Before judging Greeks, know the system

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    After reading a recent Skiff column about one freshman’s experience at TCU thus far, I realized just how uninformed some are about Greek societies. I can see where it would be easy to simplify being a part of such an organization to “paying for your friends” if you were unaware of the good that Greeks do. However, I think that before voicing such strong opinions, one should further research the system before criticizing it.I can admit that I am not the most active participant in my Greek society, Kappa Alpha Theta. I have never held an office or any other significant role in my sorority, but that does not mean I am any less proud to be one of its members.

    I came to TCU three years ago oblivious to the inner workings of the whole Recruitment experience. I was the quiet, shy girl sitting in the back of the room, completely overwhelmed and thinking, what have I gotten myself into; this is ridiculous.

    I finished out those five long days in the heat and thought, I will end up wherever I am supposed to be. I was probably one of very few who actually got a good night’s sleep before Bid Day.

    I can understand how those who aren’t in a sorority or fraternity might feel like outsiders or like members of Greek societies don’t want to befriend them; however, that is just not true. Every organization at every college or university is going to have members who are unwilling to give everyone a shot. But it is unfair to assume that everyone is that way.

    I have several close friends who are not members of Greek societies, and I have never looked down on anyone who has chosen not to partake. I didn’t even decide to participate in Recruitment until a month before I came to TCU, and even then, my attitude was, I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. I also know that I am not the only one.

    Just because you are part of a Greek society doesn’t mean you have to like or be best friends with everyone in it. Yes, you do have some sort of connection with the others who are in your sorority or fraternity for the simple fact that you belong to the same society, but there is no written law saying you have to love and adore all of them. You should respect them as a human being, as you should anyone.

    There is a large social aspect to being part of a Greek society, but there is also much more. Sororities and fraternities, for the most part, pride themselves on service, scholarship and social growth.

    Most organizations require payment in the form of dues. How else would they survive? But I have never thought that by being a member of Theta, I am paying for my friends. I chose my friends based on the person, not the organization or the amount of money he or she might have. I cannot speak for all Greek societies, but I know that there are options available in Theta for members who struggle financially. I am one of them. I pay my own dues, and I do not use “daddy’s credit card.”

    Theta, along with every other sorority and fraternity, dedicates long hours and hard-earned money to charitable organizations. There is an opportunity for everyone to be as involved as they would like, and there are numerous leadership positions available.

    I can only apologize to everyone who has ever felt left out or looked down upon by members of the Greek community. But please, before you pass judgment and reduce the Greek system to a mere generality, do your research and become informed.

    Managing Editor Courtney Reese is a senior news-editoral journalism major from Fort Worth.

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