Monday, September 10, 2012

Why Fraternities and Sororities Are Not Stupid: Reason #1

How many people were skeptical of your decision to join a sorority or fraternity?

We've heard the phrase "From the outside looking in you could never understand it; from the inside looking out you could never explain it."

This new blog series based on 16 Reasons to Join a Fraternity is here to help you explain it. Plus, these reasons are all backed up by scientific research, so you know they're legit.

Reason #1: Fraternity and Sorority life builds better leaders and more active citizens

These findings are based on the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA), a diagnostic tool used as a "dashboard indicator" of student growth, learning, and development. In its 2010 study with responses from about 5,700 male students, the assessment found that fraternity men scored substantially higher that non-affiliated men in the domains of citizenship and membership and leadership.

Some specific items where members scored higher than non-members were:
  • engagement in the political process through voicing viewpoints such as writing letters to the editor, engaging in debate, and contacting political leaders;
  • involvement in organizations relating to personal or professional interests;
  • leadership opportunities in important/expert areas;
  • and effective management of an organization, group, or club.
Think about those leadership positions in your chapter or council where you have to find the best way to run a committee or meeting. Yup, you are developing transferable skills that translate to leading a department or task force. The same skills you learn as a vice president of programming mentoring committee chairs will be used when you supervise individuals someday.

And those times when your sisters or brothers encouraged you to join organizations you were really interested in? It's definitely setting you up to be an involved professional with great networking opportunities within a field you're interested in. Involvement in organizations like the Pre-Medical Students Society or the Public Relations Student Society of America is a great way to network within a future profession while you're still in college.

And those times you had the courage to speak out in student government meetings or to the campus newspaper? Your engagement as an involved citizen spurs discussion that is instrumental to forming opinions on important issues in your community. As engaged citizens, your involvement today is a start to future civic engagement like holding positions on your local school board or even running for a political office.

So the next time someone asks why you made the decision to go Greek, here's just one reason you can give her or him with stories to support it.

You're welcome.

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