13 reasons why Greek life is the worst

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Michael Drummond/File

At some point in our lives we’ve all toyed with the idea of being a part of a sorority or fraternity. After all, everyone says that Greek life is exceedingly fun and provides a ton of networking opportunities (not to mention lifelong friends). And yet even when considering its upsides, we have to admit that there are times when sororities, frats and their members are the absolute worst. Below are some reasons why:

Reason 1

Hazing is a pretty immature way of testing someone’s dedication to a group. There’s so many stories out there of straight up gross and uncivilized hazing rituals — all you have to do is go on reddit and you’ll see.

Reason 2

Some sorority girls gossip a ridiculous amount. Some of it’s pretty funny, but most of it’s just irrelevant (and sometimes demeaning) chatter.

Reason 3

There are a lot of rules. Following a lot of rules isn’t fun.

Reason 4

There’s not enough alone time. Being with other people 25/7 gets a little tough, especially for more introverted folks.

Reason 5

Sororities and fraternities are often not as diverse as they claim. We’re not necessarily talking about race or religion here (though we very well could be). Rather, it’s the lack of divergent opinions or interests. Groups tend to attract individuals similar to their existing members, creating an echochamber of like opinions. Unpopular opinions and interests get pushed to the wayside, inhibiting the full development of one’s likes and interests.

Reason 6

Douchey frat boys. You knew this was going to be on here.

Reason 7

There’s a certain culture of exclusivity Greek life embodies. Whenever an organization allows its members to select and reject pledges, it allows uncertain students to seek the elevated status that being a member of Greek life provides. College is a time for self-discovery and acceptance of a new social reality which is radically different from that of high school with its rigid social hierarchies. Attempting to recreate those hierarchies in college seems like an ill-fated attempt to seem “cool” and gives both Greek and non-Greek students a false sense of self-worth based on their insider or outsider status.

Reason 8

It’s a large time commitment, with all of those mandatory meetings and socials.

Reason 9

The houses can be gross. This one doesn’t need much more explanation.

Reason 10

Greek life has the effect of shifting one’s focus away from academics. Sororities and fraternities take up a lot of one’s time, time that could be spent on getting that 4.0.

Reason 11

They stymie one’s development into an independent individual. The groupthink common in frats or sororities often results in passivity, since the common opinion of the group overrides your own. How are you to then develop your own voice, a divergent opinion?

Reason 12

It’s expensive. Thus, it excludes poor college students who can’t afford it. This not only has the effect of decreasing diversity, but also perpetuates a non-inclusive dynamic.

Reason 13

Greek life is based on superficiality. The bonds of brotherhood or sisterhood are forged superficially because a pledge is evaluated in a limited time frame based on their social acuity and/or physical appearance. This lays a foundation of a fragile connection based on acceptable personality traits or level of physical attractiveness, and does not lay the foundation for the  profound, deeply impactful social bonds that members of Greek life boast on their Facebook posts.
Greek life certainly has a dark side along with some of its upsides. As a disclaimer, not everything written in this article is true across the board. When we criticize using generalities, we cannot get specific enough to truly depict the problems of something and the nature of those problems. So in any case, peace, love, Clog! 

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].

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  • I find the handwringing over greek hazing pretty amusing, given that the painful tribal initiation rituals of tattooing and piercing seem to be ubiquitous Berkeley fashion statements these days.

  • MidwestNorsk

    If you think Panhellenic life is bad…..try moving to socialist Greece.

  • Ed Bustamante

    As a fraternity member for life, this is one of the worst, most biased articles I have read on any subject.
    This douchey, superficial Hispanic, made lifelong friends, both men and women of diverse backgrounds.
    My fraternity, and the community surrounding it, (Greeks) made life much more bearable, (get it, BEAR-able),
    at a huge school that tends to be, very unsupportive of undergrads.
    Do some research, check you alternative facts. Don’t go into journalism, as a career.

  • Kate McMahon

    Dawg, I was a member and graduated with highest honors from the business school with membership to five honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa. My membership gave me leadership opportunities and a support system I wouldn’t have had otherwise as well as scholarship money that kept my debt lower coming out of school. It isn’t all rich b*tches or dunces. Check yourself.

  • TOm Ogasawara

    If you’re going to write something like this, at least include a companion article listing all the positive aspects of greek life. This reads like a third grade essay you wrote about Legally Blonde. I don’t think the greek system is without it’s faults, but this is neither fair nor constructive.

  • Orion Jones

    Sounds like somebody didn’t get into their sorority of choice.

  • Steve Krandel

    Worst column EVER! I was not in the Greek system, but I know many people who were/are. Sure, some of the things you say could be true, but there is so much you didn’t say. Most people who were in sororities or fraternities make lifelong friends there. It is great for creating contacts for the future.

    It’s certainly not for everybody. But, nothing is. For the people who want the camaraderie, it’s a great life.

    Your blog simply states your opinion on greek life without any facts whatosever. The opinion you express is one that is usually held by someone who wanted to be in a particular house who didn’t get in.

    Shame on you Daily Cal for approving this article.

    • Debra Jean

      Thanks!! Steve Krandel My Son Is A Brother Of Kappa Alpha Psi.He Had His Probate Two Weeks Ago At FAU.I’m Proud Of Him..Its One Of His Accomplishments.He’s Enjoying Being A Kappa. This Article Scared Me 😔 I Want Allow It To Damper Something Good And Productive..My Child Always Made Great Choices.An I Know This Was One Of His Goals Since His Freshmen Year In High School..His A Junior In College.About To Become A Senior..