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What It Means to be Greek

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Corporate Communications Intern, Rachel Freeman
Rachel is a graduate student at San Francisco State. She received her Bachelor’s in Communication from University of the Pacific. In addition to working at BookRenter, she coaches high school and club volleyball. In her spare time, you can find her playing with her golden retriever, Mollie, and cheering on her hometown San Francisco Giants.

This blog post is the second about Greek Life in college. Click here to read part 1. 

by Wikipedia

There are 400,000 active members in Greek organizations nationwide. And many of these organizations are gearing up for spring recruitment (formally known as rush). But what does it mean to go Greek and be Greek?

We’ve all seen the TV shows and movies. Legally Blonde, Sydney White, Animal House, Greek. What do they all have in common? They depict college Greek life. But when there are no actors and no cameras, Greek life is not exactly what Hollywood shows us it is.

Being Greek means being part of a community that exists not only on your college campus but all around the country. Being Greek means being involved in philanthropy projects and community service. Being Greek means being held accountable to higher academic standards, as determined by minimum GPAs. Being Greek means living and experiencing college with your best friends.

Here are some pretty neat facts about the Greek community (thanks, East Carolina University!):

  • All but two of the US presidents, since 1825 have been Greek
  • All but two of the US vice presidents, since 1825 have been Greek
  • 30% of US Congressmen/women are Greek
  • 42% of US Senators are Greek
  • 40% of all Supreme Court Justices have been Greek
  • 30% of Fortune 500 Executives are Greek
  • 71% of Greeks graduate college, while only about 50% of non-Greeks do
  • All of the Apollo 11 astronauts were Greek
  • Greeks make up only 2% of the US Population

by Steph Nester

Furthermore, Greeks give back – both to charity and to their universities – once they have graduated and moved on. Greek alumni give approximately 75% of all money donated to universities. Undergraduate collegiate members raised about $7 million per year for charities and give around 850,000 volunteer hours per year.

Delta Delta Delta sorority recently donated $10 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Pi Kappa Phi fraternity has had over 1,500 members participate in the bicycle treks of the Journey of Hope and Gear Up Florida and the construction event, Build America.

Going Greek is not for everyone, but for people who do join it can be a life-changing experience. Who knows, yours bridesmaids may be your sorority sisters or the next President of the United States could be your fraternity brother!

Are you Greek? What does it mean to you?

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