When I interviewed for my fraternity while rushing, I was asked a forthright question during the interview: if you saw an older fraternity brother attempting to take advantage of another intoxicated guest, what would you do? I believe that my answer is embodied within me, my fraternity, and every civil college student who correctly represents the pillars of Greek life: you stop that interaction right away, no matter the event nor the brother’s social status because in no way is he a good representative of his fellow brothers nor human civility. Greek life is at its best when fellow members hold each other accountable and to the highest standards–it builds character, lasting friendships, and enhances the college experience for the students of its respective campus.
The controversies associated with Greek life have also been present at GWU. Some GWU sororities have had numerous documented cases of racism, while multiple fraternities have had sexual assault allegations. These distasteful and horrid events aren’t a result of their chapter’s teachings or culture, but rather their upbringing. We members recognize the problems in our system and we are working to fix them, but it’s important to distinguish between individual failings and Greek life as a whole. Abolishing Greek life will fail to address the root issues behind their controversies, and instead, unnecessarily eliminate the aforementioned benefits.
During my time as part of Greek life, I made some of the best friendships that I will carry with me as I progress in my life. I have studied and worked with my brothers and we push each other to do better in whatever we were doing. Our camaraderie serves as an anchor for me in my academic and professional pursuits. I would want others to be able to have the same experience I have had. Brotherhood and sisterhood, at its best form, only pushes each of us to be the best versions of ourselves, and also aids in the transition from home and family life to independence and adulthood. Greek life gave me a second family, one which has looked out for me and is there for me if ever needed. Knowing that someone who cares for me and will be there even in my most unintelligible moments is what it means to be a family.
These have been my experiences in Greek life. I have felt myself mature and have seen others, not only at my school, but around the country whom I know, become well-rounded individuals. Greek life prepares you to take the challenges of life head-on and gives you a base community to support you through it all.