*This is a personal opinion piece that reflects the positive outcomes of Greek Life. If you have a preconceived notion that Greek Life is the worst thing on the planet, I'm sorry.*
We live in a world where the news dictates what we view as important or worthy of our tweets. However, we don't realize that by giving in to this theory we become victims of losing our personal opinions and points of view. If you're reading this, you either know me and I asked you to, or you have a strong opinion about Greek Life (you love it or you hate it).
I'm not asking you to love it. I'm sure a lot of you love peanut butter. I hate it, and we can still be friends. But I am asking you to respect it, as a concept and as a community.
Lately, Greek organizations across the country have been headlining the news for scandals, incidents, and problems that select members have been causing on their college campuses. However, we are missing the point.
There has been at least one hazing-related death in college each year since 1970. My heart goes out to those affected by these incidents. But of course, with the news reporting non-stop for days upon weeks of these occurrences, it is easy to say that Greek Life is the problem.
But... Did you know: A random sample of 1,000 male high school students discovered that 10% of men in high school have heavy-drinking tendencies. That's before they even have the opportunity to join a fraternity, which most of them will not.
In February of 2015, 11 students from Wesleyan University overdosed on Molly and were all taken to the hospital. None of these individuals were members of a Greek organization and while a few online articles scattered the internet, it was not discussed by the media for longer than a three-four day period.
I stand with Greek Life because I have seen first hand the positive impact it can have on individuals, like myself.
For those of you who do not understand the process: Men and women attending school are able to visit and meet all prospective Greek organizations (some schools even require you to visit each organization) to allow you and the organization to see who is the best fit. Some judge this process as superficial, but what they don't understand is this allows you to find the place where you belong. Therefore, Greek Life doesn't give you the feeling you have to conform to fit in, but rather it gives you the feeling that you have a place to be yourself and feel accepted.
With weekly meetings, service projects, GPA standards, and social events all tied together, Greek Life gives students the opportunity to learn how to live a balanced life. Each concept affects the others and all are equally important. It teaches social responsibility, integrity, and character.
When a member of Greek Life graduates, they join a network of alumni who are able to assist with the job search, the next steps, and serve as a mentor or guide into the "real world."
To put this into perspective: 17 past Presidents of the United States were members of a fraternity. What a connection that must be!
My Greek organization has given me my best friends. It has given me the confidence to lead, to step out of my comfort zone, and even to fail... because I know that no matter what, 170,000 women across the nation will be a champion in my absence. I would not be who I am today without Delta Gamma Fraternity. I have not only found a network among my organization but I have met some of my best friends through other Greek organizations, we all share a connection to each other and to our respective organizations that allows us to push one another to reach our full potential.
I understand that people fail. They let you down. But you are failing yourself, and others around you, if you write off Greek Life because of a small portion of this world-wide network.
I stand with Greek Life because when I couldn't stand myself, Delta Gamma stood for me.