By Rachel Ambelang
Greek life is a large part of the Baylor student’s experience. According to the department of student activities, 25 percent of Baylor students participate in Greek life. With more than 40 different sororities and fraternities to choose from, students are free to find a group that they relate to best. The rest of the student body interacts regularly with this community through the countless activities the different groups put on, whether the events are for service or entertainment.
Despite all of the opportunities that come with Greek life, many Baylor students refrain from joining. San Antonio junior David Dernier and Waco junior Ben Herndon have chosen not to join a fraternity even though both received invitations from friends to join. The two were asked for their thoughts on Greek life and why they decided not to get involved with it.
Q: What are the reasons you do not want to be involved with Greek Life?
Dernier: I don’t feel the need to pay to have friends.
Herndon: I work 2 to 11 p.m. five days a week, so I don’t really have time. Plus I wouldn’t make it through all the pledge hazing thanks to my headstrong smart mouth. That and the dues are ridiculous. I don’t need to pay for friends, I have those, and they prank me all the time for free.
Q: Do you think there’s one common factor in why most students choose not to participate?
Dernier: Obviously fraternities take up a lot of time because I never see my roommates, and I would love to ask them about exactly what they do but they’re never around because they’re busy with their fraternity stuff.
Herndon: Probably dues, time constraints, or fear of hazing.
Q: What do you think is the main reason students do join the Greek community?
Herndon: Probably so they have an easy way to meet people and make friends. That or they just love drama.
Q: What are the positive outcomes you see from Greek Life?
Dernier: The do seem to provide a lot of philanthropy opportunities, which is good for the community and a good experience for the students.
Herndon: [Greek life] does build a sense of friendship that will last.
Q: Are there any negatives that come from having a Greek community at Baylor?
Herndon: I suppose it would cause somewhat of a divide between Greek and non-Greek, as the Greeks are always busy doing their things, where the non-Greeks occupy their time in other ways at other places.
Dernier: I have two friends that rushed for the same frat. One of them got an invitation to join and the other didn’t. The one that didn’t is a good guy, so I really think the only reason they didn’t let him in was because they didn’t think he was cool or something. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Two students who are currently involved with Greek life here at Baylor were also asked their opinion on the pros and cons of the Greek community. San Antonio junior Breanna Villani is a part of the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, and San Antonio sophomore Joshua Bram is a Sigma Phi Epsilon member.
Q: Why did you want to join the Greek community?
Bram: I initially joined the Greek community for family purposes.
My cousin was in a fraternity, my uncle was in a fraternity and my dad was in a fraternity so I have grown up with the mentality that I want to join a fraternity.
Villani: I transferred to Baylor, and I didn’t know anybody. So I thought, join a sorority it’s a great way to meet new girls, but it’s turned into much more than that. When I walked into that room I just felt at home. All the other girls were really nice and just like me.
Q: What are the benefits that come with being a part of a frat or sorority to both the people who join and to Baylor as a whole?
Bram: I feel like the whole idea of fraternity (brotherhood) is the most beneficial aspect I’ve received from joining a fraternity. I know that any one of the guys in my fraternity have my back no matter what. As far as the benefits for the Baylor community, I feel like the Greek organizations have a responsibility to the student body to put on events run by student for student. Events put on by Greek organizations I feel help the unite the student body, or at least is an attempt to.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a part of being Greek?
Villani: I really like [Zeta Tau Alpha’s] philanthropy, Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.
Bram: My favorite part is just hanging out with the guys. They are my brothers and its just always fun hanging out no matter what were doing.
Q: Would you say that Greek life causes a divide among students who do and do not participate?
Bram: I would say that it does but unnecessarily. Whether or not a person is Greek or not should not divide a student body still united under the same school name. Greek life, like any organization, has its secrets and range of members but should neither be raised on a pedestal nor should it be put down.
[Greek life] is a social brotherhood that runs deep within those in the fraternity or sorority.