During my very first semester at BC, it seemed that every time I logged onto Facebook, a new friend from back home was getting a bid from a sorority, or posting pictures from last night’s date night, or changing their profile picture to a flyer for their house’s upcoming philanthropy event. I won’t lie, it made me really jealous. I remember looking at those pictures and status updates and feeling like all of my friends from home already had a big friend group at school and a ton of parties and events to go to. I was still trying to master the art of making small talk in the bathroom as I tried to get to know my floor mates and wandering aimlessly around the mods with other freshman. I worried that, because BC didn’t have sororities, I wouldn’t have as much fun in college as my other friends, and I wished I, too, could join a sorority.
But now, after three and a half semesters under my belt, I’ve come to realize that I am so glad that BC doesn’t have Greek life (save, of course, for the secret frat). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to Greek life in general – many of my friends have met amazing people in their sororities and fraternities, most participate in service, and they create a great environment at some schools. However, there are quite a few reasons why I’m glad that the houses on Foster and Gerald don’t have Greek symbols hanging above the door…
- Sororities make a school smaller. A lot of my friends who are in sororities go to huge schools – schools where there are 7,000 students per class. At these schools, sororities are great because they make it easier to meet people and find a niche in a very large, scary environment. Also, since there are so many students, even in schools that are 40% “Greek” there are still tons of kids who are not in a frat or sorority. However, in my opinion, BC is small enough on its own. Making a smaller community within an already not-so-large school might make things harder for people who don’t want to participate in Greek life, and since the pledge classes would be smaller than those at larger state schools, the sororities might become cliquey.
- The cost. Right before school started, I joined my friends on a shopping trip so they could buy their “babies” (girls in the incoming pledge class) gifts for their future gift basket. We went to the dollar store to pick out little trinkets, but this was just the start of the gift giving process. On top of these small gifts (and candy which we did not buy there) they had to buy their little sister a ton of clothes (I think the cost of the clothes gift basket was $250). This is in addition to the dues they have to pay for being in the sorority, such as the cost of the house (and the chef that comes with it, which I will admit is pretty awesome). College is already pretty expensive, and I’m glad I don’t have the option of joining a club that would cost more money.
- Girl flirting. Now I haven’t gone through the process myself, but rushing seems to me like high stakes speed dating, only at the end of the night there is no hope of getting a cute boy’s phone number. It’s hard enough trying to make appropriate small talk with the girls in your dorm during the first week, but to have only ten minutes to charm an older girl during your second weekend of college is downright anxiety provoking. I know I would be awful at girl flirting, so I’m glad BC does not allow me to even try.
- BC Clubs. Many of the clubs at Boston College already have so many of the same components that make Greek life so appealing. Many sororities have a big sister/little sister aspect, which is really great for the freshman girls because they have an upperclassman to look up to and confide in. There are tons of clubs and groups at BC, such as Learning to Serve and the Big and Little Sisters Program (run by the Women’s Resource Center) that have mentor/mentee programs. Also, sororities have a strong service component, and BC is not at all lacking in service clubs. Also, many clubs at BC put on great events and throw fun parties. There does not seem to be a real need for sororities.
Greek life might me great at some schools, but I’m pretty glad we are sorority-free at BC.