With fraternities in the midst of recruiting and sororities in pre-recruitment, it is time for most of the student body to decide if Greek life is right for them.

“If you are looking for the beer-swilling, foulmouthed, morally questionable Greek-letter organizations of Animal House and Old School, Muhlenberg College fraternity & sorority life isn’t for you,” says the College’s Greek Life webpage. Though there are strict guidelines in place to prevent instances such as this, in all reality, the main reason students go Greek is not for the night life, but for the sense of brother and sisterhood.

Anna Robinson ’17, President of the Zeta Chi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, was drawn to Greek life for this very reason.

“I loved Muhlenberg my freshman year,” said Robinson, “but I felt like I needed a niche, a kind of community that I wasn’t getting yet.”

Philippa Roberts ’17, President of the Phi Kappa chapter of Phi Mu, had similar reasons. “I wanted the stronger support system and to be
around girls who would constantly be there for me,” said Roberts, “but also inspire me and help me develop more in life.”

This sense of inspiration is what sorority life is all about for Roberts.

“[Sorority Life is] just about constantly being surrounded by women who achieve so much that they make you want to achieve more,” said Roberts.

Being a sister is more than just inspiring others, though. It’s about creating a sense of community as well through sisterhood events and living in a house together.

“I love living in the house,” said Robinson, “Do you remember your freshman year in dorms, at least in Walls, everyone’s doors were always open and everyone was kind of walking in and out of rooms and hanging out. It’s kind of like that on steroids. It’s a house so everyone’s rooms are always open, everyone’s always in each other’s rooms. We have a basement, couches, a big TV… It’s a very open, tightknit community in the house, it really brings people together. You know, when people are going through tough things or just want to hang out, you can do homework together, go to dinner together… [it] just fosters a strong, tight-knit community.”

That kind of community can last a lifetime, which Roberts experienced firsthand.

“I was at the grocery store once and I was wearing a Phi Mu shirt,” said Roberts, “and an old lady came up to me and she was like ‘You’re a Phi Mu? I was a Phi Mu!’”

Quite a few business employers have similar reactions, making Greek life an important addition to anyone’s resume.

“It’s an awesome networking strategy,” said Robinson, “People in Greek life kind of identify with people in Greek life, regardless of whether you’re in their organization or not. And a lot of people in leadership are Greek affiliated. Like, a lot of donors to schools are Greek affiliated.”

Daniel Hadad ’17, President of the Alpha Nu chapter of Zeta Beta Tau, agreed.

“We have a very big Alumni base, so definitely it’s something that should be put on your resume,” said Hadad, “just because people see it and they say either they were in ZBT or they were AEPi…Fraternity life puts certain values into you that people will look for when hiring.”

Robinson elaborated on some of these values.

“It really teaches you how to communicate with different types of people,” said Robinson, “Like, what are their communication styles? Do they kind of need praise often? Are they independent workers? Or do they need a little bit more guidance? It teaches you how to communicate, how to stay organized, how to incorporate everyone’s different views.”

Emily Anderson ’17, Presidnet of the Xi Iota chapter of Delta Zeta, found her Greek life experience very helpful in the workplace.

“I’ve been very successful with finding internships and interviewing, and all of my interviews, they have always talked about my involvement in Greek life,” said Anderson, “Because it gives you so many leadership opportunities. So, I’m an accounting major, I was also the past treasurer before I was president and just having that on my resume was such a talking point in interviews. For instance I had to build a budget for the entire chapter and we managed over 60 thousand dollars in and out for a whole year, just through dues and expenses…. So being able to write on your resume that you’ve already made a budget of 60 thousand dollars as a sophomore in college is

Though Roberts doesn’t think these leadership opportunities are the only reason to join.

“It’s an extra opportunity,” said Roberts, “and it’s not what [Greek Life is] about, and it’s not why you want to do it, but there are so many different

Another major part of Greek life is giving back to the communities. Phi Mu and Zeta Beta Tau held a “Get on the Ball” event last fall which raised money for Children’s Miracle Health Network. Delta Zeta raised over five thousand dollars in admissions for with their Chips for Charity dance in the spring, and Alpha chi Omega donated between one hundred and two hundred bras to Turning Point, a domestic violence shelter in Allentown. The planning of these events, along with the upkeep of the houses, provide many leadership opportunities to members.

Overall, Greek life isn’t for everyone, but for those involved, it opens the door to lifetime of community and connections.

Those interested in joining a sorority will need to wait until fall of their sophomore year, as right now they are only holding pre-recruitment events.

Recruitment week for the sororities is highly structured, with Monday night being open houses, where all potential sisters visit the houses they’re interested in. Tuesday night is philanthropy night, where the sororities talk about the charity they donate to. Then the potential members rank which sororities they like the best. The sororities collect these numbers, rank their potential membrs on the same scale, and then put the numbers a computer system that matches the potential sisters with their sororities. Then Thursday night is Sisterhood night, where potential members return to their top three choices, and the sisters talk about their values and personalities of the chapter. Then Friday night is preference night, with each house doing some sort of sister bonding, and then the potential members once again rank the houses, and then Saturday they receive a bid, which tells them which sorority is their best match.

The fraternity process is much more relaxed.

“We had rush week last week with the other fraternities,” said Hadad, “We just did a few events. We played basketball with the guys, we had a video game night, and we just one night where we just hung out… and just got to know everyone.”

“Once we meet the guys we have a discussion,” said Hadad, “and we take a vote on who we think would fit best. It’s not on who we like the most, because there have been a few guys that I personally really liked, but we don’t think that they’re right, especially now with colonizing, recolonizing, we need guys who are really going to put the work in.”

Overall, Greek life isn’t for everyone, but those who are involved can get a lot out of it.

“You can make whatever you want out of the sorority,” said Roberts, “You can put in so much time and then you’ll get just as much out. Whatever you put in you get out. One hundred percent. And there are people who kind of walk through sorority life, and, you know, they do the bare minimum, they get involved but they have other stuff going on as well, and that’s okay. It’s whatever you want… And that’s what’s really nice because it’s one hundred percent what you want to make it.”

Robinson agreed.

“One of the things that’s cool about Greek Life at Muhlenberg is that you can be as involved or as not involved as you want to,” said Robinson, “depending on what you’re looking for in the sorority, so if you want that to be your social group and what you do on campus, then you can have it that way but also if it’s just something that you want to do then that’s totally fine too.”

Overall, Greek life isn’t for everyone, but for those involved, it opens the door to lifetime of community and connections.

Chloe Gravereaux is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Muhlenberg Weekly, to which she has contributed since her freshman year. She dabbles in all forms of verbal and visual art, specializing in journalism and short fiction. Her unrivaled color coordination skills and investment in the dollar section of Target have earned her the nickname "Office Mom."


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