Not like the movies: Understanding Greek Life at USI

Tegan Ruhl, Assistant Lifestyle Editor March 29, 2023

If you’ve been immersed in American culture for more than 10 minutes, then you’ve heard of Greek Life. For decades, it’s been portrayed as “party-central,” where college students do wild things all the time with no respect for their grades. In reality, Greek Life on USI’s campus looks a lot different than what’s portrayed in the movies. 

“Honestly, Greek Life is a group of people who have similar ideals and values and hold the same things to a higher standard, and they’re in a group of either fraternity or sorority,” said Pierce Howard, senior political science major and Interfraternity Council president. “They work on charity and work with each other to try and raise funds and really bring life to campus.”

Almost all members think the same way about Greek Life. 

“Greek Life is essentially a group of students who are brought together within their brotherhood and sisterhood with similar values and beliefs, and they form a connection that way,” said Kyleigh Blum, junior exercise science and pre-occupational therapy major and Panhellenic president.

“For me, it’s been a community of creating a good bond between people,” said Derrick Thompson, junior civil engineering major and IFC vice president of programming. “To create a relationship that you can’t make anywhere else in the world, or really at any other place on campus. It’s a unique opportunity to become part of something that’s going to make you better in the process of helping others. It’s good for teaching good life skills. Getting you to be part of a family more than just people trying to accomplish a single goal.”

Fraternities are Greek organizations for men, while sororities are Greek organizations for women. Chapters are localized organizations of a national fraternity or sorority. IFC overlooks all the fraternity chapters on campus, and the Panhellenic Council overlooks all the sororities on campus. 

Matthew Hanks, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, was a part of the Beta Omega chapter of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity when he went to school at Kentucky Wesleyan. 

“It’s not paying for friends,” Hanks said. “I wasn’t super into it even after I pledged until my first philanthropy event and community service event. I was like, ‘Oh, wow, these guys are actually doing something.’ That’s when it hit me that it wasn’t like what it was in the movies.”