Real Greeks aren’t like the TV ones

As the phenomena of reality TV has invited us into the lives of the sisters of Delta Xi Omega and the brothers of Sigma Chi Omega at the University of Buffalo, the drunken frat boy and promiscuous sorority girl stigmas are becoming ever more prevalent. The truth is that shows like “Fraternity Life” and “Sorority Life” and the new movie release “Old School” are the exception and not the rule when it comes to depicting real Greek students. It is important to establish the difference between the way Greek life is portrayed in the media and how it really exists on Bowling Green State University’s campus.

An important disparity to note is that both Delta Xi Omega and Sigma Chi Omega are local chapters on their campus, meaning they do not report to a national or international organization. Therefore, they have no set standards save for the policies of the university, which may be why their members’ behavior is often unconscionable. Greek organizations at the University are a part of large, well-known national organizations, thus binding them to a higher, nationally enforced uniform code of conduct than these local institutions.

Media representations of Greek life also usually focus only on extreme partying and other senseless behaviors of the members. Although you may know a fraternity or sorority member on this campus that embodies this image, please consider that this person is one part of an entire body and does not represent his or her fellow chapter members or the larger Greek community. Recognize that he or she does not reflect the beliefs the Greek institution was founded upon. Just as groups of friends are made up of diverse individuals, so are fraternities and sororities and therefore you cannot make an all-encompassing judgment of the group based on one member.

Quite possibly the most beneficial aspect of Greek life is the availability of leadership opportunities for all members of the community. For example, take some of the top leadership positions on campus and often times you will see that position filled by an individual who is also a member of a Greek organization. For those who do not wish to be at the forefront of student life activities, Greek life provides plenty of philanthropic opportunities. Whether it be through service activities or charity events, the Greek community is a civic-minded body. Through time- honored rituals, fraternities and sororities inspire their members to achieve more than the common student and to reach beyond their preconceived limitations, accomplishing great things.

Keep in mind that although reality shows may be entertaining to watch, common sense tells us that they are not accurate portrayals of “real” life. Therefore, the same conclusion can be drawn with “Fraternity Life” and “Sorority Life”; amusing to watch but not proper representations of their true-life counterparts. We hope you will see through these stereotypes and give the values of the Greek community earnest consideration.

Tracy LaHote is Panhellenic Council President. Derek Cohen is Interfraternity Council President.