One Parent’s Understanding of the Greek Cycle in College

College has started and so has the cycle of Greek life. This year once again countless college students across the country will aspire to be a part of this system. Each person needs to decide for himself or herself but it seems that in the mind of a college student belonging to something that looks like so much fun is appealing. And so the cycle starts. As far as I can tell becoming a part of a sorority or fraternity is a repeatable process. This starts with a period called rushing. Rushing seems to be the period of time when a student goes from house to house. This is the time when each student is trying to form an opinion as to which “house” he/she wants to belong to. It is also the time when the fraternity/sorority has to sell themselves to the student so they will have a pledge class. Once this period ends a Bid is given to all the students that the fraternity/sorority wants and now starts the period of Pledging. It is during this period of time that Hazing may occur. Pledge activities can run the gamut from simple embarrassing activities to more dangerous ones that can involve excessive drinking, exposure to the elements and other mean spirited demands. After enduring these activities the pledge is finally Initiated into the house and becomes a Brother or Sister privy to all the privileges associated with belonging. Since all pledging activities are “secret” I only have third hand accounts of what this cycle entails. But according to these tales, I have to ask myself; is the idea of belonging to a fraternity or sorority worth the stress and degradation that some of these hazing rituals cause? In addition, what amazes me is that whether a person has endured an easy or difficult pledge period they seem to be anxious to do the same or worse to other kids the next year. What does that say about human nature? Do you have any other information about the Greek cycle that you would like to share with other parents?

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