Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

Students share their insight on Greek life at OSU

Natalie Fuchs
Delta, Delta, Delta sorority house on Jan. 18 in the snow.

Greek life. What do those words mean to Oregon State University students? For some, it means the place where they found their best friends at college. For others, it really doesn’t mean much. 

There is a vide variety of aspects that go into Greek life, including various Philanthropies, different social events, living together, weekly chapter meetings and more. It can be a lot to balance, and a lot to adjust to. As winter recruitment for Greek Life chapters kicks off this week students share their personal experiences. 

Brianna Cary, a third-year student studying marketing at OSU, is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega chapter. 

“(Being in a sorority) has been awesome,” Cary said, enthusiastically. “I used to go to University of Oregon, and when I went to college I wanted that ‘home away from home’ feeling and I didn’t really get that at UO. But when I transferred here, joining Alpha Chi Omega, it was like instant home away from home.” 

Each chapter at OSU can range from 10 to 110 members. For the chapters that are housed, many members of the chapter are required to live in the house for a certain number of years. Living with 30 to 50 people your age can be sure to have its struggles, but also its perks.

Reagan Scheffler, a third-year student at OSU studying finance, is the president of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. 

“The one thing I really enjoyed about when I lived in a house is that no matter what time it was, no matter what day it was, somebody’s always down to do something,” Scheffler said. “It could be 3 a.m. when I walk downstairs and someone’s sitting in the living room just hanging out and you just go talk to them for a while.” 

College is a time to get to know different people and living with a large group is an opportunity to do that.

“I feel like (being in a sorority) has built my confidence,” Cary said. “I feel like when you find those friendships where you can be silly and goofy and like they still love you for it. I don’t know why, but that’s the biggest confidence boost ever.” 

Greek life as a whole consists of thousands of students, each in their own little bubble. Sometimes the only thing people in Greek life may have in common is the fact they are a part of it. But, they may be more connected than that. 

Ashlynn Bowles, a third-year OSU student studying geology, is the director of social events in Delta Delta Delta. Bowles plans various events with other chapters including bonding events and more. 

“I haven’t had any problems with lack of communication, which has been great,” Bowles said. “Just also appreciating the different chapters for what they can bring and not what they can’t is important.”

Bowles stressed the importance of being inclusive and making sure to continue to participate with different kinds of chapters. 

“It’s not about being exclusive with any one group,” Bowles said. “It’s about being social with the whole of Greek life, including unhoused chapters as well.”

The balance between school and Greek life is also something to consider. Most chapters are a big time commitment to the already busy school lives most students have. On top of that, many members take on positions within their chapters. 

“Running the general chapter operations is pretty difficult sometimes,” Scheffler said. “You know, you can kind of muddy up your schedule with that along with college classes. But I think in the end, once you get through all that work, it’s really a positive payoff when you see the effect it has on your brothers.” 

Sometimes when members take on positions, they may not know what to expect or what they’re getting into. Depending on the position, there are different outcomes and many different responsibilities. 

“The best and worst part of my membership has been being the director of social events,” Bowles said. “It’s a really challenging job, but one that’s really necessary for the chapter.” 

Holding a position within a chapter can provide opportunities for leadership and growth, but comes with its challenges. 

Greek life is portrayed millions of different ways in different places in the media, which may make many people come into college with a stigma or pre-existing opinion on Greek life. This may sway their decision to join it or not. 

According to Bowles, there may be a common opinion that there’s a lot of hate within the Greek life community. She said while there may be people’s “favorite” or “least favorite” chapters, that the negative opinions may be based on small occurrences, and that “every chapter is actually more similar than we think.” 

Winter and Spring recruitment is on its way. Panhellenic’s biggest recruitment event takes place every Fall, but they have an upcoming “Continuous Open Bidding” process, starting Jan. 20th. This kind of recruitment is much more laid back. Visit @osupanhellenic on Instagram for all the information. 

“We don’t really hold events throughout the year,” Scheffler said. “But we are always looking for guys to join.” 

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