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Colgate - Greek Life

byeretirementbyeretirement Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
Daughter is going to spend next few weeks deciding for herself where to go, her choices are Colgate, Emory, UMich, Wake Forest, Bucknell, USC, Richmond. I think she is down to UMich, Colgate and Wake.

Question - I don't like Greek life. I think it's bad for kids and is exclusionary and cliquey in nature. My son is in a frat so I've seen this up close. My daughter might want to rush actually, so the concern is that of a parent, not a student.

Of the above, I know Greek life is omnipresent at Bucknell and WF and really dictates socialization. I'm told it's the same at Colgate, is that true?

Please share your experience. Thank you.
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Replies to: Colgate - Greek Life

  • afisher623afisher623 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    I have the same question!
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,787 Senior Member
    Colgate owns the Greek houses. I believe they took ownership in order to have more control over the fraternities and sororities and to keep them in check.
  • moneypmoneyp Registered User Posts: 772 Member
    I have limited info only. My ds graduated there 3 years ago. He had many friends, some greek members, some non-members. He was not a member. He didn't find it exclusionary.
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 754 Member
    If a son or daughter attends Colgate and chooses to join a fraternity or sorority I hope it is for the “right” reasons:
    a sense of community within it - but not excluding other relationships and opportunities to socialize - that delivers.

    There are 3 and 5 officially sanctioned sororities and fraternities respectively for 2950 students. Freshmen and sophomores are enrolled in the Commons system before they can live in the Greek houses, and there are several theme houses that upperclassmen can live in.

    http://www.colgate.edu/campus-life/housing-options/residential-commons

    http://www.colgate.edu/campus-life/housing-options/housing-options

    I trust the balance of housing options gives you a sense of options available to your daughterand her future friends.

    Go ‘gate!
  • byeretirementbyeretirement Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    @markham why does Greek life at Colgate not exclude from other forms of socialization outside of the frat/sorority? At schools like Bucknell and Wake, for instance, it totally excludes anything outside the frat/sorority. What's so different at Colgate, and what percentage of kids rush and pledge?
  • byeretirementbyeretirement Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    i looked it up, says one third of students go Greek. That's a lot less than Bucknell or Wake.
  • inanebabblerinanebabbler Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I don't plan to join a frat and I don't like parties, am I doomed?
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 754 Member
    You are a free agent which means you can make choices, change those choices and influence the choices of those you associate with. Doomed? Hardly!

    Go ‘gate!
  • bankdaddybankdaddy Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I'm also concerned about the social scene at Colgate. I'm pushing my kid to go there because of the many benefits, but no doubt i'm concerned. I got the impression the kids there were very rich and somewhat entitled and that the Greek scene could be overwhelming. Same would be true at numerous liberal arts of that caliber of course. I think the big public universities like Michigan, UCLA, UVA have a lot of alternatives to that sort of scene. I wish some Colgate students would address that perception.
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 754 Member
    How would Colgate students change that perception? It’s your perception, after all, and unless you banish whoever it is who are rich, entitled or whatever you perceive, well, those students are going to do what they do and you will continue to hold perceptions of sort.

    It’s better to let your kid make his or her own choices about what college they attend and what they do there. This is real life - as in the resl world - and you cannot manage it, much less manage his or her perceptions and actions, which is really all that matters in this context, right?

    Good luck with the college search!
  • bankdaddybankdaddy Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    @markham... Man, you are a trip. Giving life and parenting lessons on an anonymous forum (and to the tune of 700+ posts). I wasn't looking for parenting instructions/advice, i've managed quite well in that regard so far and you have no idea who my kid. Youtube is full of past and current students who address the known issues with Colgate related to diversity, partying, Greek life and an upper class/entitled vibe. True or not, it's a stereotype Colgate shares along with many other schools. I've visited Colgate four times now and I noticed kids wearing $1000 coats and driving $50K cars. I was simply looking/hoping for some written feedback by students addressing this and how it affects their experience whether they themselves are privileged or not. That's how they would change and or confirm that perception. How my kid then deals with that, individually and in conversations with parents is irrelevant to the nature of my question. Colgate doesn't need to be sold, it sells itself, but as with many other schools there are issues both prospective students and their parents want to work through. I'd suggest you stop with the jive and hard sell seen in most of your posts, it's not helpful.
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 754 Member
    “Jive”? A little dignity, please. That’s rich... You will be fine provided you calm down a bit. Maybe take a breather or a vacation?

    Of course there are “rich kids” whose parents made the lifestyle happen. And there are lots of others, too. So what? Nothing new there on many top LACs.

    I hope your “kid” sorts out life’s complexities with aplomb his or her own way. At college and beyond. Ok? Same applies for his or her wider community which exists in whatever form you perceive it as being. That’s what college students do, you know, and there are lots of outlets, such as athletics and clubs, and residences such as the Commons which is professionally administered so students grow into their environments, and lots of opportunities in diverse settings to explore presumptions and attitudes, as complements to course work.

    Take care.

    Go ‘gate!
  • elle88elle88 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    FWIW, my D was underwhelmed by Colgate's sororities when she visited. She has grown up in the SEC and she thought Greek Life at Colgate presented a much lower profile than at most other schools she visited. Her impression was Greek Life existed as one social/service option, but did not dominate the campus.
  • bankdaddybankdaddy Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    @markham talk about "rich"... the person (Colgate administrator probably) with 700+ posts promoting Colgate is telling me about needing a vacation? Your **** is about as effective as your sales pitch. I hope my kid picks Colgate in spite of attitudes like yours vis-a-vis exploring Colgate.
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 754 Member
    Sorry you don't understand, much less value, the opinions of alumni who are dedicated and interested enough in their alma mater to support it. Yes, 700 posts is a good number and my contributions have spanned over 11 years, if memory serves me well. And if you don't like the content I hope you can move on. After all, this forum, with its content, is not a commercial deal- maybe you are confusing matters? - as I am not a buying or selling binary-choice mode.

    So get this: I am not an administrator, believe it or not, and I have stated repeatedly that I am an alumnus.

    Best of luck to your college applicant son or daughter who will be making his or her own choices of college relationships soon enough. What great opportunities lie ahead for growth, academically and otherwise.

    Go 'gate!
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