You're paying money to be included in a social group. No money = no admittance. I just think if you already have a normal social group that you're comfortable with there's no reason to pay to be a part of one. Rushing just gives a feeling of exclusivity that hides the fact that, yes, you are paying for friends essentially.
There's nothing wrong with it; I just find that many people wouldn't find it to be worth it if they look at Greek life from that perspective.
I disagree with the assumption that people who join clubs and organizations are not in it for the social aspect. First of all, you have no idea what motivates people. Maybe it's working towards a humanitarian goal, maybe it's to play a sport. I suspect that for many, it serves as a social outlet. I know for a fact that people who join service organizations do so to take part in the social amenities that come along with it.
I don't know when this became a debate....butttt most orgs and clubs are founded on certain ideas or purposes such as practicing a sport, learning something, helping others, etc. Friendships may come as a by product of interacting with someone you see often or share hobbies with. This is normal since we are social creatures. However in said clubs or orgs they dont sit around simply soaking in their friendship. The club doesn't revolve around everyone having a permanent life bond and secret oath to love and care for one another always...
The foundation for SOCIAL Greek Organizations (social is even in the title lol), is to connect in brotherhood and form a social bond with others. The SOLE PURPOSE is to BOND with other people. FRATernity , frater, brother, brotherhood, union, love, bond. All these words pertain to social greek orgs and the POINT of them is basically to be friends with eachother. Then once you belong you all do activities together such as "philanthropic work" and social mixers/events. These activities would be the By product of the friendship/bond. So as you can see greek orgs and other clubs kind of have their purposes inverted.
OP--UF has a ton of wonderful clubs and organizations. It's one of the great things about being at a large university. Every major has its own organizations and clubs. You do not have to join a sorority to get in a group unless you want to. Greek life fits some people but is not required in any way, shape or form.
Paying dues does not mean buying friends by any means. Every club in your life will require dues--golf, a chorus, craft, a political club, a community anything. It is really the price of doing business and maintaining the existence of the club. How much you want to keep those ties is dependent on how much you're willing to spend.
I guess my main concern is that if i don't join a sorority.. it will be more difficult for me to get involved on campus, make close friends, meet people, get invited to fun parties/events. But basically you guys are telling me that greek life isn't the ONLY way to do those things. Which is good to hear! So many people have told me Greeks completely dominate UF.
I would much rather not cough up an extra $4k a year... but who knows. Maybe during rush ill decide I want to join?
There are so many people who are not a part of Greek life. You will be fine if you decide not to join! Is it a big part of our campus? Yes, for sure. There are enough people at UF who are involved in Greek organizations that it is definitely an important part of our school. But Greek life isn't so big that you can't have a social life or make friends without it. I wouldn't say it's essential to having a good college experience. You'll meet people in your dorm, in classes, in clubs, all over the place. However, like I said before, I would suggest going through rush and seeing what you think and how you feel about it. I'd imagine that it's hard to really know how you feel about it until you go through it yourself and see what rush is like, and what all the houses are like, since you haven't attended UF yet. Another option is to wait and see how you like your freshman year experience, and rush in your sophomore year after you've gotten more comfortable with the campus and you are more familiar with what Greek life involves...
Wow, this is getting to be very bitter. As not many of you are IN sororities, I'm not really sure that you're qualified to decide whether or not they're worth the money. No offense, but this isn't your area of expertise.
OP, I'm a "normal" person, and I love being a part of a Panhellenic sorority. I, like you, pay for it entirely on my own. I am also 100% financially independent, which means in addition to paying my sorority dues, I also am responsible for literally everything else - books, car payment, tuition, car insurance, cell phone, medical insurance, food...the list goes on. So, more than anybody else who's posted before me in this topic, I understand where you're coming from about the money situation.
Is it "worth" the money, literally? Absolutely. It is actually CHEAPER for me to live in-house than to live in a dorm. My first year, I lived in Jennings - that's $2200 a semester just for housing. I also spent about $1000 on food, cooking expenses, laundry, snacks, etc. So I spent (conservatively!) $3200 a semester to live in a dorm. I now spend, at the sorority, about $2900-3000 (depending on where in the house I live, and what events I take part in). My house isn't the cheapest house, but it's not the most expensive one either. This includes living, utilities, meals cooked by a chef, a beautiful home kept tidy by our cleaning service, all breakfast foods and snacks (the house is fully stocked), as well as all of my social events. For less money than I spent living in a dorm, I get all of that PLUS my social events. We generally attend two theme parks a year (so an average of one a semester), as well as sporting events, roadtrips, sisterhood retreats, etc. all included as part of our dues.
