Classic Signals: Greek life is not what it seems

By Viktoria Ristanovic
Features Editor

As students are getting more accustomed to life at the College, they may start to think about what it would be like to join Greek life. And, as spring rush is coming up, organizations across campus are hosting interest sessions throughout the rest of the fall semester. 

Joining fraternities and sororities provides service opportunities (Photo courtesy of TCNJ Digital Archives).

In an October 1997 issue of The Signal, a reporter discussed the topic of what Greek life has to offer to students at the College. Although Greek life in general has received a bad reputation through years of wild movies and stories in the news, the article discusses how the Greek environment at the College is the opposite of what is portrayed in the media.

Greek life is not ‘Animal House’

“I don’t want to join a fraternity/sorority — I don’t need to buy my friends.” 

“You joined a Sorority? I’m sorry.” 

“You have to love to drink and want to be drunk all the time to be in a fraternity.” 

During rush season, the time when Greek organizations recruit members into their organization, stereotypes like these, perpetuated by movies like “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” are heard throughout the campus community. 

However, Greek organizations are not like the stereotypes, according to Inter-Greek Council (IGC) President Chris Chamberlin. 

“Stop watching those horrible movies,” Chamberlin said. To get a better view of the actual Greek life at The College of New Jersey, Chamberlin suggests students “go out and learn about the Greeks on campus.

“As far as the issue of payments is concerned, paying dues to a Greek organization can be compared to any other organization that requires dues, Kathy Rowe Director of Campus Life and current adviser for IGC, said. 

According to Dan McGarrigan, president of Kappa Sigma Rho, “If you join a fraternity and feel like you are buying friends, something is wrong.” 

According to James Galluccio, president of Phi Kappa Psi, the money from the dues goes to a good cause — that individual’s future. 

Within the fraternity is the possibility to make connections, according to Galluccio, and “the more people you know” the more help you will get in finding jobs. 

Kappa Sigma Rho’s new member educator, sophomore elementary education/English major, Rose Oh, furthers that idea by explaining, “Being Greek isn’t your entire identity. (The way we see it is if) you are a Kappa, you aren’t only a Kappa.” 

Every fraternity and sorority on campus comes under jurisdiction of IGC, and a Greek organization must go through a process before it can be recognized by the college, or receive a “charter,” according to Chamberlin. 

The chartering process includes the creation of a constitution, and submission of two letters: one showing they have done community service activities prior to petitioning, and the other stating what they will do for the campus, Chamberlin said. 

According to Chamberlin, IGC has a constitution, rules and regulations that all fraternities and sororities must follow. 

If there are any violations of this IGC policy, college policy, or state law, the organization can lose its charter. Losing a charter is a multistep process, beginning with letters of warnings and leading up to probation of the entire fraternity or sorority. 

The former adviser for IGC, Meg Kinney left her position earlier this year, according to Chamberlin. Currently the position of adviser to IGC is being filled by Rowe. 

Rowe describes Greek organizations as “a starting place — a place for support,” and encourages everyone to get first-hand knowledge of something before following a stereotype. Three things are stressed within the Greek communities: “service, leadership, and

scholarship,” Rowe said. 

From mixers with other Greek organizations to holding events like a “Parent-Kappa Dinner” Greek organizations participate in and organize activities both on campus projects and community service projects. Many are also active contributors to charities.

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