Greek life is commonly displayed in the media as key part of the college experience. Greek life consists of sororities and fraternities, which are Greek chapters formed by women and men on college campuses. It varies from campus to campus. Most colleges have “social” Greek life, according to the Campus Explorer.
“Sorority and fraternity life is designed primarily to help meet friends and develop future professional contacts,” the site said.
Despite its intention, Psychology Today claims that sororities and fraternities can diminish students confidence due to the idea that Greek life is too much social validation.
On the other hand, a former education and parenting reporter, Jackie Burrell, claims that having a Greek system has the benefits of networking, bonding over a philanthropy, improving social skills and confidence and just having fun. This seems to be the side students are on.
Freshman psychology major Megan Gebhart acknowledges that having Greek life can be a pricey thing, but thinks it’s worth it to have because of the bonds that can come out of it.
“I do think it’s pricey, but I think it’s a good way to meet people and just have a little family so it’s easier to get around and have people you can rely on,” Gebhart said.
Gebhart also mentions that despite her opinion, she doesn’t believe everyone would agree with her.
“I think some people would find it beneficial,” she said. “But some people would find it seclusive and irrelevant, but it just depends on the person.”
According to Dean of Students Stephen Rupprecht, this is one of the reasons Cabrini does not have sororities and fraternities.
“We need the university as a whole to support the idea,” Rupprecht said. “But, just because it wouldn’t be possible today, doesn’t mean it won’t be possible tomorrow.”
Rupprecht believes that the Greek system was founded for all the right reasons, but too often, students live up to the reputation.
“The original concept was great and mission driven,” he said. “But students who become members, their behavior tends to go astray. These groups have become a distraction and a liability. This doesn’t mean we’ve never tried here at Cabrini, we did, but the men’s group lived up to the reputation and the women never really took off.”
According to Inside Higher Ed, “incidents of sexual assault and high-risk drinking are practically prevalent among fraternity and sorority members than other students on campus.” This is the reputation Rupprecht was referring to.
He found that students were abusing alcohol, partying, not treating women respectfully, hazing and not performing well academically.
“You don’t want something like Greek life to be a risk. It should feel fantastic, but with what goes on, it’s hard to feel that way,” Rupprecht said.
He notes that some of these behaviors are based upon the culture of where you are, and that a university should “only accept what they expect” and thinks that when universities expect less, that’s when problems arise.
Business Insider mentions that students who join Greek life have higher GPAs and their income is 36 percent higher than those who don’t participate.
Dean Rupprecht believes that if Cabrini were to implement sororities and fraternities on campus, they need to be held to an academic standard because it would be a “disservice” if they were not.
He acknowledged the pros of Greek life, such as networking, bringing people together from all cultures and working with a philanthropy, but it still is a hard decision to make.
“It’s a challenge because the positives can’t just outweigh the negatives. It can’t be 51-49. That’s too big. The risk has to be minimal,” Rupprecht said.
However, Rupprecht believes that Greek life can bring opportunities to people and that it could fit into a place like Cabrini because that’s what Mother Cabrini did, she provided opportunity for people.
On campus, there is a multicultural sorority, known as Delta Xi Phi, which promotes diversity and awareness.
Even with having this sorority, it’s not like typical “social” Greek life. There is no staying in a house and there aren’t multiple groups to choose from.
For senior early education major Shannon Quinn, she wished to have the common Greek system option when she started at Cabrini.
“When I transferred to Cabrini, I was honestly upset there wasn’t one. I wanted that option and to see what Greek life would have been,” Quinn said. “Students are leaving home for that college experience and if some students aren’t a part of a team or club, they should have the chance to join a sorority/fraternity.”
She continued on to explain how her boyfriend was in a fraternity at Kutztown and he loved his experience, having the best stories and friends that he’ll have for the rest of his life.
Despite noticing that people look at Greek life as all parties, Quinn looks on the plus side of having it on campus.
“When people think of Greek life they think of partying but it is so much more than that. They can do great things for the community and for the school,” she said. “Once you’re in a sorority/fraternity you’re in it for life. It would look great on a job application because of all the responsibilities you take on once you join one. It’s a great commitment that jobs may look for.”
Junior accounting major Mark Sowinski agrees with Quinn that Cabrini should implement it on campus for the social factor.
“I think we should have it on campus because it’d be a good way for smaller colleges to have more social life within the community,” he said.
He is on the plus side of having Greek life and thinks that even though it can be pricey, sometimes running up to $1000 a semester, according to The Quad, it’s well worth it.
“I think it could be a bit pricey but I think the price you pay could do a lot of good with your resume since sororities and fraternities do a lot of charity work and fundraisers,” Sowinski said.
Dean Rupprecht explained that the President’s cabinet of Cabrini is aware of student interests and they are watching and paying attention to figure out what’s best.
“By the end of the school year, we should have an idea. We aren’t going to rush anything, but we are not going to drag our heels,” he said.