OPINION | Exploring the benefits, value of Greek life at Utah Tech

There are over 29,000 fraternities and sororities in the United States. Although Greek life can be viewed negatively, it has many benefits that could impact Utah Tech students. Angel Wood | Sun News Daily

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Crazy parties, booze and RushTok are what come to mind when someone mentions Greek life, but the positive experiences Greek life provides are overlooked.

Greek life provides opportunities for networking. Joining a fraternity or sorority helps students build connections that prove valuable in the future when they are looking for internships and recommendations. Knowing people in different positions of influence or importance can give students an advantage. These relationships can be crucial as a student grows in their career.

Fraternities and sororities are social organizations. Students who are a part of Greek life have many opportunities to develop leadership and social skills. These skills are crucial not only during their time at college but throughout the rest of their lives.

Another positive side of Greek life that is often overlooked is the service that the organizations do for their communities. Coordinating events and fundraisers is a big part of the altruistic strategy that many chapters have. Having these values teaches students many lessons including selflessness and the importance of giving back to their community.

What a student gets out of their involvement in these organizations is up to them. Choosing a fraternity or sorority that is in line with the student’s goals and values will make for a more positive experience.

Fraternities and sororities originated in the mid to late 19th century. They began as groups of students at universities getting together with the intent to be able to express themselves freely as they discussed, debated and explored various topics.

While these deep conversations remained at the heart of the groups, they shifted toward social endeavors such as parties, dances and sporting events.

In order to start a fraternity or sorority, goals for the organization need to be established. Approval from the university is necessary to start up the organization. Once approval is secured, the recruitment process, branding and generating recognition can begin.

Universities in Utah that have Greek life organizations include the University of Utah, Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Weber State University. Despite all of these universities making Greek life a part of their campuses, Utah Tech University has decided to abstain from participating.

Utah Tech has an unofficial fraternity, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. The fraternity was created with the goal of providing a safe space for its members. The fraternity is not affiliated with the university but is a good example of a group that has benefited students on campus. This organization is focusing on community service and academics, rather than the stigmas that surround Greek life.

The negativity surrounding Greek life comes from its reputation involving alcohol, drug use and hazing. While this culture seems to be a part of many of these organizations at universities, the value the experience of Greek life has to offer should not be ignored.

On Utah Tech’s campus, we can determine the kind of experience Greek life can provide for us. We should have the opportunity to create a group that is committed to providing a place for students to freely express themselves. A fraternity or sorority on campus could be a place to have intellectual discussions and benefit from the networking and social interaction Greek life has to offer.

It’s time to stop focusing on the negatives and start considering the benefits that Greek life could bring to the students at Utah Tech.