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Fraternities and Sororities: Expectations Versus Reality

By Elisabeth Lopez

erl68@txstate.edu

SAN MARCOS– Binge drinking, partying, hazing, body shaming, these are ways that movies and television shows portray fraternity and sorority life (FSL). However, people involved in these organizations do not feel these depictions are accurate at all.

Most television shows and movies show that most people involved in FSL care only about partying and less about going to school and doing well in classes.

However, in an article by Business Insider, people involved in sororities and fraternities did have higher GPAs than the classmates not involved. This may be due to the fact that many organizations require members to meet a minimum GPA to remain active members.

The statement can also be backed up by Texas State FSL overall reporting GPAs from previous semesters comparing non-FSL and FSL students.

For the Fall 2020 semester, the average GPA for all undergraduates was 2.79 and the average GPA for everyone in FSL was 3.01. Which means students in FSL had a 0.22 higher GPA than the average GPA of all undergraduate students at Texas State.

The numbers are also similar to the Spring 2020 semester where FSL students’ GPA was 0.24 points higher than the average undergraduate GPA.

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Another thing the popular movies and television shows do not always touch on is the different councils that are typically found on a campus that includes fraternity and sorority life. The film industry also fails to mention the philanthropy work these organizations are involved in.

Here at Texas State, FSL consists of four different councils- Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), Nation Pan-Hellenic (NPHC), and Panhellenic Council (NPC).

 Within all councils at Texas State, everyone contributes back to the Texas State community, as well as the San Marcos Community. Texas State FSL coordinator, Elizabeth Ayala, states that she has seen great successes from all the members of the councils that make up the Greek community.

“This semester alone, the interfraternity council donated 7,850 pounds of food to the Hays County Food Bank,” Ayala said. “Our Panhellenic Council raised over $2,000 for Circle of Sisterhood, an organization that raises financial recourses for entities around the world that are removing education barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression.”

Ayala also states that all councils in FSL participated in a large-scale community event that helped raise money for School Fuel here in San Marcos.

These are not the only philanthropy events that students in these organizations have put on. The Women of Delta Gamma raised over $8,000 all of the money which went to help benefit Service Sight, an organization that helps the blind and visually impaired community.

The men of Sigma Chi also held a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in which they partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos, the money from this event helped raise money for The Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Students can also see the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. on the quad during the early weeks of October handing out little flyers that give information on how to administer a self-breast examination.

Even though doing this is not necessarily raising money for any charity, it is still a helpful bit of knowledge people in the community should know about.

Many members that are a part of this community want others to know that there is so much more to these organizations than meets the eye.

 Fraternity member, Jovan Bravo wants to let people not involved in FSL that there are many leadership and growth opportunities given in this community.

“FSL offers a bunch of resume-building opportunities along with a chance to highlight one’s leadership skills by offering many leadership roles and be involved in the community,” Bravo said. “Everyone thinks fraternities and sororities do nothing but partying, it’s not completely true, we take care of business then reward ourselves later.”

Many people in the community are aware that these stereotypes will not completely vanish overnight but Sorority President Victoria Williams strives to leave a positive impact on her community which hopefully will help reframe people’s thinking.

“I hope to bring the slightest bit of positivity and joy into every situation,” Williams said. “I also want to be a support system for every person in my organization as they are for me.”

Although these stereotypes and judgments may still appear in the media, people involved in FSL strive daily to push against these beliefs. For information about FSL visit www.fsl.dos.txstate.edu

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