Not Just Your Average Bros

Gavin Lieb

Having served on the Inter-Fraternity Council for three consecutive years now, I have been both a witness to and a participant in the beneficially active role that Greek Life serves on this campus. Greek Life as a community has never been stronger in my four years at Colgate, an­chored by the uniform goal of improving our involvement, collaboration and inclusivity with the rest of the Colgate campus and greater Hamilton area. It makes up around 40 percent of eligible students and its members participate in more aspects of Colgate life than one would ever realize.

Once again, the fraternities along with the sororities have welcomed in a new class of Greek students eager to learn about and embrace the ideals that define Greek Life: community, friend­ship, philanthropy, leadership and a high standard of moral character. Fraternities had a success­ful recruitment in the fall, accepting over 150 new members into the six houses on campus. With this new class of men, the fraternal ideals, bonds and traditions are perpetuated to yet another generation. They have just embarked on their experience in Greek Life, and I can honestly say that, as a soon-to-be departing senior, I am jealous of each and every one of them.

While the perception of the fraternities revolves solely around the social events at the houses, it completely ignores our involvement in activities that rest at the core of fraternal values. We take tremendous pride in our philanthropic endeavors, and have hosted and partaken in numerous events already this year for a variety of causes. As individual Greek organizations, we have held events benefiting Uplifting Athletes, an organization centered on raising money and awareness for rare diseases, held a silent auction to raises money to support a summer camp in Madison County and collaboratively hosted a Tailgate Throwdown with the ALANA Cultural Center. Even this Halloween, the IFC is hosting a movie at the Hamilton Theater and trick-or-treating at the various fraternity houses for the local community and members of the Colgate faculty and staff. These few examples only represent a small sampling of the fraternities’ philanthropic and community-oriented events, and we have more scheduled throughout the year.

In the end, the thing that I am going to take away most from Greek Life is the lasting rela­tionships I’ve build over the years. From an outsider’s perspective, we are just a bunch of frat bros enjoying college, but they don’t see the intimate bonds that members of each fraternity have with each other and share as members of the Greek community. Men who were part of a Greek house 20 years ago are still thrilled to come back to Colgate and see their house and fraternity thriving. This is a testament to the lasting legacy that our fraternal values and bonds instill in each of our participants.

Whether it is in academics or in extracurricular activities, in our philanthropic efforts or in our social endeavors, fraternities pride themselves on being actively involved in the greater Colgate community. Overall, Greek life fosters and enhances the defining principle of the liberal arts education by developing well-rounded adults for the future.