The Truth About Greek Life


Keely Stiles

Members of Phi Sigma Phi, a Fraternity at Fairmont State.

Keely Stiles, Staff Reporter

Keely Stiles
Students interacting at the Student Organization Fair at the Falcon Center.

Greek life has been a large social aspect of many colleges and universities for a long time. The Oxford Dictionary defines a fraternity as “a male students’ society in a university or college” and defines a sorority as “a society for female students in a university or college.” When some people think of Greek life, they associate it with toga parties and famous movies like “The House Bunny” or “Neighbors.” This leads many to assume joining a sorority or fraternity will be like the stereotypes seen depicted in movies and television. These assumptions can generate both negative and positive opinions on sororities and fraternities.

I wanted to know more about Greek life at Fairmont State, if it goes beyond what most people think, and how it is portrayed in pop culture. On Thursday, February 7th Fairmont State held a student organization fair, which many fraternities and sororities attended. I spoke to different members of different Greek Life organizations to hear in their own words: what Greek life is really like, what it’s done for them, and what they want people to know about them.

Rachel Bugaj is the President of her sorority, Delta Zeta, and described joining Greek life as, “one of the best decisions I’ve made on this campus.” Rachel joined because she liked having an opportunity to be a leader to her sisters, and opportunities to give back to the community by participating in community service. Rachel said she thinks the negative stereotype about Greek life “overshadows all that it really can give you.”

Keely Stiles
Members of Delta Zeta, a Sorority at Fairmont State.

I also spoke with another sorority at the fair, Delta Xi Omicron. One of their members, Kara Rowlands, said it gives people the opportunity to meet others, build bonds, and socialize. Kara said, “You have people there to help you with school work, people there to help you with mental health, people there to hang out with so you’re not alone.” Another member, Summer Nelson, said Greek Life is, “Not sororities against sororities, frats against frats, we are all actually one big family.” She continued by saying, “You always have someone to lean on.”

Keely Stiles
Members of Delta Xi Omicron at Fairmont State

The last Greek organization I interviewed to learn more about what Greek life is like on Fairmont State’s campus was the fraternity Phi Sigma Phi. One member, Austin Parks said, “We’re a community, but we’re also allowed to be individuals. We really support each other.” Another member, Calvin Nguyen, said Greek life is great at helping you, “come out of your shell and socialize.” Calvin said he enjoys, “being able to give back to the community” through the community service his organization does.

Overall it looks like Greek life is more than most people think. Its members find a sense of meaning, ways to give back to others, unbreakable bonds, and it helps with the obstacles they face in college. Greek life members welcome people from all backgrounds with an open mind, and open arms. Greek life has helped many of its members overcome shyness, find a place where they can feel comfortable being themselves, and find friendships they will keep for the rest of their lives.