Sorority life is worth every penny

Donnetta Shanklin, Opinions Writer

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I am currently a junior at Western Illinois University. When I got here my freshman year, Panhellenic greek life was very successful. Going through formal recruitment, each sorority has around 20 to 25 girls and there are six sororities on campus. Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Phi Sigma Sigma, Chi Omega and Alpha Sigma Alpha. That’s around 120-150 girls. At a lot of other schools, greek life is super huge. When I first applied to Western, I thought it would be huge here too because there is not much else to do here. Either join a sport, a club or greek life. So I thought why not, I’ll join a sorority because it’ll be super huge here and maybe even larger than the Big Ten schools.

Little did I know that is not the case. Greek life started off strong freshman year, but as I got into a sorority, I saw the system behind everything and realized that we are struggling to get girls. It’s not only one chapter which is the sad thing, but it is all chapters. My freshman year we were able to get 25 girls then as I became a sophomore it went down to 15 and this past year we are only able to get around 12. Now the numbers are not the same for every sorority, it depends on how much your chapter total is.

The numbers are just getting smaller and smaller, and to be completely honest, in the next decade, I don’t see any greek life existing unless it’s a professional fraternity or sorority. I can understand why it is going down because of enrollment and that makes sense.

Greek life can be very expensive if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Every sorority’s dues are different but each have their own expenses. When one rushes, they should look a little bit into how much each sorority costs so they’re able to stay in the sorority. I feel like one big reason why we don’t get so many numbers is because people don’t want to pay the amount to stay in the sorority, which is very understandable. I too was skeptical about joining a sorority because I didn’t have the money and I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars just to make friends. I was completely wrong about that and that is not the only aspect of greek life.

Yes you are in a way paying for your friends, but you’re paying for so much more than that. You’re paying for leadership opportunities, volunteer work, building relationships, becoming an officer and I could go on. Being able to give back to others is a huge part of Panhellenic greek life.

When it comes to formal recruitment, that is not what some chapters stress. I feel like if people knew that from the get go, they would spread the word to their friends and Greek life would go back up. Again it’s understandable if one doesn’t want to pay the amount needed to stay in greek life, but if they knew what they were paying for, Panhellenic greek life would go back up. It’s not about paying for the friends, it’s about paying for the experience.

There’s still plenty of potential left for greek life and if everyone gets their act together and starts laying their cards on the table earlier then Greek life may look like it did when I was a freshman.

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