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View Poll Results: What do you think of the Greek system on college campuses
They are fine and should be allowed on all campuses 22 35.48%
They should be determined on a campus by campus basis for conformance to their values 25 40.32%
They are ok for all campuses except religious ones 2 3.23%
They should not be allowed on most campuses 11 17.74%
Other - explain 2 3.23%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Middle America
18,207 posts, read 15,681,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I attended a Catholic university in the Midwest, and our Greek organizations were a mixed bag and were not all that influential on campus. One or two were nationally affiliated; the rest were local and some included both sexes. Most of them were pretty inclusive -- pretty much anyone would be asked to pledge if they wanted to become involved, and many of their social and service activities were open to anyone who wanted to come. About 25 percent of the student body pledged. Most of the people I knew pledged because they enjoyed the social and service aspects of the group. Each group had its own house and some of the members lived there; they were small houses, so most did not.
Same experience, roughly, except that they didn't have their own houses, just the groups of people living together that became de facto "houses," but nothing official. We also had a couple of coed orgs (though they were called "coed fraternities," (why not coed sororities?)). Also fairly noninfluential...I would personally not have chosen a school where there was a highly influential Greek system, because I wasn't especially interested. As a junior, I did rush one of the coed orgs that held more of a service learning slant, but it didn't interest me enough to stay active more than a semester.

Where I was, it wasn't about any one certain "type" as being the frat type or sorority type...but each individual organization did seem to attract people with individual interests. One frat was chiefly music majors (though not a national musicians' fraternity), one was a lot of the poli sci and business guys. One was pretty much just the football team. Of the sororities, there was one for the classic girly girls, one that was a lot of the more rough and tumble athletic girls (mostly women's rugby team, tough girls), one that was a lot of el ed majors, etc.

Also, because it was a fairly academically selective private college, we didn't really have the problem of Greek participants maintaining low grades...you had to perform in order to stay enrolled...slackers of any extracurricular bent didn't last long, so even the most dedicated Greek types maintained high GPAs.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:53 AM
 
Location: M.D. Pa.
6,353 posts, read 4,534,460 times
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I'm not a fan of the whole concept. Even in the best-run Greek chapters, you're essentially paying for your friends, and along with that comes the not-so-implicit expectation to conform to a rigid set of social expectations. But to be absolutely fair, that's par for the course at most any tight-knit social/fraternal organization.

When it comes down to it, I see no issue with universities having Greek life on campus, provided the hazing/illicit activities are kept to a minimum. I do find it problematic, however, when Greek life "takes over" schools, making it hard for people to effectively socialize outside the system, as is the case at Vanderbit. I think schools like Penn strike the best balance. It's big enough to have a presence (~25%) but not so big that campus social activities overwhelmingly revolve around it. Furthermore, most of the Greek people I met there are very nice/inclusive. There isn't much of an "us v. them" mentality.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
You seem to have a recurring theme (stereotype?) here - you had previously commented on my pretty divorced friend being in a Big 10 sorority w/a marketing major. FTR, I was also in a Big 10 sorority and my SO was in a Big 10 fraternity. Plenty of our members went on to prestigious MBA/law programs (including my SO who was a top engineering and MBA student), so I do think there is plenty of "brain trust" in the Greek system. Most of the houses at our school were highly selective on GPA (I believe a 3.2 GPA must be maintained - can't remember exactly) so academics were stressed.

I guess my SO and I are the backslapping airport sales schmoozers to whom you refer. I'm ok with that as it is an essential part of business success as is the client networks you create. And the Greek system can be a great training ground for schmoozing and networking. The schmoozers you seem to dislike are often the ones hiring the "brain trust" in the back office anyway. That's often how things work in the world, like it or not. I have had plenty of top (non-"Greek") Ivy league grads come to me (an avg. Big 10 "Greek" grad) looking for a job. Brain trust education is often overrated, while schmoozing and networking abilities are often underrated.
I was preparing to go on vacation so I didn't get around to this. As for your Big 10 sorority friend that no one was good enough for, you yourself painted a not-so-favorable picture of her. What if a social studies HS teacher who had everything she wanted (right age, personality, looks) but made about 60K came her way? Then what? Pass? Of course. She sounds like a pill.

