Friday, November 9, 2012

Why Fraternities and Sororities Are Not Stupid: Reason 5

Have you ever made a decision and thought to yourself "Is this going to make my chapter look bad? If I do this, will these people think we're the -insert stereotype here- chapter?"

Reason 5: Fraternity membership has a positive influence on moral development.

So, when you are having that inner dialogue with yourself (and we all do), that's all a part of moral development. We totally know that there are some horrible chapters that aren't developing morals at all, but most chapters create some of the best environments for moral development.

Before you joined a fraternity or sorority, you had less people to consider in making your decisions. You may have had to consider your athletic team or choir in high school, but the vast majority of people have never had to consider representing an entire inter/national organization.

One of the top issues we hear from students regarding new member education is the fact that new members don't seem to "get it" yet. While we think this is obvious because they are new, it's like we just explained: they have never had so many people to consider while making decisions.

Other aspects of moral development include using values and beliefs to guide behavior and maintaining self-respect. Let's use this in some specific examples and ask ourselves some questions.

  • You are wondering if animal ears and lingerie make a good Halloween costume, a la Mean Girls.
    • How does this reflect on all the members of my sorority? 
    • Does this match my value of being a classy lady?
    • Is this an image of self-respect?
  • You are thinking about great ideas for your fraternity's recruitment events. What about a stripper?
    • What does that say about my fraternity?
    • Does this match our value of respecting all people, including women?
    • Does hiring someone as a sexual object say a lot for my self-respect?
To us, moral development is what fraternities and sororities are all about. A lot of what is portrayed in the news is a failure in that process, but YOU are better than that.

So, ladies and gentlemen, keep being good people. We know you are.