No Greek life could have consequences

Colin Sumner, Business Manager

There are many things that will be missing from almost all universities for this year’s upcoming fall and (potentially) spring semesters. At this point, there is no definite answer to how college life is going to look next year. It could end up being desolate dorms and a quiet quad if students aren’t allowed on campus or are forced to live in single dorm rooms. Some of the perhaps oddest, and yet most influential, missing hallmarks may be a musty basement or a game of beer pong. These, and other meaningful activities that some students dream of in college, will be missing without fraternities and sororities working at full capacity. 

Greek life organizations have been nonstop operations as established charters at universities within the United States for many decades. For over two centuries, through various illness outbreaks, Greek life across the country has remained a thriving part of campus life. However, this year is different; not only will students have to manage their expectations of what they thought college was going to be, but they’ll also be dealing with a global pandemic. 

There are already so many unknowns for students going into this year, and Greek life is now another one. Students’ experiences in the coming year will depend heavily on where they live. Universities in California have announced that they will be holding class online this fall semester with no students living on campus. Some East coast universities have done the opposite and have been emailing students assuring them they will start the fall semester on campus. 

While attending college, students are looking to expand their connections both professionally and socially. Being part of a social club, like a fraternity or sorority, allows students to have things in common with their peers, in turn allowing them to make friends more easily. Students won’t be able to network the same way that they would have if their schools were open. Young college students trying to boost their careers also take advantage of the connections that Greek life provides.  According to USA Today, 85 percent of Fortune 500 company CEOs participated in Greek life. Without this part of college, networking for future careers and creating meaningful connections with peers may be threatened. 
A pillar of many greek life groups is the idea of service to their communities. Fraternities and sororities have been known to do different types of fundraising throughout the year in addition to service trips. According to the North American Interfraternity Conference, 20 million dollars is raised annually by these organizations and over 3.8 million hours of community service are completed. Unfortunately, this service and fundraising may also be missing in the coming year without Greek life. 

A lot of these things are still a big ‘what if.’ Now, it looks like most colleges are hoping to at least have students on campus in the fall. Hopefully, at some point, students will be allowed to also socialize while still taking the necessary precautions and enrich their academic careers through participation in Greek life.