The Maroon

Column: Greek life remains important

The Loyola chapter of the National Panhellenic Council stands assembled in the Peace Quad during Greek Week 2011. The National Panhellenic Council is a powerful influence on an omnipresent facet of college campuses.

CARLI MARCELLO/CONTRIBUTING PHILOSPHER

The Loyola chapter of the National Panhellenic Council stands assembled in the Peace Quad during Greek Week 2011. The National Panhellenic Council is a powerful influence on an omnipresent facet of college campuses.

SHANNON DONALDSON

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Being a member of my sorority has been without a doubt the best part of my experience at Loyola.

As easy as it is for me to answer that question, however, it is just as hard to explain why. Trying to explain why I love being a member of my sorority would be like explaining why I love my parents; though it is obvious to me, it is nearly impossible to articulate.

So I’ll start from the beginning.

Arriving at Loyola as a freshman was an awkward, lonely time. And frankly, starting from scratch on my life as a college student was intimidating. I needed something constant and comforting.

Fortunately for me, that was precisely what I found in my sorority.

Now, three years after I received my bid,I am proud to be a part of the millions of men and women around the country who are a part of the Greek community.

Over the years, Greek organizations have been known to participate in binge drinking, debauchery, and hazing. Unfortunately, the fact that members of Greek organizations make up the largest network of volunteers in the country, do nearly 10 million hours of community service and donate nearly $7 million each year doesn’t make headlines.

The headlines also don’t mention that Greeks are more likely to graduate, generally have higher GPAs than the rest of the campus population and are more involved on their campuses.

In fact, studies by the University of Missouri have found that Greek men and women rate their overall university experience as being significantly better than non-Greeks.

When people decide to go through recruitment, it’s because they’re looking for something, whether it is the parties, the philanthropy or just getting to wear the letters. I’ve found more often than not that what students find in these Greek organizations is something much deeper than what they had expected.

Being a part of a Greek organization allows students the opportunity to interact and bond with people that are different from themselves. It creates a small, family-like group among the Loyola community.

Never mind the leadership opportunities, the study groups, the service work and the amazing networking opportunities on campus and in the real world. Never mind that the SGA President, Vice President or both have been Greek for the past several years. Greek life is about upholding tradition-a value that seems to be slipping away from our generation.

Above all else, Greek life is about friendship. The friendships I have formed during my time in Delta Gamma have absolutely been some of the deepest I have experienced in my life. These are the women who will be in my wedding. These are the women who bring out the best in me. These are the women who have made Loyola my home.

Shannon Donaldson is a communication junior and Maroon employee and can be reached at [email protected]

In My Opinion is a weekly column open to any Loyola student. Those interested in contributing can contact [email protected]

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