Being a part of Greek life for one year now, I have begun to realize that I always tend to receive the same statement from people usually along the lines of, “all you do is pay for friends.” I hear it often and whether or not we are “paying” to have friends will be a constant argument between the affiliated and the unaffiliated individuals of not only the Roanoke College campus, but every campus with a Greek community in the United States.
However, I am here to tell the truth- what all Greeks know and refuse to let other people believe. Being that we are involved in a social Greek organization I would like to say that yes, we do in fact pay for our friends, and that’s the honest truth. Ask any Greek man or woman why they joined Greek Life and the majority of the time they will say, “I wanted a group of friends”, or “Joining this organization helped me find a support system.” In fact, during recruitment, one of our top selling points is the fact that in joining a sorority you will always have a group of girls to call your friends. These are social organizations, and we are spending close to $1000 a year to have mixers, live in a building space with sisters, attend formals, and so on. We can no longer deny that we are paying for our friends because the truth is we are.
What we can deny however is the assumption that this is something to be ashamed of. By no means is it a bad thing that we are a part of an organization to make friends and lifelong connections. We are no different from any other club on campus such as SGA, HEAT, and Ultimate Frisbee, whose members join to expand their social circle. The only difference is that we choose to pay money to take our social organization one step further. I can almost guarantee that the same amount of money I pay for an entire year of social events is the same amount of money most unaffiliated persons pay per a year to go out to eat, have spa days, and travel with their clubs and friends. What is even better is that on top of getting to meet new friends, I also get the added opportunities for networking and lifelong benefits far long after graduation.
So yes, point your fingers and tell us that we are paying for our friends, because we are. But what I would like you all to reconsider is the fact that this is not a bad thing, it is not something to be ashamed of, and it is not a reason to stray from Greek Life! Let us all embrace the beauty of friendship and the different ways in which we explore it.