November 25, 2013

Collegiate Perspective: Being Greek in the Big Ten

My senior year in high school I narrowed my choices down to two schools for my college experience. A liberal arts school that was 20 minutes away from home and a Big Ten university that was about a 5-hour drive south. I chose the University of Iowa and found myself walking in the heat to 14 chapter houses during Fall Formal Recruitment.

The University of Iowa is currently about 12% Greek, a small percentage compared to top Greek schools like Indiana University, University of Michigan, and University of Illinois. During Fall Formal Recruitment, the numbers were the highest ever and the Greek community saw real growth. Although my school has a reputation of being a party-school, which is usually attributed to the Greek life and bar scene, being Greek at the University of Iowa is so much more than that.

Although it is sometimes difficult to overcome the certain reputation that comes along with being a part of a Greek organization, it’s an honor to be in Alpha Phi. Women and Men in Greek life have dedicated hours to volunteering and philanthropic events, making it a major part of our chapter.

Natalie Westman, a sophomore at Michigan State University Alpha Phi said, “Greek life gives you a welcoming outlet where you can related to thousands of other Greeks and are able to connect at a deeper level.” At a school like Michigan State University, Greek life helps build pride, and fraternities and sororities can combine to create a social scene that is true to collegiate fashion.

“Without Greek life on a Big Ten campus, not only would the social scene be drastically different but there also wouldn’t be that drive to be academically the best and your own personal best,” said Westman. There is a drive to have the best grade point average as a chapter the University of Iowa and I am happy to call myself Greek because of it.

Anna Kozak is a collegiate member at Delta Epsilon (Iowa). Learn more about Anna by clicking here.

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