Going Greek: questions, answers, myths and horror stories

First things first, let me say I really dislike the word “frat.”

I am part of a fraternity and a proud member of the fraternity and sorority community here at Jacksonville State University. There are some really great organizations that make up the Greek community at JSU. It is an incredible experience to be a part of a community that really seems to “get it.”

This being said, things have not always been perfect for any of JSU’s Greek organizations.

In light of recent events in Michigan, where members of six fraternities and sororities caused almost $75,000.00 in damages at a hotel resort, one may wonder if all fraternities and sororities do is drink, party, fight and distroy things.

Besides, if you are a member of a fraternity or sorority all we really joined for was to pay for our friends, right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just because some fraternities and sororities mess up and land in the national news doesn’t mean we’re all that way. In fact, the many great things we do never seem to make the front page or get mentioned in the media world.

To the outsider, it seems that the money paid just allows someone to have friends that all wear boots, Wranglers and Polo shirts. To the insider, I know that I have over 200,000 living members in just my fraternity that I can call on no matter where I am in the world and they will help me. They will help me if I had a flat tire, or will even help me if I need to find a job after graduation. In fact, I have had two brothers to recently graduate and are gainfully employed because of the connections they made while being an active member of Sigma Nu here at JSU.

Each of the following Greek organizations is part of the IFC (Interfraternity Council) here at Jacksonville State University, each with their own philanthropic initiatives. Each Greek organization here on campus stands for a prominent cause and does not only to better the community, but also the brother in the organization.

Delta Chi- “The V Foundation”

Kappa Alpha Order- “MDA”

Kappa Sigma- “A Greater Cause”

Pi Kappa Phi – “The Ability Experience” formerly known as “PUSH America”

Sigma Nu – “Helping Hands Initiative”

Sigma Phi Epsilon- “YouthAids,” and

“T.A.K.E. Defense”

Tau Delta Phi (Colony)- “Active Minds”

If research is done, one will find that being a member of a Greek organization is much deeper than just partying.

For the past two years that I have been an active member of my organization, the fraternities and sororities have been a part of a Greek unity clean-up day here in Jacksonville. This has made a huge impact on the community. The mayor, city council, members of the community and university leaders have all taken note that we can all come together to enrich the community and make sure that we are doing our part to leave it better than we found it. If you are interested in learning more about the Greek community here at JSU, you are able to visit http://www.jsu.edu/studentlife/greek/. Here one can find a lot of information about our Greek community and all of the organizations that make it what it is today.

It is my hope that whoever reads this realizes that being a member of a Greek organization enriches ones life so much. It is hard to fully grasp unless one is a member, but know that we really do try to live above the standard and set our members up for a much more successful life once leaving college. The connections made are invaluable and experiences will be made that last a lifetime. I would ask that if you truly want to know more about fraternity and sorority life, that you take time to speak with a member of the community or go to the Office of Student Life and speak with Kristen Smith, Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Kenneth Smith
Staff Writer

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