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Pro-Con | Pro: Long live Greek life at Tufts

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 08:11

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Kristen Collins / Tufts Daily Archives

Thirteen percent of Tufts’ student population is involved in Greek Life. The Greek community consists of a total of 13 fraternities and sororities, including nine fraternities, three sororities and one co−ed fraternity. It is almost impossible to imagine Tufts without them.

The typical fraternity and sorority stereotypes promoted and glorified by the media are not reflective of Greek life at Tufts. The fraternities are not like “Animal House” and the sororities are not full of shallow, stuck−up girls.

Here at Tufts, Greek organizations not only benefit those involved in Greek life, but also those outside of Greek life. Greek life provides a positive college experience for brothers and sisters, as they unify students through brotherhood and sisterhood, rather than a specific interest, ethnicity or ideology, as many other student groups do.

Opponents of Greek life say that the Greek system is divisive and exclusive of the Tufts community. However, many Greek events are not exclusive to Greeks and, in fact, invite the entire Tufts community to come together under one roof, whether it’s for a philanthropic event or a party.

Tufts fraternities and sororities organize philanthropic events that raise awareness and money towards their chapter charity throughout the year. These events, coordinated by fraternities and sororities, create a gathering spot where students, both Greek and non−Greek, can meet up outside of class in a casual social setting and unite towards a good cause. Last year, Zeta Beta Tau held their annual Get on the Ball! event, which included rolling a gigantic ball around campus for one week and raised over $3,000 for the Children’s Hospital here in Boston.

Moreover, Greek life accounts a significant portion of the nightlife scene here, providing students with a place to socialize and party. Fraternity parties are often open to all Tufts students, and are an important aspect of campus culture. They provide a place for students to drink, mingle, dance and socialize in all sorts of ways, all in a casual and laid−back setting. The classroom is not designated for socialization, and positive interactions with other students outside class are crucial for students’ wellbeing.

Fraternities provide a physical place and casual setting where a large number of students, particularly freshmen, are open to meeting new people and making new friends. They serve as a ground for positive social interaction that is extremely important to making the adjustment to college life easier and more enjoyable for freshmen.

Sometimes fraternities combine both philanthropy and parties. For example, in two weeks, ATO, AEPi, ZBT, SigEp and Theta Chi are uniting to raise funds for cancer research through Party for Life, an event that raised over $3,000 last year. At events like these, both Greek and non−Greek students work for a good cause and cut loose in the midst of a stressful academic period. As a result, the Tufts community grows stronger.

Greek life has been a part of Tufts for 150 years, and it’s hard to imagine the school without it. Many successful alumni have participated in fraternities and sororities that exist on campus today, and to abolish those institutions would likely cause an uproar and a consequent reduction of alumni donations. Moreover, the absence of Greek life on campus could hurt the reputation of Tufts as an institution, and ultimately hurt high school recruitment. When prospective students see that there are active fraternities and sororities, they know that are student groups that they can join and meet students and build a network of friends of all grades and interests.

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Vanessa Zhang is a freshman who has not yet declared a major.

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