A Glimpse into the Multicultural Greek Life

Maikoau, MSC Student Life Intern 

When you hear the word “Greek” what comes to mind? Is it a beneficial extension of campus life or is it the worst path you could cross during your college career? I’ll bet that multiple stereotypes of Greek life pop into your head. Whether these stereotypes are positive or negative, they aren’t necessarily all true nor are they reliable. Here are a few common stereotypes that I’ve heard throughout my college career.

1. “Greeks haze.” Does hazing happen? Yes. Does every Greek organization haze? No. Although hazing is often seen as negative, there has been said to be positive effects of it as well. This website created by Cornell University gives the pros and cons of hazing. Because hazing is commonly associated with Greek life, it is important to know what comes out of hazing and why SOME Greek organizations continue to haze.

2. “Greek life is all about partying and drinking.” Greek life does not automatically label you as a party person. Nor does it define you as a binge drinker. There are members in Greek organizations that like to party and drink, but there are also those who would rather stay in and watch a movie. The number of parties I’ve gone to since becoming Greek is much smaller than you would imagine.

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Click the cups and read, “Drink Smart. Have Fun. Stay Safe.” on Threads.

Each organization understands that some of their members drink. No Greek organizations in the Multicultural Greek Council support or promote drinking but instead remain neutral. My sorority, for example, regulates how our sisters represent ourselves in association with alcohol. At all our events that involve alcohol, no sister is allowed to be intoxicated because we are all in charge of making sure our events run smoothly. This helps with keeping our sorority reputation as an organization that does not fall under this drinking stereotype.

3. “Greeks don’t care about academics.” This by all means is false. All Greek organizations have academic requirements that their members have to meet. Most, if not all, have a policy of at least a 2.5 GPA to be an active member. Therefore, Greeks who do not care about their academics do shape up and get back on track.

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Some MGC members working studiously on academic assignments.

4. “It is costly and takes up a lot of your time.” Greek life is costly but it doesn’t leave you empty handed. All that money comes back to you and the community. It goes towards philanthropies and provides your organization with the ability to carry out their events successfully. Greek life involves time commitment just like any other organization on campus. It is up to you how you prioritize your time.

5. “You get nothing out of Greek life.” Greek life can provide you with a home away from home–you have an everlasting support system in your brothers/sisters that not only motivate you but help you find yourself. Greek life contributes to your character and expands your social circle. You are able to develop your leadership through event planning and teamwork. This also corresponds to professionalism in how you present yourself on behalf of your organization. Time management and communication are also practiced and teaches you to better prioritize and communicate effectively.

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The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) on the UW-Madison campus consists of 10 Greek organizations that foster a unified multicultural community and promote awareness. Through MGC, I have increased my network and experienced a more positive college experience. It has disproved the views I held on Greek life before I became Greek. Of course, I can only speak for myself. Greek life is something that anyone should try out and not shy away from due to stereotypes they hear. You may be surprised once you get involved.

Interested in learning more about MGC? Visit our Facebook page to get updates about future events throughout the academic year.

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