and that practically all politicians have. Brooks said that of course college students need to think about studying, acquiring skills, and IQ, but that they, at the same time, should be thinking about traits like what he called ‘mindsight’, the skill and ability to be looking into other people’s mindsets, and to find out and really tell what’s happening there. Brooks emphasized that exactly that is the skill politicians master.

College students who have joined Greek organizations will easily make the right friend and develop their social and leadership. They are more likely to build up a proper personal and professional network, and have a higher probability rate to graduate. All these qualities could lead to far better professional perspectives and job openings across the world. Bear in mind that students who join a sorority or fraternity just for the drinking and partying, something many Greek organizations are unfortunately too often known for, are likely to end up with only little benefit.