Fraternities, sororities not stereotypical

Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.
Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

As you watch a movie about a college campus, you often come across a fraternity or sorority, and more times than not these students are seen as a rowdy bunch of partiers. Although people realize the difference between the exaggerated big screen and real life, this stereotype still lives on.

“What causes the stereotype is TV, and you have all the movies from the eighties that have caused the stereotype. Really, a lot of it comes from Animal House the movie. Hollywood always frames Greek life as the partier,” Jose Lopez, Alpha Tau Omega historian, said.

Although the hype is created by movies, it is true that there are Greek hosted parties in existence.

“I don’t think parties are publicized but people do know about it, and I don’t think it’s anything bad either,” Lopez said.

According to Lopez, fraternities work to disprove the stereotype by not allowing it to prohibit them from doing good work.

“We disprove the stereotype with our actions in that we do positive things for our community and our university. If you look at the hard work we put in, it shows our positive side,” Lopez said.

The stereotype could be seen in students here on campus. One point of view shows that the stereotype could exist on campus.

“I think fraternities party more than the sororities, because the sororities seem to go to the fraternity parties,” WT student Maghan Rodecap said.

However, fraternities do put in a lot of work.

According to the 2012-13 WTAMU Go Greek Magazine, the chapters gave approximately $70,000 in donations and thousands of hours of service.

Because of the work Greek life does, questions about whether the stereotype is over exaggerated is then put into question.

“I think that these stereotypical views of Greeks as partiers are over exaggerated,” Emily Gross, member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said. “Greeks don’t party any more than any other college student might. If anything, I would say Greeks party more safely than the average college student.”

What are the safeguards in place at these parties, if they are in fact happening?

“We are required to attend seminars, online education courses, etc., to be aware of the effects of partying when not every other student has to,” Gross said.

There are also other incentives for fraternities to keep parties safe and within the boundaries of the law.

“Each fraternity has their own set of risk management rules, handed down by their nationals. There are safeguards in place and rules that they have to adhere to and we have to follow the law, period,” said Jose Lopez.

However, when it comes to breaking the rules, there are consequences.

“When rules are broken, it depends on the scenario in which you place it in. There are obviously consequences written out within the policies,” Lopez said.  “IFC comes down on you, nationals come down on you, and the university comes down on you. Depending on if you break the law itself, you have to deal with the law.”

There are consequences for breaking the rules, as well as the law.

“There are a lot of consequences if you mess up, so there is a lot of pressure not to mess up,” said Lopez.