In the professions, your argument doesn't hold water. A doctor, lawyer, PE or CPA won't be applying to you in most cases and will be judged by his/her professional peers. Correct, I probably wouldn't like either you or your SO. However, there are sales engineers - those who are not glib and superficial and sell based on informing because their technical skills mandate that they do the selling (the chemical engineer needs to "sell" the plant you want to design, not the pretty boy "Greek" type with the 3.1 who needs to be in financial services doing the back-slapping thing). Most of the low GPA undergrads (to me, 3.2 is low) who did well in financial services type jobs did so because of glib personalities and appearance, and were hired by similarly shallow people.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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I have mixed feelings on this - though I was a Greek at a larger university. It WAS a great way to meet people as a new freshman - kind of overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

Definitely a lifesaver there. And there were the group study sessions and we were expected to maintain a certain GPA. I can't remember what.

Mainly the organization (fraternities and sororoities) liked to PARTY! Yes, we had our community service, etc but really it was all about the party. I grew tired of all the rules and regulations and conformity, etc and ended up leaving my sophomore year. Probably should never have lived in the sorority house either - just too many people around for my liking.

All in all, I don't regret my experience, we had a lot of fun. I'm not sure I would encourage my son to join. I'm not sure what purpose they would serve at the very tiny liberal arts colleges.

It's a mixed bag.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Middle America
18,207 posts, read 15,681,034 times
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Here was what was noteworthy at my alma mater, described already on this thread as a small liberal arts college where local versions of greek-type organizations were present, but not a major focal point for most...

...EVERYONE LIKED TO PARTY. It was/is a rigorous school, but people really liked to cut loose...work hard/play hard type motto. This was something that essentially everyone did (or at least had available to them even if they did not always partake) regardless of affiliation in Greek org or not. No one social group, club, or organization had the monopoly on it, it was pretty equal opportunity. When I heard people who went places where this was not the case talk about it, it was so strange to me...almost like if you wanted to party, you HAD to join a Greek org. Not so, at my school. If you wanted to party, there was no shortage of places to do it or people to do it with, and most of it had nothing to do with frats or sororities.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:18 AM
 
14,755 posts, read 15,367,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo1 View Post
I have mixed feelings on this - though I was a Greek at a larger university. It WAS a great way to meet people as a new freshman - kind of overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

Definitely a lifesaver there. And there were the group study sessions and we were expected to maintain a certain GPA. I can't remember what.

Mainly the organization (fraternities and sororoities) liked to PARTY! Yes, we had our community service, etc but really it was all about the party. I grew tired of all the rules and regulations and conformity, etc and ended up leaving my sophomore year. Probably should never have lived in the sorority house either - just too many people around for my liking.

All in all, I don't regret my experience, we had a lot of fun. I'm not sure I would encourage my son to join. I'm not sure what purpose they would serve at the very tiny liberal arts colleges.

It's a mixed bag.
Nice post. You cover all the angles. They are a haven for conformists, that's for sure. Just because a person looks clean cut and conventional doesn't mean they're a conformist. (I've turned a few people off along the way because my outward appearance is one thing, and my "middle finger hoisted" personality don't "match," and people require that they read you as a package, which most of the time works anyway).

Correct. They serve no purpose at a tiny liberal arts college and they definitely serve no purpose on a religiously affiliated campus, where their very underpinnings are in direct opposition to what these Catholic/Christian colleges are trying to instill in students.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I was preparing to go on vacation so I didn't get around to this. As for your Big 10 sorority friend that no one was good enough for, you yourself painted a not-so-favorable picture of her. What if a social studies HS teacher who had everything she wanted (right age, personality, looks) but made about 60K came her way? Then what? Pass? Of course. She sounds like a pill.

In the professions, your argument doesn't hold water. A doctor, lawyer, PE or CPA won't be applying to you in most cases and will be judged by his/her professional peers. Correct, I probably wouldn't like either you or your SO. However, there are sales engineers - those who are not glib and superficial and sell based on informing because their technical skills mandate that they do the selling (the chemical engineer needs to "sell" the plant you want to design, not the pretty boy "Greek" type with the 3.1 who needs to be in financial services doing the back-slapping thing). Most of the low GPA undergrads (to me, 3.2 is low) who did well in financial services type jobs did so because of glib personalities and appearance, and were hired by similarly shallow people.

