Letter: Fraternities provide connections, support, friendship

BY Griffin Ayers, The Daily Evergreen columnist (Washington State University)

Fraternity life is a rewarding experience for young men. Joining a fraternity chapter will result in new lifelong friends, provides career opportunities, and allows members to provide community service to the local Pullman area.

“It gives students … opportunity to do more, and connect with more people, and enjoy their time in college to the fullest, ” said Cooper Greenfield, senior human resource management major, and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

These events allow someone to meet a lot of new people and make new friends. Those new friends are especially valuable when going to a college without as many prior friendships from home.

When an individual signs up to join a fraternity, they agree to live a certain amount of time in the chapter house. This time allows for members to get really close with other members, creating long-lasting relationships.

However, for some members, moving into the chapter facility can be an annoying and expensive process. Living with 50-plus young men can be a challenge for some. A lot of people might balk at the prospect of sharing a room with multiple people, having a dirty house and paying a considerable amount of money to live in the chapter facility. Despite this, many enjoy the camaraderie of having 50-plus of one’s best friends sharing a house.

Another benefit of joining a fraternity is the professional connections made during college.

Jeff Rovegno graduated from WSU in 1990 and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon for all his four years at WSU. He credits his professional success to his involvement in a fraternity.

“From day one you establish 50 to 75 contacts that will help you not only in school but definitely help you through life as well,” he said. “Every job I’ve ever gotten was a result of some affiliation through my fraternity.”

Another way that fraternity life helps provide jobs is through large alumni systems that provide newly graduated members with opportunities like internships. Alumni and legacies help provide an opportunity for younger members. Both former President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush, were members of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Being a “legacy” with family members who were part of the same fraternity can aid in someone’s admission, but is not required to join a chapter.

Charity work is becoming more popular through fraternity communities. In the 1990s, charity work was not as big of a deal in fraternity life. Today philanthropy events are a very popular practice among the Greek community.

Greenfield said his fraternity does a lot for the community but there are always people throughout his fraternity chapter that want to do more and push other members to do more for the community.

Joining a fraternity can be an integral part of someone’s college experience, but people often discount fraternities’ academic engagement.

In Sigma Phi Epsilon, my fraternity, members are encouraged to put schoolwork as a number one priority. Good grades are rewarded, and if members have failing grades older members encourage and aid them in getting their grades up.

Fraternity life encourages making friends, gaining professional connections and supporting the community. Fraternity life builds men who are ready for the real work after college. Fraternity life should be regarded highly by all students.