Sororities and fraternities’ “cult status” is misrepresented

Carolina Sanchez/ Contributing Writer

Much of the debate surrounding sororities and fraternities is the notorious perception that they are cults or forms of social consumerism.

While, technically, these allegations might be true, subjectively speaking, sororities and fraternities are far from any of these simple constructions.

Sororities and fraternities provide sibling-hoods that offer communal support for its members. On average, maintaining membership to a fraternity or sorority can cost anywhere between $20 to $120.

The co-ed frat, Phi Alpha Delta, for instance, requires an initial fee of $120 and a membership fee of $65 a semester. Because of the required semesterly fee however, many believe it’s nothing more than purchasing friends.

But, the reality is that the majority of sororities and fraternities tend to use those funds to implement activities a year for those involved and to keep the society up and running.

One of the most common complaints about sororities and fraternities is the notion that most of them don’t have any academic value. But, the truth is that a lot of these sororities and fraternities are intentionally designed to provide social life and community, in and out of the university.

Furthermore, there are multiple university co-ed fraternities like Alpha Kappa Psi, Phi Alpha Delta, and Beta Alpha Psi that aim toward academia.

Because of their exclusivity, many students also argue that frats and sororities fail to provide inclusiveness for the student body in terms of admittance. This is simply not true. Greek life is often largely responsible for elevating the community and campus as a whole.

In 2012, for instance, FIU’s Greek Life contributed more than $100,000 to local and national charities and completed more than 15,000 hours of community service, according to FIU’s home page.

While it’s true that the majority of sororities and fraternities are selective, many of them are geared toward a certain purpose or goal that is meant to contribute to the University as a whole.

Most of these societies also include a series of tasks that are meant to “weed out” those who aren’t selected, during a time period commonly known as “rush week.”

The concept of rush week is often used as an example of the exclusivity of fraternities and sororities, but, these activities are usually part of the society’s traditions, and are used as a non-discriminatory procedure to fill the limited spots available for newcomers.

Much like any application process for admittance, sororities and fraternities must also follow a process. There are multiple sororities and frats available for different purposes, such as co-ed frats that expose members to their prospective field of study, and volunteer work frats, that help raise money and awareness for a given cause.

All of these varieties among sororities and fraternities allow FIU to remain authentic to its goal for diversity among its student body as well as aid it in giving back to the community.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo taken from Flickr.

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