The Importance Of Greek Culture In Greek Society

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With the reckless image of Greek like portrayed by popular movies like Animal House (1978) and The House Bunny (2008) contrasted with the philanthropic image depicted by the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by Greek organizations, it can be difficult to understand the social norms present within Greek organizations. Conflicting messages presented by mainstream news, movies, and Greek organizations themselves can make Greek life a difficult concept to grasp. Through immersing myself in Greek culture, I hoped to obtain a grasp of the social patterns and customs within Greek organizations at the University of Connecticut, a public university located in Storrs, Connecticut, home to nearly 19,000 undergraduate students. Based on my experience …show more content…
A date night is essentially a smaller house party, in which each fraternity brother is permitted to bring one female guest, or “date”. Due to the more exclusive nature of the date night, the venue, another fraternity-owned home about a mile off campus, was not nearly as crowded, providing the option to be as close or far from a date as desired. Like most other couples, I arrived with my date via a sober driver and remained with my date for the duration of the night. I found that this greatly silenced the animalistic atmosphere that was present at the open house party. To fit in with the rest of the females, I wore a short, tight dress and high heels. It was fascinating that even without an official dress code, nearly all females arrived wearing a tight black dress, typically with fabric cutouts or a low neckline. At the date night, communal alcohol was not being served; it was assumed to be the male’s responsibility to provide alcohol for the couple. Throughout the night, it was presumed that couples would leave the venue together. Though the feeling of being prey that I experienced at the open house party diminished, it was replaced by a notion of expected “hooking up”. Regardless of the fact that ABC’s open house party and date night were both nighttime parties, the open house party left me feeling more like a small animal being …show more content…
Studies dating as far back as 1941 clearly highlight and identify some of the historically beneficial aspects of Greek life, “…It is considered necessary to the development of the social possibilities of the individual…an opportunity to plant the seed of all those values which are the essence of good living…fraternities have made many significant contributions to the life of college students in the past one hundred years” (Deakins p.260). Along this line of thought, Greek life as a whole has had essential contributions to society, including the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for philanthropies each year, the thousands of people who find a home away from home at universities every year, and the positive peer pressure that often leads to higher Greek GPAs and involvement. This behavior is consistent with my time spent at the philanthropy event; however, as evidenced by my experiences at fraternity parties, this is not always the case.There is often a spectrum of how non-Greek individuals view the concept of Greek life; some view Greek organizations as negative institutions directly implicated in rape culture, hazing, and exclusivity. Along with these perceptions, a certain set of social norms, supported by news allegations and rape culture, could be expected, as I experienced through the encouragement of sexual

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