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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Forget the myths you’ve heard about greek life

I am not a sorority girl. I don’t parade around like Elle Woods. I don’t scoff at people who wear anything but designer. I didn’t get locked in a basement for “sisterhood” purposes before my initiation.

I am a girl in a sorority. My Greek letters do not define me, but they are a part of who I have become in college. I never thought I’d join a sorority in college, but it was probably the best decision I could have made as a freshman.

The Greek community at Stony Brook University is not typical, but it does give students a unique experience to say the least. Greeks make up about five percent of students, which is a relatively low number compared to other colleges across the country. The tight-knit community is part of what makes the SBU experience different—we are a continuously growing community with the common understanding of brother and sisterhood.
“From the outside looking in, you can’t describe it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.” This quote has been used frequently during recruitment—and it’s completely true. I can’t explain what my sisters mean to me or how great it is to be a part of the Greek community, but I’ll try.

In 2009, I was a freshman. I was initiated into my sorority in the spring semester of 2010, along with some of my closest friends. Some joined the same organization, while others ended up in different fraternities. Shortly after we were all initiated, our letters did not matter because a tragedy struck our community. Two members of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity passed away in a car accident in late April. I had the pleasure of knowing one of those men.

Letters and organizations did not matter that day. We were all deeply affected because we understood what the brotherhood meant. We stood together, laughed together, cried together, mourned and celebrated those no longer with us because we could all appreciate the fact that it could have been any one of us in that car.

It’s been two years since the accident, and when I attended the memorial service a few months ago, I stood with the same group of girls. I saw the same faces. I comforted the same friends.

Some schools have individual Greek organizations with 400 members. SBU has about 400 members in the Greek system in total. Freshmen can participate in recruitment their first semester, but cannot be initiated into an organization until their second semester if they have a 2.5 GPA or above.

Each chapter—comprising the specific people at SBU—hosts educational events, fundraisers and social events throughout the year. The core values of the Stony Brook Fraternity and Sorority Life are academic excellence, service, personal development, leadership, brotherhood/sisterhood and multiculturalism.

I never thought I would have spent my college years in a sorority, but it’s my home away from home. My letters do not define who I am, but they made me a well-rounded person and gave me a fulfilling college experience. So, even if you don’t think Greek life is for you, come check us out. You’d be surprised where you end up.

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