college

Greek life offers on campus family

Jessica Shrinsky
advertising manager 

Amanda Copenhaver, Kaila Shrinsky, and Bianca Dominguez attended UF “Swamp” football game back in September. They are members of the Delta Zeta sorority. Photo courtesy of Kaila Shrinsky

“Delta Delta Gamma, I’m so glad that I am a Delta Delta Gamma!” This sorority’s chant, along with  countless others, ring across college campuses as the year goes on. Incoming freshmen line up for their chance to join their favorite fraternity or sorority.

Let’s be honest, when hearing the mention of a fraternity or sorority, the first thing that pops into one’s mind is always the same: partying, and lots of it. However, this isn’t true. Surprisingly enough, the word “family” plays more of a role in the Greek life.

“I love my big brother, he’s the opposite of me,” said Matt Rogers, sophomore member of Theta Xi at Louisana State University. “Being the oldest in my family, it’s kind of nice to have someone looking out for you.”

The “Big-Little” process consists of a new pledge being taken in by an existing pledge who becomes his or her “big,” and the pledge receives the title of “little.” The big’s big becomes the pledge’s grand-big, the big’s big’s big becomes the pledge’s great grand-big, and so on. If a big has two littles, they are “twins.” That being said, the family factor in the Greek life is very apparent.

“We’re literally like a family,” said Melissa Walpole, freshman at UF and member of the sorority Tri-Delta. “Some people just use “bigs” and “littles” as a title, but my littles and I use it literally as family terms. We try to go out once a month and hang out whenever we can. We’re really close.”

The bad reputation of partying that fraternities and sororities have is mostly derived from the (now illegal) act of hazing, which involved a  series of unthinkable tasks that a new pledge was to complete in order to become an official member of the sorority or fraternity.

“There isn’t any need for hazing. Most campuses, ours included, are pretty strict on hazing,” said Rogers. “You don’t need to beat someone up or make them eat something disgusting to be able to call them your brother. That being said, going through pledgeship and doing remedial tasks is part of every fraternity’s tradition.”

These tasks are not nearly as harsh as hazing would be. Pledging rituals include things like cleaning the sorority and fraternity house, or driving places and being a “short-term chauffeur,” as Tate Wheeler, sophomore and Beta member at UF, would call it. “It’s all worth it in the end, though,” said Wheeler.

A Greek life experience is something that a student will hold on to for the rest of his or her life.

Chants and songs are things that will never be forgotten, but carried on for generations.

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