By Joe Yamulla || Opinion & Editorial Editor
By the time this article will be published, rush week will be over and new members will be beginning their journeys in fraternity life. This is my third year as a Greek student at F&M, and as time creeps closer to that inevitable graduation day, I’ve began to wonder what it all really means. In other words, why do we go Greek? I mean, when you think about it on the surface, it’s rather silly. We devote ourselves, both emotionally and financially, to a national organization in order to forge relationships and hopefully do some good deeds. Surely there is another way to go about doing these things. However, young first years find themselves drawn to it, in search of something more than what this small campus can offer on its own. I was drawn to it, and I still am. Yet, I still am so deeply interested in why. After introspection, and some reminiscing, here’s what I’ve come up with in attempting an explanation for the phenomenon known as F&M frat life.
This school is small. Sometimes, it’s painfully small. And yet, it can ironically be so incredibly lonely. F&M doesn’t have the size nor the resources to provide a full range of clubs for students. Yes, we have our organizations like F&M Players, or even the College Reporter! But F&M doesn’t truly offer the large scale and diverse clubs that could be found at a larger university. We go to a small school that has it’s inevitable cliques and groups. And if you find yourself missing out, then it’s easy to feel isolated. Humans are social creatures and we need to be a part of something. We’re always in search for a group in which we associate ourselves. That’s why I decided to rush. Simply put, I was lonely here and on my way out; ready to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh.
But I stayed and gave this Greek stuff a shot. It turns out, I liked it. Regardless of what you tell your grandma at Thanksgiving dinner, we rush for a social purpose. And there’s nothing wrong with that. By social benefits, I don’t mean “having bros”. Well, kind of. But what I really mean is, you feel supported and appreciated. If you don’t feel similar sentiments, then either Greek life isn’t for you or you joined the wrong organization.
That brings me to a thought I’ve had for quite some time. If you’re turned off to the thought of Greek life, don’t do it. There shouldn’t be this pressure to either go Greek or join an organization of similar character to have a happy social life here. Try other outlets, and if F&M doesn’t offer them like I mentioned, give transferring a shot. Regardless of what Admissions says, I find this to be a very Greek campus. Greek organizations have their issues, just like many other organizations, businesses and universities. But all in all, I see a lot of good things happening within F&M fraternities, even if it’s simply the invaluable gift of friendship.
If you’re interested, give it a shot. Just like anything in life, you’ll have your own unique perspective and experience. I think the most necessary aspect to fraternity life is for the member to shape the character of the chapter, and not the other way around. After a few years in a fraternity, I still can’t quite explain what it is. But when it comes to its purpose, the thoughts in this editorial are the closest I can get to discovering it. Enjoy the Greek ride if you love it, and get out if you don’t. One thing is for certain, these are the only three and a half years in your life that you will be able to be a part of something so odd, but yet so incredibly profound.
Junior Joe Yamulla is the Opinion & Editorial editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.