Fall semester is almost upon us and with that comes fraternity recruitment! This fall, thousands of young men across the US will decide to rush and consider going Greek. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to join Greek life. Some are looking for a way to get involved on campus, some want to meet new people, and some join because they have a friend that went Greek. Regardless of their motive for wanting to rush, one question always comes up during the recruitment process, “Why should I join?” This is a great question, and the answer varies for every person. While the list of benefits is seemingly endless, I find they can be summed up in four core principles: leadership, scholarship, service, and friendship.
Greek life is a gold mine for leadership opportunities and leadership development. There are dozens of opportunities in every chapter for a member to serve in a leadership position. Options range from the executive board, standards team, chair positions, or even a committee member. These opportunities give members first-hand experience leading others and learning what it means to be a leader.
Also, leadership development within Greek life is second to no student organization. On any given campus, if you turn to their student government or prominent student organization, you’ll see Greek after Greek serving as President or in some leadership capacity. This is no surprise because the second a member joins Greek life their leadership skills are being developed through chapter member development or leadership conferences.
On a final note, when it comes time to start your career, you’ll already have a leg up on your peers as your resume will be filled with leadership positions and experiences offered through your fraternity!
You’re at college to get an education after all, right? Scholarship is one of the most visible benefits of Greek life and one that is overlooked by potential new members. Many are surprised when I tell them how much higher our chapter’s GPA is than the campus average. In fact, on a national level, SigEp’s average GPA is 3.2 and the average college GPA according to PrepScholar is a 3.15! This is by design as all chapters have a GPA requirement for incoming members and for retaining membership. Another benefit is the resources that fraternities can provide members, whether it is weekly study sessions with brothers, older members tutoring new members, or the accountability of a study plan. The plethora of resources and the accountability system that a fraternity creates makes an environment where it is easy for a brother to make academics one of their highest priorities.
Another benefit of Greek life often overlooked is service. I work in my university’s Career Services office, and the theme we see from employers is a strong desire for students that not only went to class but were involved on campus. This is another great chance to “wow” employers with your involvement. Beyond employment, service and philanthropy can provide some of the most rewarding memories from your Greek life experience. These philanthropies and volunteering opportunities give you a chance to learn more skills such as fundraising, public speaking, event planning, and many more! At the end of the day, when your chapter hands over a check for several thousand dollars to your philanthropy or drives back from a volunteer event, you’ll be beaming with pride for your chapter. I guarantee it!
I have intentionally saved this one for last because it is quite possibly the most impactful of all. Many people considering Greek life are confused by the concept of brotherhood and confuse it with friendship. Fraternity life is so much more than just a bunch of friends. Don’t get me wrong, Greek life will introduce you to some of your best friends. However, while friends may be fickle, brotherhood lasts a lifetime. Brothers will be there for your best times during college but also your worst days when you need support. When you have nowhere else to turn, there will always be a brother to lean on. I have heard countless brothers attest that they would not have graduated college without their brothers’ support, and I can believe it. That is no exaggeration either as I have firsthand experience seeing brothers support brothers during their darkest days. There is a cliché recruitment line involving brotherhood that “these will be the best men at your wedding, the godfather to your children, and the pallbearers at your funeral.” I know you likely think it is farfetched because I did as well as a freshman. However, just a month ago, I had the honor of standing alongside my best friend and fraternity brother at his wedding, and I have seen rows of SigEps supporting a brother at a family member’s funeral. Simply put, brotherhood is the “secret ingredient” that makes fraternity members so successful because it creates an environment in which it is easy to do right and hard to do wrong.
At the end of the day, everyone will have different benefits from their Greek experience and chapters will pitch everything from cool events to helping you land a job, making it difficult to see a clear benefit of joining.
Here’s the bottom line: Greek life not only gives you a better college experience, but it also makes you a better person.
No other organization on college campuses focuses on member development as much as Greek life, and it is why chapters have such a lasting impact on their members. An organization with shared core values and development programs will result in unprecedented personal and professional growth. By the end of your undergraduate career, you’ll be proud of the person you’ve become as you walk across the stage at graduation.
If you or someone you know on UNI’s campus is interested in learning more about SigEp or Greek Life at UNI, fill out our Membership Interest form here.
Meet the Author
Caleb Gipple ’21
Public Administration & Political Science Major
IFC President, Alumni Relations Chairman, & Standards Board Guard