Greek Life offers community more than parties

Many students and faculty at the University tend to view fraternities and sororities in a negative light, claiming Greeks are preoccupied with drinking, partying and hazing. With such reality television programs as MTV’s “Sorority Life,” this pessimistic perspective appears to be valid. It’s no secret that Greek organizations are oftentimes socially based, whereas the members join for the mere companionship of their peers, confirming the myth that members “pay for friends.” However, what these television shows and negative stereotypes fail to illustrate is the spirited, service-oriented aspects of fraternity and sorority life.

In fact, when you erase the alleged detrimental rituals of the underground fraternities, Villanova’s Greek system is a prime example of this latter perspective, combining fundraising, community involvement and philanthropy with fun and leadership opportunities.

In our haste to label the Greek system as destructive and pointless, we neglect to recognize the truly remarkable services Greek Life gives our community, and we overlook the obvious benefits of the institution. Take Greekend, for instance. Despite the fact that this weekend allows the perfect opportunity for each chapter to recruit potential new members, the scheduled events attempt to unite the entire Villanova community as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. All 1,500 members of the Greek system are encouraged to support the Wildcats at the football game on Saturday, and on Sunday, students are invited to witness a campus fraternity in friendly competition with Lower Merion police in a softball game.

In addition, each Greek organization strives to familiarize Villanova students with its own respective charity. From Domestic Violence Awareness to Breast Cancer Awareness, each national chapter donates time, money and valuable service to its philanthropy. Campus-wide fundraisers and events acquaint us with these charities, thus opening our minds, hearts and wallets to benefit the less fortunate.

Greeks also continue to prove that partying holds little importance in the long run. Many top positions in the University’s student-run organizations are, in fact, owned by fraternity and sorority members, verifying the fact that Greek organizations perfect leadership skills and introduce important values.

Fraternities and sororities by no means create saints, they merely allow students the opportunity to become more involved in their communities, be it through fundraisers, recruitment events or leadership activities.