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In My Opinion: Loyola offers an uncommon Greek life

The+different+Greek+organizations+work+on+homes+during+Greek+Week.+They+partnered+with+Habitat+for+Humanity+in+the+9th+Ward.
The different Greek organizations work on homes during Greek Week. They partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the 9th Ward.

The different Greek organizations work on homes during Greek Week. They partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the 9th Ward.

Courtesy of Loyola University Greek Life

Courtesy of Loyola University Greek Life

The different Greek organizations work on homes during Greek Week. They partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the 9th Ward.

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Greek life is one of the most highly criticized aspects of the college culture. Many critics claim Greek organizations only care about drinking, drugs and sex, which from an outside perspective, is superficially plausible.

People have heard stories like of the West Virginia freshman who was force-fed enough alcohol to register a BAC over six times the legal limit and eventually died, or instances of rape, and have the presumption that all of fraternity life follows suit, but would be surprised to know the tremendous impact Greek life has on its school and community.

Sororities are given very similar stereotypes. There are occasional stories like one where new members were forced to take various pills in a freezer until they puked. Stories like this often overshadow the good things sororities do for their communities.

Unfortunately, Loyola’s Greek organizations are affected by these stereotypes by being put under the umbrella of horrendous acts students around the country commit — but Loyola doesn’t provide the typical Greek life. Loyola is the exception to the negative stereotypes and it doesn’t take one from within the Greek community to see this.

Greek life at Loyola strives to make a notable impact on the campus and community alike. Every Greek organization participated in Loyola’s annual Take Back the Night, a march across St. Charles Avenue in order to demonstrate a stand against sexual assault. Fraternities and sororities alike on Loyola’s campus are also heavily involved in our Student Government Association and other various organizations.

Philanthropy certainly sets Loyola’s fraternity life apart from many other organizations. Pi Kappa Phi was nationally recognized for Best Philanthropy Event. The event, called Tour de Pi Kapp, broke its own Loyola record from the previous year by raising over $2,000. The Phi Kappa Psi Chapter at Loyola raised over $500 to advocate for prostate cancer by participating in “No Shave November.”

pkp_philanthropy web

Courtesy of Kieron Oliver / Max Heimberger, a brother of Pi Kappa Phi, collects signatures for the Erase the R-Word campaign as part of his fraternity’s philanthropy. The signatures are displayed on the window in the Dana Center.

Sororities at Loyola have also made a tremendous impact. Delta Gamma raised money for eyesight cures by hosting their annual Anchor Slam. Gamma Phi Beta has raised money for their own philanthropic causes, including Girls on the Run, which is dedicated to helping young girls build confidence and self-esteem.

gpb_philanthropy web

Courtesy of Gamma Phi Beta / The Gamma Phi Beta sorority spending time with the girls who participate in Girls on the Run. Their day was spend making tutus and getting to know each other.

Many are curious as to why Loyola, a small private school in southern Louisiana, has such a significant Greek Life. When realizing that it’s the students that make Greek life great, the mystery fades away. By having the open-minded and mature individuals that Loyola does, its Greek organizations become more welcoming to different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs.

Since accepting my bid to become a founding father of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, my life has forever changed for the better. My brothers and I have pushed one another to become more motivated and well rounded individuals in all aspects of life.

Though Greek life may not be for everyone, it is truly one of the best things about this school. This is why I challenge those who wish to better themselves to look past their preconceived ideas of Greek life and see what it truly has to offer them.

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In My Opinion: Loyola offers an uncommon Greek life