Being a member of a fraternity or a sorority definitely comes with a few benefits, so let’s take a closer look. Fact is that since 1825, only three U.S. presidents were not members of a Greek organization, and more than 80% of all executives at Fortune 500 companies were also belonging to a Greek organization.
The first female American astronaut was a member of a sorority, and the first female U.S. senator had joined a Greek club as well. Another interesting statistic is that the percentage of college graduation among Greeks is more than 20% than that of non-Greeks. Now this leads to the obvious question:
Is being a member of a sorority or fraternity increasing your chances to become successful?
In America, we see that almost ten million college students have joined a Greek organization. Regardless whether they became a member just to make friends or go to parties, or to become active in community activities or charity work, to get better-looking resumes, or strengthen their leadership skills, they all have one thing in common: they want to actively change some aspects of their lives.
Now a common deterrent to joining a sorority or fraternity is the sometimes pretty negative stereotypes that are associated with these Greek organizations. Sororities and fraternities are frequently associated with partying, hazing, and drinking, and the truth is that indeed, since 1975, we have witnessed at least one fatality that was hazing-induced every year across American college campuses, and more than 80% of these deaths were binge drinking results.
But the fact of the matter is also that hazing scandals are making headlines, while — and philanthropy events and fundraising activities usually do not. When we go back in history, we see that partying and drinking was not a reason to join a Greek organization. Around the 1820’s, we see that not even one percent of all U.S. white males were sent to a liberal arts university or college, and these students were primarily educated to become ministers.
In 1825, on November 25, a group of 5 students of Union College came together and privately formed a group to engage in discussions and educational debates. The members came together to discuss topics and issues that were not addressed in their academic courses and prepared themselves for interesting careers that the college’s professors didn’t educate them for. They named their fraternity: the ‘Kappa Alpha Society’.
Fraternities were often looked upon as ‘secret societies’, and the phenomenon started to spread quickly spread to many other college campuses. The first sorority was established in 1831, and all these so-called ‘Greek Clubs’ were consisting of a loyal network of members and supporters who knew how to dress, the brothers and sisters, who were vowing loyalty to each other to death.
Of course, Greek life has dramatically changed over the years, but students who are seriously involved in their organization’s membership still have a better chance to get equipped with highly useful skills for their later careers. Greek organizations may be very useful for students when it comes to the improvement of their interpersonal and leadership skills. We can see a great correlation between the development of these skills and the students’ ability to become successful in their endeavors later in life. Success should not necessarily be measured as famous-successful, for example like a CEO or a president, but also successful as a small business owner or a community leader.
What makes Greek life rewarding?
Well, Greek life is giving its members the pretty unique opportunity to learn how to best lead and interact with their peers. It happens often that sorority or fraternity members who can’t get along well are being forced to cooperate. This way they will develop skills that are crucial in their post-college positions. And what’s also important is that members will have the chance of practicing and failing in their undertakings, without running the risk to lose their supporting network. Members may fail miserably, but still have sisters or brothers that love them and care for them. They will pick their fellow members up, and challenge them to do it all over again, but now better. Sorority and fraternity members are taught crucial social interaction and communications skills. See also this post to learn if joining a Greek club could be right for you.