Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Facts & Myths
Myth 1. Greek Chapters encourage binge drinking and drug abuse.
Truth: Due to the fact that Greek Chapters compromise the largest student organizations nationwide, Greek 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 Chapter 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 Greek Chapters 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 Chapter's history and values.
Another fear is that personal space is non-existent for New Members. In a house, 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 houses. 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 Greek life and choose to amplify its supposed "horrors." In doing so, many movies and shows forget to ad the beneficial sides of joining a Greek Chapter and portray its positive notes.
Although there are some isolated instances of hazing and alcohol related occurrences, many institutions and Chapters 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. Greek 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 Chapters' 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's 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.
- 71% of those listed in "Who's Who in America" belong to a fraternity.
- Of the nation's 50 largest corporations, 43 are headed by fraternity men.
- 85% of the Fortune 500 executives belong to a fraternity.
- 40 of 47 U.S. Supreme Court Justices since 1910 were fraternity men.
- 76% of all Congressmen and Senators belong to a fraternity.
- Every U.S. President except eight born since the first social fraternity was founded in 1825 have been members of a fraternity.
- 63% of the U.S. President's Cabinet members since 1900 have been Greek.
- A National Conference report shows a high percentage of the 4,000 NIC fraternity chapters are above the All-Men's scholastic average on their respective campuses.
- A U.S. Government study shows that over 70% of all those who join a fraternity/sorority graduate, while under 50% of all non-fraternity/sorority persons graduate.
- Less than 2% of an average college student's expenses go toward fraternity dues. (U.S. Office of Education)
- Over 85% of the student leaders on some 730 campuses are involved in the Greek community.
Thoughts on Being Greek
How has being Greek positively affected/changed you?
Being Greek has played a very large role on me. I spent my freshman year here at WIU non-Greek, and I never did anything, wasn't involved, had a couple close friends I could count on. After joining Delta Zeta last year as a sophomore, I have allowed my leadership qualities to show and I have gotten extremely involved. I now hold a position in my house along with PHC, and I am also the president of Colleges Against Cancer. Being a sorority has shown me the opportunities that are out there and all you have to do is go for it.
-- Colleen Pratl