The One about Greek Life

Phi Lambda Chi Crest

Greek Life

In most universities in the United States of America, there are social organizations known as fraternities and sororities for males and females, respectively. They are represented by a combination of two or three Greek letters, like Alpha, Beta, Omega, etc. These organizations are made up of individual chapters at different universities across the country. Each fraternity and sorority has a set of beliefs or principles which they instill in their members when they join. By joining one of these organizations, you are bonded in brotherhood or sisterhood for the rest of your life, with previous and future members. As an active member, there are regular activities you and fellow members take part in, including business meetings, volunteering, socializing, and fundraising, among others. During this time, and after, you will develop bonds that last a lifetime. This is why fellow members are referred to as brothers and sisters, to emphasize this eternal connection.

Phi Lambda Chi

The following picture is a group-shot of several current and graduated brothers at one of our brothers’ wedding two summers ago (the tall, stylish one!). That is James Schmitt, my grand-big-brother. To his right, in the vest, is my big brother Corey Farrell, and these two make up part of my specific family tree. Our organization is called Phi Lambda Chi, and our chapter at Arkansas Tech University is Mu Chapter, where we are the oldest fraternity on campus having been chartered since 1976. I became a member exactly 35 years later in Spring 2011, and I can honestly say this was one of the best decisions I ever made. This group of guys are some of my closest friends whom I care about so much, and I am lucky to call them brothers.

All smiles for James' wedding!
Group shot of fraternity brothers at wedding

Media & News Portrayal

Now that I have gushed about how great my fraternity and brothers are, I must acknowledge the other side of the coin. In recent years, there have been incidents often associated with fraternities across this country, involving hazing, alcohol abuse, and, in some cases, death. I find these horrible, as does everybody I know, Greek or non-Greek. I think it is crucial that something be done about these issues, however I think it is a more nuanced problem than most people want to admit. As no surprise, I do not agree with a ban on Greek organizations. As others indicate, I believe the aforementioned problems are not solely confined to Greek organizations. I believe all of them can occur outside of Greek Life and, likewise, many fraternities and sororities do not engage in that behavior. I can happily, and proudly, say that I never experienced or saw hazing, peer pressure, or risky behavior in general, since I joined my fraternity. Furthermore, I think my experience tends to be the rule while these other incidents are the exception.

Conclusion

I am, and will always be, proud to be a member of Phi Lambda Chi and the greater Greek Life community in the U.S.A. higher education system. My fraternity has helped me develop into who I am today, and I would not be here without them. There are problems which must be addressed, but require more informed solutions that everyone can agree with. I hope fraternities and sororities continue for generations to come, and continue to produce the leaders of the future.

7 thoughts on “The One about Greek Life”

  1. Wow, Kevin. What a great blog. I never really understood in depth what fraternity groups are made for. The media did portray a few terrible incidences (Pennsylvania in specific) about alcohol abuse among a fraternity group recently, but thanks for shedding the light on what it really is and how much it really means for you and others.

    Sam.

    1. Thank you Sam, I’m glad you found my post informative! I was trying to illustrate more of their positive attributes that I see and experienced while still bringing up the problems we hear a lot more about.

  2. This article is an appealing wealth of useful informative that is interesting and well-written. I commend your hard work on this and thank you for this information. I know it very well that if anyone visits your blog, then he/she will surely revisit it again.
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