Benefits Of Greek Life In College Essays Examples
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When you think of fraternities as a student what do think of? The average college student knows about fraternities and sororities. They know about the parties, the drinking, and the loose lives they often see in movies and on campus. However, there are also many benefits to fraternity, or “Greek” life which are important for some people in college. A number of people often associate such groups with negative stereotypes and oversimplified generalizations. Contrary to that, in reality, such platform can prove to be extremely beneficial for the students.
While negative stereotypes are known to students, members of Greek organizations discover that they are not necessarily true. They are great platforms of motivation, learning, socialization and networking. “Drinking, womanizing, hazing, having poor academics, paying for friends, being arrogant and not performing community service” (Tollini & Wilson) was identified as the image that fraternities commonly have. However, Greek students do not feel that these stereotypes are true for their own group, but they do admit that many of them are true for other groups. But in general most stereotypes are exaggerated. Groups who meet some of these standards were also described by Greek students as being likely to meet the rest.
Four stereotypes are considered to be the most damaging to the reputation of Greek life. They include hazing, arrogance, drinking, and womanizing. Drinking and womanizing stereotypes may attract bad elements to join certain Greek organizations too but all of them can be taken as interrelated and not typical of Greek life according to members of Greek organizations (Tollini & Wilson). There are a few where such activities take place but these are not the norms of every frat.
Studies have shown, however, that many people benefit from fraternities and for diverse reasons. One of these is minorities. Many fraternities and sororities are specifically for certain groups for example African Americans. Many African Americans feel uncomfortable on campuses that are predominately White. They may think that they are neglected by professors, especially where there are not many African American faculty members or staff. It is also possible that a student may be the only African American in his class. A fraternity or sorority organized specifically for a population like this has many advantages (Harper).Many international students who have problem making American friends could avail the opportunity by joining the fraternities. Culture is one of the problems which international students commonly face when they arrive to the US. Fraternities help in solving these problems by introducing the students to each other and enabling them to overcome their complexes. All members of the fraternity share the ideas, communicate, interact and hence spend a quality college life.
Fraternities can offer a place for minority students to become leaders and practice skills that they may not be able to do in the classroom. Becoming a student leader may be difficult for a minority who feels that there are no role models or positive leadership examples in the faculty to follow. In a fraternity or sorority where everyone has these same experiences, the other students offer a place to discuss struggles which they all equally share and it gives them a form of a support group. It also is a place to practice leadership skills, learn and experience things which a student can’t otherwise. These are important if they feel that teachers do not expect them to perform well in school or if they are disengaged from the rest of the classroom (Harper).Most of the students want to participate and get involved in all events on campus and share every event with fellow students. Being in the fraternities could help you to share all of the events that you would like to go to with the friends that you had because of this group.
For minority groups, fraternities and sororities can also offer a voice for their community. An African-American sorority for example could be useful for the students and the university to share and learn about the needs of African American female students. Rather than have only individuals to ask for their opinions, a Greek organization can offer students a stronger voice and a place for important issues to be discussed so that students do not feel neglected (Harper).Minorities are not the only people who can benefit from improved leadership skills. Many colleges are not focused on the humanities and social sciences, but instead they focus on the practical sciences, like agriculture. The faculty at these colleges may not have the skills to teach communication, interpersonal skills, or leadership. Therefore, student organizations are a place where these skills can be reinforced. Two-thirds of students report learning these skills in college, and ninety percent of those students learned them from extracurricular activities. This could include sports or other activities, but Greek organizations have shown to lead to the highest levels of administrative ability and community involvement in agricultural schools. They are also the second-highest factor for achievement and overall leadership. It is because these skills are not traditionally a part of the curriculum of an agricultural school, but they are expected by professors. The Greek life offers students a benefit they would not otherwise have (Birkenbolz & Schumacher).
It is true that some fraternities could be a bad influence for the students but it is not right that the members of frats have no future. It is the individual will of a person which drives him to go for right or wrong and filters a path for him. Students have to be really responsible when they join these groups because some of the commitments need time and true passion. This might distract them from their academics but even this is in the control of the student. If he compartmentalizes his time and keep a balance between his school and social life, negative consequences can be avoided.
