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Alejandro Calderon's picture

Greek Life

So coming from another country to one of the biggest state universities is pretty intimidating. In fact, it's quite scary! One of the things that eased this transition was Greek Life. You probably have heard a lot about Greek life from different sources. Movies, books, TV show's, the news, etc... The fact is that you probably have a very skewed notion of what it is all about. In the news and the movies all you see is a small fraction of what Greek life is, and at times you see straight up lies. 

The reality about it is much more complex and fulfilling than anything that you might have probably seen. For me, it has been a center for friendship, growth, and understanding; something that is very hard to come by. Since I didn't know anyone I assumed that it would take a while before I would make any friends. Greek life gave me the opportunity to become best friends, and eventually brothers, with over 70 people. I cannot express in mere words how amazing an experience it has been. Through my fraternity I have raised almost $10,000 dollars for charity, participated in the fight against cancer and recruitment for my chapter and the Greek Community. Most importantly though, I found people that have come to know me as their brother and care for me as such. They push me to be better in every way: academically, socially, morally, spiritually. Whatever you may think is right for you, I can assure you that there is a place for you within our community. 

The Greek community is home to many international students, I am not alone. In my chapter alone, we have two Chinese students, a polish one, an Albanian, an Egyptian, a Honduran (me), and a Costa Rican. In other chaptersI have seen Indians, Russians, Nicaraguans, and many other countries! Wherever it is you are from, you can find a home in Greek Life.

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Now Hopefully by now you have some interest in Greek Life. There are some things I should explain. First you have to know that there are social, professional, and multicultural fraternities/sororities. The biggest demographically and the one I am part of is social. You can find more information about these in the BeGreek page (of course I can give you more info if you email me!). Then there is the question about joining. This is very different between chapters, and even more so between councils so you really have to do your research. For social fraternities/sororities there is at least something you call "formal rush". This is where you get to walk around and get to see all the different chapters and learn about what you like and don't like. You continue to go through rush until you receive a "bid". You can receive many of these as every house could give you one (for fraternities). You then can only accept one. After this point it depends on the fraternity. Some fraternities have a pledge period before you join. The process and requirements vary wildly from one place to the next. For sororities there is a complicated ranking system and procedure that would be best explained by a sorority recruiter (in other words email me and I will point to you in her direction)! After that you join and enjoy!

All I can say is that it is a worthwhile experience that enhances not only your college experience but your personal one. So come one, come all, and get ready for the best decision you ever made!