And I may not like you because you may have a propensity for stereotyping people and may have limited thinking on what it takes to be successful. Don't you think it is possible (often even necessary) to be gregarious/social/outgoing ("back-slapping" to you) as well as highly professional and technical? Not every engineer is an introvert with a pocket protector. Not every "pretty boy" is a complete idiot w/low GPA who should sell financial services. Don't you think your post sounds a bit... well... "glib and superficial?"

And we have hired plenty of CPA's and PE's for our engineering co. as they keep applying.... Ironic how we are both the highly technical sales engineers (yes, BEng's/MBA's) to which you refer, PLUS the "pretty boy Greek types" you seem to disdain. How is that even possible? We get business because of a combination of technical expertise and social acumen. Do not discount the importance of social skills and networking in the business world and the role the Greek system may have in fine-tuning these skills.

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 08-14-2012 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:52 PM
 
1,391 posts, read 2,548,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Nice post. You cover all the angles. They are a haven for conformists, that's for sure. Just because a person looks clean cut and conventional doesn't mean they're a conformist. (I've turned a few people off along the way because my outward appearance is one thing, and my "middle finger hoisted" personality don't "match," and people require that they read you as a package, which most of the time works anyway).

Correct. They serve no purpose at a tiny liberal arts college and they definitely serve no purpose on a religiously affiliated campus, where their very underpinnings are in direct opposition to what these Catholic/Christian colleges are trying to instill in students.
I kind of disagree. I went to a Catholic school, Georgetown, which has a very small greek system that I hardly knew anyone that joined. However, Georgetown was about as secular as you can get and my friends at Depaul, Boston College, Villanova, and Seton Hall all say the same. They have some priests in the administration, but the amount of academic freedom is great and I hardly noticed it was a Catholic school.

I also note that Notre Dame, Boston College and Georgetown are very elitist institutions. They are basically full of rich or upper middle class Catholic kids. Even if they don't join elitist fraternities, there are many other organizations that takes its place. Even the very nature of the places makes them elitist. For example, you typically will find lots of high level professional programs that lead to high salaries like business, engineering, law, medicine, dental schools, etc. But you don't see majors that have high benefits to society but low salaries like social work, education, agriculture, or nursing.

It is almost like a training school for the elite.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:12 PM
 
14,755 posts, read 15,367,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
And I may not like you because you may have a propensity for stereotyping people and may have limited thinking on what it takes to be successful. Don't you think it is possible (often even necessary) to be gregarious/social/outgoing ("back-slapping" to you) as well as highly professional and technical? Not every engineer is an introvert with a pocket protector. Not every "pretty boy" is a complete idiot w/low GPA who should sell financial services. Don't you think your post sounds a bit... well... "glib and superficial?"

And we have hired plenty of CPA's and PE's for our engineering co. as they keep applying.... Ironic how we are both the highly technical sales engineers (yes, BEng's/MBA's) to which you refer, PLUS the "pretty boy Greek types" you seem to disdain. How is that even possible? We get business because of a combination of technical expertise and social acumen. Do not discount the importance of social skills and networking in the business world and the role the Greek system may have in fine-tuning these skills.
Yeah, WE'VE hired CPAs and PEs. That's cool if they're talking to CPAs and PEs during the interview. They shouldn't be talking to you, being that you don't have the wherewithal to judge their relative merits.

Your post how NON-GREEKS from the Ivys apply to YOU, an apparently self-important Big 10 sorority girl, as in "oh, please, give me a job" was what I found off-putting.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:15 PM
 
14,755 posts, read 15,367,770 times
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Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
I went to a Catholic school, Georgetown, which has a very small greek system that I hardly knew College, Villanova, and Seton Hall all say the same.

I also note that Notre Dame, Boston College and Georgetown are very elitist institutions.
Ditto for the West Coast equivalents of these schools, though not as academically selective. Elitist and secular to the point that people should save their money and head for the good UC campuses or University of Washington, where one can get a well-rounded education in terms of academics and experience what a cross-section of the REAL world looks like.

Your point is taken.
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