So, financially, YES. It is worth it.
But as this thread has made pretty evident, by being a part of a sorority, you're going to face a bit of nonsense from other people who say you're "wasting your money" or "paying for your friends". Both of these are, no offense guys, very ignorant claims. We are NOT paying for our friends...I would be friends with these girls regardless of their house affiliation! I have friends in chapters outside my own sorority, and I have friends from my classes that aren't in sororities at all. I really don't understand that mentality. I'm not paying for my friends; I'm paying for housing, food, and social events WITH my friends.
If you're even considering it, I would 100% advise you to at least rush. I understand that being Greek isn't for everyone, but you'll never know if you don't try. Even if you receive a bid, you're never obligated to pay any money until your "new member period" is over, which can extend for months. This gives you time to try it out and see if it will make you happy. I just don't want you to NOT rush, and then regret it. You don't need to be Greek to make friends, but it does make the process a lot easier just by virtue of making the campus seem smaller.
Personally, being Greek is priceless to me. I entered college as an extremely shy, insecure, and quiet girl - and halfway through, the changes I see in myself and in my friends who also rushed are amazing. I truly believe that being a part of a sorority has helped me to become a confident, outgoing young woman. The knowledge that I have 160+ sisters who have confidence in me and who love me the way I am is empowering, and I hope that's something you get to experience as well!
^I agree with some of your points. Also I don't think you should assume "we are not greek and can't be answering this question." I am a Greek as was my mom..so yeah.
I don't think it's fair to paint this picture perfct image of 160+ girls that love eachother and everyone lives happily ever after because I doubt if that is ever truly the case. I've lived it first hand. In such large crowds, cliques usually form in one way or another. Not everyone likes eachother either. Some girls simply TOLERATE you at best, and this is only bcause you share the same letters. You can not rule out hypocrisy and backstabbing because it DOES happen. I always found it very awkward to overhear crap talking coming from a sister about another sister. I kind of feel that "sisterhood" makes your dislike for a person turn into tension, unlike what you may experience in a club. For example if Mary joins my Tennis Club and I don't like her, I can simply just avoid her and not interact with her. In greek life, Mary joins my sorority and I Haveeeee to interact with her at som point and then I have to pretend I like her, or treat her a little better because of our obligation to sisterhood or whatnot. It's just a great enviorment to breed Fakeness.
If the arguement arises that "well its human nature for not everyone to get along" or "gossiping happens everywhere", then fine, but don't try to make it seem like it's all rainbows and cupcakes. That's just something I wanted to point out so people can see both sides a little better.
Last edited by PrettyPeridot; 07-23-2012 at 02:28 AM.
Well, I've never had a bad experience before - must differ by chapter, or maybe everyone's experience is different. There are obviously going to be girls who aren't your best friend, but I genuinely get along with all of my sisters. I might not like their attitudes sometimes, but I've never once felt any serious tension that would negatively affect my experience - the question was "is it worth the money", and yes, I believe it is.
Yes, it's worth the money if any of the following apply:
A) You have an extra 3K burning a hole in your pocket each semester.
B) You feel that "everyone is doing it" and you have a need to jump on bandwagons.
C) You saw Legally Blonde, House Bunny or any other movie with Greek life in it and said "OmG, I HAVE TO BE IN A SORORITY! "
D) You believe this will be the most crucial and life altering decision you will make at UF and the curiosity to rush doesn't let you sleep at night.
E) You didn't know UF has hundreds of Campus Organizations and can't come up with any other way to meet people/network
Now, am I being sarcastic or am I serious? hmm
Bottom line is there are bigger things to worry about. The whole "rush now or regret it later" is B.S. you can always rush during Spring, sophomore year and even Junior year if you're still hell bent on it. Sure, Juniors have a tougher time getting into "top sororities", but I'm sure you wouldn't want to end up at a superficial house anyways so who cares? Don't stress. I find the whole freaking out/restless nights obsessing about rushing totally ridiculous.
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO:
Rush, go through the "pledge" period at whichever house you end up at, and then you judge for yourself if that group of people is worth you paying money to "join" them offiicially. You can still "drop out" at any time before you initiate, and before payments are due* (if I remember correctly).
Last edited by PrettyPeridot; 08-08-2012 at 03:30 AM.