The nature of frats also depends on the type of school in which it is operational. If the minorities or students with special needs and ambitions are not given due attention by the fellows or teachers, they would definitely look up for such a support. A number of schools are doing exceptionally well with frats and sororities and they definitely are not the poison for the community as perceived. They are often misjudged when regarded as the promoters of anti-inclusiveness.
The base of this organization is the concept of brotherhood and camaraderie. The members bond to each other on the basis of their common social, academic, religious or even ethnic interest. It provides a platform to the students who often find challenging to voice their concerns. These networks and friendships extend beyond the life of a campus and support in professional careers. 99% students of University of Texas-Pan American are the members of different frats, 84% in Welch College and 82% in Washington and Lee University . All of these institutions are doing exceptionally good in America.
It is on the personal ability of the student that how much he is capable of learning positive things from such groups. If a student has no self-control, he will start drinking and get involved in hazing anyway. Fraternities acquaint its members with a sense of direction and purpose. It is often by witnessing the fellow members or seniors that the student set their aims. The examples around them motivate them to do something extraordinary in their life and set an example for others. Every active social circle has good and bad members therefore such a trend is not just limited to the fraternities.
Parents and teachers should teach the students about the useful aspects of these groups and how they could benefit from them. It is the moral and social responsible of parents to keep a check on the activities of their child instead of blaming it on the peers or the organization he or she has joined.
Conclusion Every group has negative and positive attributes and it is completely wrong to generalize the perception about them based on some negative activities done by a few. When the students graduate, they may find it difficult to stumble upon better employment opportunities. Those who belong to fraternities and sororities often use their contact to find respectable jobs with good salaries. Peer networking ability and employment are linked, and those who are involved in a Greek organization are 41% more likely to have a prestigious job than those who are not. This is very important especially when the economy makes finding a job difficult and employment rates are low. Greek alumni can also offer advice, expand networking potential and help guide students before graduation. This mentorship and networking benefit cannot be overlooked (Marmaros).
Fraternities are a unique part of college experience and a source of lifelong bonds. They have special traditions which extend long after the members graduate. It is observed that the Geek average GPA is higher than non-Greek because they help the students grow academically. A part from the negative stereotypes associated with their reputation, they can a great source of mobilizing the students for philosophies. They have a powerful potential of raising money for charities. The universities would be much worse off if such organizations would be banned just because a few could not hold to their standards. It is not ethically right to generalize the allegations of misconduct by a few. The abusers and the crimes must be focused instead of the organizations they belong to.
It is true that binge drinking and sexual assaults are becoming common problems on college campuses but fraternities are not responsible for such activities. They could be just easier blame. Fraternity and sororities are the social and academic organizations which assist the students in exploring their potentials and do well in life. They focus on the scholastic, extracurricular and professional activities for producing responsible citizens. These organizations are much united than the common people residing in a society. A part from the academics, they teach the norms of love, care, help, consideration and corporation.
Therefore, despite the perception of Greek organizations as rowdy party groups with loose morals, they can help many students succeed. Minorities and those who are not studying the humanities or social sciences may have their only opportunity to develop leadership skills through Greek organizations. They also help in finding job opportunities and networking with the professionals. In short, Greek life has many benefits other organizations do not have, and can play an important role in developing a secure future for the student.
Birkenholz, R.J. and L.G. Schumacher. "Leadership Skills of College of Agriculture Graduates." Journal of Agriculture Education (1994): 1-8.
Harper, S.R. "The Effects of Sorority and Fraternity Membership on Class Participation and African American Student Engagement in Predominantly White Classroom Enviornment ." College Student Affairs Journal (2008): 94-115.
Marmaros, D. and B. Sacerdote. "Peer and Social Networks in Job Search." European Economy Review (2002): 870-879.
Tollini, C. and B. Wilson. "Fraternity Members' Views of Negative Stereotypes." Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (2010): 34-44.
"U.S. News & World Report." n.d. Most Students in Fraternities. 31 March 2015 <http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/most-frats>.
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