Greek life 101: Augustana edition
From movies or TikTok, everyone has an idea of what Greek life is or what it seems to be. While sororities and fraternities may continue to be depicted negatively in pop culture, Augustana’s Greek system has classic traditions and differs from the stereotypes in major ways.
What is Greek life like at Augustana?
Greek life at Augustana is fun. While some may associate the terms “sorority” and “fraternity” with mean girls and creepy guys, that is simply not the case at Augie. About 40% of the Augustana community is involved in one of 14 Greek life organizations. Most chapters are local chapters — meaning they can only be found here at Augie. We don’t have Greek houses. But we have a Greek community that is warm and welcoming.
What kinds of Greek groups are there?
Social Greek groups – typically participate in Homecoming events and Greek Week, and host events for the rest of the student body.
Music and theatre Greek groups – put on concerts and plays for the student body and promote the arts culture on campus.
Service Greek groups – give back to others. (While every social Greek group is required to do community service, service Greek groups are based on service.)
Academic honors Greek groups – each are dedicated and run by students in different academic majors.
Is Greek life like how it’s portrayed on TV?
No, not at Augustana. Greek life is not a huge party scene or a clip from "Legally Blonde." Augustana Greek life is about friendships among people who push each other to be the best versions of themselves.
The Greek groups I’m a part of are filled with some of the smartest and kindest people I have ever met, and I might not have met them if it wasn’t for these groups. It’s about having a friendly face in your classes and someone to cheer on your successes. It's about constantly being inspired by the greatness of those around you.
What has Greek life done for me?
I am a senior and have been involved with Phi Rho, a social sorority, and Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a service sorority, since my freshman year. Not only have I met some of my best friends and future bridesmaids from these groups, they also have given me things as simple as people to study with.
Because of these groups, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with children, celebrate the 100th anniversary of Phi Rho with generations of alumnae, and feel as though I made a difference in my time at Augustana.
While the idea of going Greek may be nerve-racking to some, my best advice to you is: just try rush (recruitment process). It gives you the opportunity to meet new people and see what all the different groups are about. You do not have to join a group after rushing. You can use it as an opportunity to make new friends. But it can also be the place where you find your new home.
Bryn Gatz (Class of 2022) is from Sterling, Ill. She is majoring in creative writing and business administration. On campus, Bryn is involved in the Phi Rho sorority, Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority, and Her Campus.