Rush Week is here. It’s the time of the year when sophomores decide whether to stay with their floor friends, find better people’s floor friends or sign their lives away to one social organization for the next three years. While there are definitely benefits to being a part of a Greek Life organization (sisterhood/brotherhood, philanthropy, big houses, access to lots of alcohol, cool parties, easy friends and the occasional free T-shirt), this article isn’t about them. The grass isn’t always greener on the Newing field. Here’s a list of things you’re not missing by abstaining from Greek Life.
Rush — Panhellenic Rush of Binghamton’s on-campus social sororities involves dumb arts and crafts and making painful small talk with strangers. Unofficial rush, which inevitably becomes a part of formal rush, involves Facebook-stalking, drink-buying and shit-talking. You won’t miss the competitive anxiety that comes with making such a permanent choice, potentially having to choose between your friends and the people you wish were your friends, or the fear of not being chosen at all.
Dues — While Binghamton dues are much cheaper than our Big Ten counterparts, who may pay up to a big 10 times more than the $200 – $700 a semester charged in Binghamton Greek Life, the stereotype that Greek Life is paying for friendship has merit. Not to dishonor the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood, because many of the friendships made in Greek Life are more real than they get credit for, but there is an undeniable element to these organizations that makes it impossible to participate without paying.
Strict social schedule — Guess who can’t come to your birthday party? Your Greek friend. And no, we’re not talking about Athena Portokalos, we’re talking about your friend in a sorority. Although all women (and men) deserve the right to choose, this isn’t always possible under the strictures of a Greek organization. You have to report to those in charge of the social calendar to let them know your status of attendance for the mixers every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sometimes, there is even a financial penalty if you don’t give your notice in a timely fashion or make the decision to go somewhere other than what’s marked on the social calendar. Every once in a while, I just want to sit in the dark in The Rat and eat wings without having to tell anyone, you know?
Incestuous hookup culture — Guess who just hooked up with the person you hooked up with last weekend? Your Greek friend. And no, we’re not talking about Athena Portokalos, unless she’s in a sorority. Then it was probably her. The Greek Life community can be a small and exclusive one, especially at BU, and sexual adventures easily overlap. Most guys or girls have some sort of hook-up-history that the community is aware of, so it makes it difficult to find carnal territory to call your own.