To non-Greeks, the Greek community might be seen as a big mystery: some people are interested in knowing more about Greek life but don’t know how to get involved, some people aren’t sure why anybody would choose to join a sorority or fraternity, and some people don’t even know what these types of organizations are.
To begin with, a sorority or fraternity is an association made up of females or males, respectively. It is a social organization with emphasis on academics, leadership, and service. Greek organizations typically operate via historical traditions and rituals.
At the Illinois Institute of Technology, Greek life began in 1898. IIT has been home to over a dozen Greek chapters over the years. Today, we have seven fraternities and three sororities: Alpha Sigma Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Omega Delta, Phi Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Triangle, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Kappa Phi Delta, and Zeta Pi Omega.
Every other week, representatives from each Greek chapter meet to discuss various aspects of Greek life at IIT. This group is known as Greek Council. Recently, at a Greek Council meeting, a forum was held to ask those present why they chose to “go Greek,” and also why they have stayed in their respective Greek organizations.
Why did you go Greek?
“I didn’t want to join the stereotypical Greek life. IIT offers something much different; we all have our weird quirks,” [Cheryl McDermott, Zeta Pi Omega].
“I wanted to find the social aspect that IIT is missing and wanted to make friends that have a common value set,” [Jeff Bednarz, Sigma Phi Epsilon].
“There were no girls in any of my classes and I wanted to be a part of a sisterhood,” [Lisa Kwiatkowski, Alpha Sigma Alpha].
“I wanted to establish a sense of community and be a part of an organization that has a shared vision,” [Clay Houser, Delta Tau Delta].
“I liked the diversity of people all working towards a common purpose,” [Anne Brask, Kappa Phi Delta].
“I wanted a sense of friendship and community,” [Edward Glantsman, Pi Kappa Phi].
Why did you stay Greek?
“I stayed to have more control of my life and to give me leadership opportunities in finances, philanthropy, social, and brotherhood,” [Alexander Welk, Delta Tau Delta].
“My organization provides me with a sense of purpose. It gives me networking, resources, and a chance to shape IIT into what I want it to be,” [Jasmine Shah, Alpha Sigma Alpha].
“I stayed because of the friendship I made with other members,” [Cesar Urgiles, Omega Delta].
“I stayed because my sisters became my family and my support. Without them, I would not be the person I am today,” [Lauren Gillmeister, Kappa Phi Delta].
“I stayed Greek to learn how to become the upstanding and honorable man that I know I can be, if I stick to my values and work with my brothers to become better every day,” [Jacob Ernst, Phi Kappa Sigma].
“We are inspired to do great things with our lives. The sense of sisterhood keeps me motivated,” [Marina Beke, Zeta Pi Omega].
"I feel at home in my fraternity," [Nate Hurst, Alpha Sigma Phi].
“The traditions that have been passed down throughout the years in my fraternity are amazing, and just as strong as they were when it was founded,” [Ryan Tillman, Triangle].
If you are in a Greek organization, maybe you’ll think about how you would answer these questions yourself. If you aren’t in a sorority or fraternity, hopefully this will give you some insight into Greek life and why some of your classmates choose to “go Greek.”
If you would like more information about Greek Recruitment, please contact Greek Council’s VP Recruitment, Sean O’Halloran, at [email protected].
2011 - Spring - Issue 8