Greek Life

Facts & Myths

Myth 1. Fraternities and Sororities encourage binge drinking and drug abuse.

Truth: Due to the fact that fraternities and sororities are the largest student organizations nationwide, fraternity and sorority communities are constantly in the media spotlight. Social problems such as binge drinking and drug use occur in nearly every facet of society, but their presence is magnified in fraternities and sororities.

Each organization is required to abide by federal, state, university and their own national headquarters policies regarding drugs and alcohol. Additionally, each organization has significant risk management and risk reduction policies and procedures to promote healthy decision making and provide for the safety of members and their guests.

Myth 2. New Members of fraternities and sororities do not have personal space or time.

Truth: The time and effort required joining a fraternity or sorority is in no way to interfere with other time commitments or academic success. Prior to being initiated, New Members are required to attend weekly meetings and rituals in order to learn about their organization's history and values.

Another fear is that personal space is non-existent for New Members. In a chapter facility, members share rooms just as living in the residence halls, so they are able to get to know each other and begin to foster friendships. Also, there is plenty of living and study space located throughout many chapter facilities. Most houses have common areas to watch TV, play pool, or just talk.

Myth 3. Fraternities and Sororities are just as seen on TV.

Truth: Many television movies and shows depict the "wild side," of fraternity and sorority life and choose to amplify its supposed "horrors." In doing so, many movies and shows forget to add the beneficial sides of joining a fraternal organization and portray its positive notes.

Although there are some isolated instances of hazing and alcohol related occurrences, many institutions and organization are taking preventative stances to further hinder these tragedies.

Myth 4. Hazing is simply a reality among Fraternities and Sororities.

Truth: Hazing can be defined as people or individuals who are forced to do something that is psychologically, physically, or emotionally harmful or damaging. Fraternal organizations nationwide have been the leaders in taking strides to develop human rights policies and strict anti-hazing policies to rid hazing in all forms from all campuses.

All student organizations, including fraternities and sororities must abide by and follow WIU's strict anti-hazing policy.

Myth 5. When you join a Fraternity or Sorority you are simply "buying friends."

Truth: A person must pay to join most any organization across the nation, whether it be a sports team, a local club or a fraternity or sorority. Since fraternities and sororities are non-profit organizations, dues are used to fund various parts of its day-to-day operations, including: academic incentives, headquarter dues, room and board, scholarships, sporting and social events, and many other normal everyday expenses.

By joining a fraternity or sorority, you are not only helping to sustain the ideals and values set forth by the organizations' founders, you are also making it possible to keep the future alive.

Myth 6. Fraternities and Sororities do not benefit the local communities.

Truth: Each national fraternity and sorority has established a philanthropy or community service program that raised money for charitable causes. Many organizations participate in a local Adopt a Street program in a partnership with the City of Macomb and also sponsor local service and philanthropy projects each semester. Philanthropies such as the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Pediatric Aids, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Galludet University, the American Red Cross, the McDonough County YMCA, Macomb Fire Department, Macomb American Legion, and many more have benefited from the local and national efforts of WIU's fraternities and sororities.

The Statistics

When it comes to being engaged at work and experiencing high well-being after graduation, a new Gallup-Purdue University Index study of U.S. college graduates found that graduates who are members of fraternities or sororities are more likely to thrive in all five elements of well-being during their post-graduate years than those graduates who did not join. The study revealed that respondents identifying themselves as members of fraternities and sororities—16 percent of respondents indicated that they were a member of a national fraternity or sorority while attending college—scored better in overall well-being, workplace engagement, collegiate support, experiential learning and alumni attachment.

Overall Well-Being

Graduates who participated in fraternities or sororities are slightly more likely to be thriving in all five critical elements of well-being—purpose, social, financial, physical and community—than are graduates who did not participate in fraternities or sororities.

Workplace Engagement

National results show 43% of college graduates who were members of a fraternity or sorority are engaged in the workplace, compared to 38% of college graduates were not members.

Support

The support graduates recall receiving from their institution as students is also important well into their post-graduate careers. 16% of graduates who participated in fraternities or sororities and who say they had a professor who cared about them as a person—one who made them excited about learning, and had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their dreams are emotionally attached, compared with 13% of graduates who did not participate in fraternities or sororities.

Experiential Learning

Similarly, graduates with fraternity or sorority affiliation and membership in college were more likely to have taken advantage of experiential learning opportunities while in college (11%) than graduates who were not members (5%).

Alumni Attachment

Alumni who participated in fraternities or sororities exhibit higher emotional attachment to their school. 22% of those who were in sororities or fraternities are attached, compared with 17% who were not members.

Source: North-American Interfraternity Conference