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Greek experience faces pros, cons
Jill Jumps
Antelope Staff

As most high school seniors approach their last summer of being a kid, they have all these decisions and thoughts going through their heads. Am I going to fit in? Should I join a club? Should I become a Greek? When the thought of becoming a Greek comes into people's minds they seem to start listing the pros and cons of being in that organization.

The most negative thing about being a Greek is the bad press says Tracy Lungrin, the Greek advisor at UNK. Things are different today. Greeks are national organizations and much more strict with their chapters. “When something bad happens, everyone knows about it.”

Lungrin said Greeks can connect students to the university in a positive way. “The sense of belonging is the most powerful thing the Greek organization can offer. If you don’t have that sense of belonging, you don’t feel connected to the campus.”

Caitlin Bos, a senior from Omaha majoring in elementary education, is one person who had no doubt in her mind about joining a sorority.

Bos decided to join because her sister joined a Greek house at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Bos said, “When she came back to visit or we went to visit her, all I heard about was how great it was and how many fabulous women she met.  When I graduated from high school and decided to come to UNK, I had my heart set on going through sorority recruitment.”

Not everyone is like Bos. Critics lean toward the negatives like the cost and the commitment. Susan Niemoth from Seward, a junior majoring in special education, was one of those students who thought being a Greek would be fun, but was worried about the cost and the commitment.

Niemoth said, “I pay for school myself, so it was an extra cost that I didn’t want to pay. Also, I heard it was time-consuming and that you had to live on campus for three years, and I wanted to live off campus after freshman year.”

Niemoth said, “I think it would have been a good experience to meet a bunch of different people and some of the functions sound fun, but I never thought seriously about joining Greek life.” 

There are positives and negatives that come from being a Greek. Lungrin said, “The Greek experience isn’t for everyone. We are only 10 percent of campus.  It is not made for every single person out there.” Still, Lungrin doesn’t pass up an opportunity to tout the benefits of the Greek system: help with academics, friendship and support, opportunities for leadership and volunteerism.

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