Art by Ally Armstrong
From sorority dessert mixers to fraternity dodgeball events, Greek life Recruitment events fill up much of the programming in the month of September at Seaver College. During this season, many students find a meaningful community that will last until graduation and even possibly afterwards.
While some could not imagine their college experience without being active in some form of Greek life, the other two–thirds of students are able to find meaningful experiences outside of the cacophony of Greek letters. Joining a fraternity or sorority may be the right choice for some students, but the majority of students who elect to remain unaffiliated throughout their academic career can rest assured that many benefits lie outside of Greek life.
Unaffiliated students can end up having a considerably larger billfold by the time they graduate. According to the Pepperdine’s Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council, being an active member in a sorority or fraternity for four academic years could end up costing $5,900 and $4,900, respectively. If the price to be an active member of a fraternity or sorority is too high for those considering, there are a plethora of ways to build community and have fun in more cost-effective ways.
Everything costs either time or money, and Greek life involvement requires a decent amount of both. From weekly chapters to frequent events, a fair number of nights and weekends are reserved exclusively to Greek life.
For new members going through a fraternity’s pledge process, sleep deprivation is nothing out of the ordinary, as a recent Aug. 7, 2018 article from CNN outlines. First-year students free of these commitments can use this formative period in their academic career to invest in academics or find great community elsewhere.
The absence of these important commitments can allow for students to broaden their experience. Rather than spend every Sunday night at chapter, unaffiliated students can expand their circles with greater degrees of freedom in their schedules.
While students involved in Greek life certainly have other commitments, those outside have more chances to invest in clubs, student activity groups, or professional development opportunities. Aside from these organized opportunities, non-affiliated students simply have more free nights to spend time with friends from their residence halls or classes.
Ultimately, choosing whether or not to join a sorority or fraternity is up to the individual. Throughout this month, it is important to remember that one’s value comes from their Creator — not from an affiliation with a group of people — and staying independent may just be the better route for some students.
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