To pledge or not to pledge

Fraternities and Sororities are named in Greek letters, such as Alpha Phi Epsilon, seen here.

Fraternities and Sororities are named in Greek letters, such as Alpha Phi Epsilon, seen here.

Greek life is a large part of the social scene at many colleges. Fraternities and sororities get together weekly to do different things together such as intramural sports, social events, and service projects. Greek life isn’t for everyone, though, as many people choose to take a different social route in college. As a matter of fact, most people in college aren’t a part of greek life. So, this begs the question, is joining a fraternity worth it?

The simple answer is: it depends. There are positives and negatives to fraternities and it depends on what type of person you are.

I think the website Total Frat Move does a good job at elucidating the negatives, the most apparent one being misogyny. As soon as I opened the website an article titled “TFM Babe of the Day: Allie from Texas Tech University” glared at me. I clicked on the article and it was simply pictures of this random girl in a bikini with sexually provocative comments below such as “I’d wreck her”. Sure, this isn’t what fraternities are all about, but the misogynistic message that fraternities have sent is obvious. The sexual assault statistics on campus, and for fraternities specifically, reflect this.

There are many other social issues perpetrated in fraternities such as racism, and other problems such as hazing. There are also other less obvious negatives such as loss of individuality. However, many people find these negatives to be menial. Many people also may realize the negatives but think that the positives outweigh them.

One of these positives is the social aspect that fraternities provide. Fraternities and sororities plan different activities weekly, like dances, parties, and intramural sports. It’s a great way to meet new people and establish a group of friends which is something valuable to college freshman. These friendships often times lead to lifelong friendships.

“Of course I’ll join a fraternity,” said Jacob Pines, senior, when asked about his plans for greek life. “You meet guys pretty easily in a frat, and they, often times, will become your brothers for life.”

As can see, social life is a huge upside to consider when deciding to join a frat or not. Meeting friends is also one of the qualms of many incoming freshman, so joining a fraternity can remediate that. Some other positives of fraternities are charity work, academic opportunities and standards, and the alumni network fraternities provide.

For many, the question of whether to join a fraternity or not is far from a quick yes or no answer. It’s an analysis of your values, who you are, and your hopes for college. This analysis will ultimately decide whether you join a frat or not because it really just depends on who you are. If you love the social scene and other opportunities fraternities provide, join one. If you are turned off by the negatives, don’t. But ultimately, both routes can end up being great ones.