Here at Cornell, Greek life has a significant presence. Whether or not you’re involved in it, chances are popular culture has influenced your perception of what being in a fraternity or sorority is like. To clear up any preconceived notions of the Greek community at Cornell, here are some stereotypes resolved:
Expectation: Everyone looks and acts the same.
Reality: Cornell prides itself in its incredibly diverse student body, and Greek life is no exception to this. Cornell’s Tri-Council accepts and welcomes this rich assortment of backgrounds and is inclusive to all of different types of people. Each chapter may have a distinct character, but ultimately houses people of various ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and political views.
Expectation: It’s all about partying.
Reality: Who doesn’t love a little party? Of course, everyone likes to have fun every once in awhile, but Greek members have academic standards that need to be upheld for membership. We all go to Cornell. We are all smart, hard working, ambitious people. Greek life stretches far beyond the party culture and offers a support system, academically and emotionally, and encourages a loving, tight-knit community.
Expectation: There is a distinct hierarchy of how “cool” each house is.
Reality: Clear your head of all stereotypes about each chapter. Each house has different characteristics and values that hold them together. However, each individual member has their own personality. Although you may not get along with everyone in each house, you are almost guaranteed to find someone you like in each one.
Expectation: People are only friends with their brothers/sisters.
Reality: Although people in houses seem to be a tight-knit group, Greek life at Cornell is not a cult or exclusive community in any way. Often people’s best friends are in other houses or not in Greek life at all!
Expectation: Everyone is shallow and narrow-minded.
Reality: Although being in Greek life comes with a pretty heavy financial burden (something that needs to be addressed, to make it more accessible for all financial situations), its community members come from many socioeconomic backgrounds. Each member is different and holds varying perspectives and values.
Overall, Greek life at Cornell is very welcoming and inclusive and does not epitomize stereotypes set by the media. Our greek community is much more than a social organization: it is a support system and allows students to grow and learn in a fun environment.