Til Rush Do Us Part

Hannah Guy

My feelings on Greek life are deeply con­flicted. On the one hand, I love frat parties. What with the variety of music played and the amount of neon generally worn, they’re like the best middle school dance you could ever imagine. I’m rarely as happy as I am when dancing in a crowded basement to an insane mash-up.

And though I’m not in one, I think the idea of sororities is a good one. Getting to meet a bunch of girls you might not have known, the opportunity to attend mixers, formals and all the other fun stuff that comes with affiliation are all good things. But being able to experience the joys of Greek life comes with a price, particularly for those of us on the outside.

And so, though I die for Fraturdays, I can’t help but wonder what my Colgate life would be like without a Greek scene. Would my freshmen group of friends have stayed the way we were? Would those magical first weeks of sophomore year, when friendships were cemented and be­fore all the rushing business started, have continued forever? That time stands out in my mind like a golden age, but would we eventually have gone our different ways anyway?

I know many people who are involved in Greek Life highlight the fact that their Greek organization is a group of people who are there for them, for support as well as for just general fun, hangout-type things. And that is definitely a bonus of be­ing involved in Greek life. But what about the group of people who served that func­tion before you were involved in your frat or sorority?

The group that formed organically from having similar interests or from be­ing involved in the same activities or just because you clicked? For some people that group collectively gets put into a Greek organization together and everythingcontinues smoothly.

But sometimes it doesn’t. And in the cases I have experience with, frequently the new (Greek) group takes precedence over the old group.

I don’t want this to come off as melodra­matic, although that is my default setting. In all honesty, my group was not blown apart by Greek Life. Today we’re not divided between those who went Greek and those who didn’t; I still consider people from both ends of the spectrum close friends. But there was a splin­tering. And some of the people who made me most excited to return to Colgate for my soph­omore year are now much more absent from my life than I would prefer. Again, we’re not enemies. And we’re closer than acquaintances. But we’re not where we were.

But I still don’t know if I would want (or could even comprehend) a Colgate without Greeks. It’s part of the character of this school. We would need about six more Jugs if we didn’t have the frats. And I know my case isn’t universal. And ac­tually, my friends’ involvement in Greek organizations has also introduced me to many people I might not have met other­wise and I do appreciate that. But I can’t help but think that even if we didn’t have Greek organizations, people here, who for the most part are friendly and outgoing, would still make an effort to get to know new people all the time.

And maybe if this social exchange were taken out of the context of Greek Life, people wouldn’t have to absolute­ly trade one set of friends for another; we could have a much more blended social scene.

Meeting, loving, losing people; that’s all a part of life, especially college life. Sometimes Greek organizations have a hand in that and sometimes they don’t. People grow apart for a num­ber of reasons; that’s just a part of life. But at this school those houses down on Broad Street seem to have a bigger hand in that than we sometimes like to admit.