Western Herald – Members of WMU’s Greek community say stereotypes about their lifestyle are false

Members of WMU’s Greek community say stereotypes about their lifestyle are false

Fraternity members Andrew Leamon, Chris Rettich & Brett Hartranft raising money this week for Push America philanthropy event organized by Pi Kappa Phi near the flagpoles at WMU. WMU Greek life members emphasize the fact that they are active members of the community, despite any misconceptions driven by the media. Western Herald File Photo

Tyler Wilson

Staff Reporter

Sorority recruitment has ended and rush week for fraternities is nearly halfway over, but talk about Greek life is all over campus.  Members of the Greek community have sought to put a stop the misconceptions about Greek life that have arisen on college campuses across America due to television and other media.

“All the things you see on TV are what people think we are all about,” said Leah Kachur, a senior English major in Chi Omega .  “I think it is unfair.  People in Greek life are just like everyone else on campus. These stereotypes are unfair.”

“Everyone has misconceptions on us,” said Matt Hiss, a senior Tau Kappa Epsilon.  “It comes from people who don’t know what we are all about.”

There are many different types of myths that surround Greek life, such as the hazing of pledges, paying for friends and promoting partying.

According to the WMU website, “hazing is strictly prohibited by WMU and by individual fraternity and sorority headquarters. In addition, WMU sororities may not attend functions at fraternity houses where alcohol is present.”

Binge drinking is another myth that people outside of Greek life think that fraternities and sororities conduct and promote as part of their organizations.

This is far from the truth, according to Greek life members.

“Sure we may drink, but it is a very small percentage of what we do,” said Hiss. “Our philanthropy sheds a better light on ourselves, Greek life and the community,” said Hiss.All Greek life organizations have philanthropic beliefs, and WMU’s fraternities and sororities are avid workers in the community.  Some Greek life organizations raise money for community foundations, such as the Make a Wish foundation, the Ronald Regan Alzheimer’s Foundation and St. Jude’s Hospital.  Activities like picking up trash around Kalamazoo and holding fundraisers are just a few things that Greek life members do to be involved within the community.

Hollywood may portray Greek life as a wild side of college, but in reality, Greek life does so much for the community and the student body at WMU.

“We do get in the community and make a difference,” said Kachur.  “You won’t understand it until you look out from the inside.”


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