According to Nicole Glass of USA Today, the percentage of students in a sorority or fraternity who later work for Fortune 500 companies is 85 percent. In terms of the number of students joining a Greek organization, experts believe that approximately nine million students across the country join a fraternity or sorority. Those students like knowing that they can make friends and form bonds that will last a lifetime, and they also know that those organizations offer a number of networking opportunities. Students interested in joining a Greek organization might want to learn a little more before signing up.
What is a Greek Organization?
Before looking at the percentage of students in a sorority or fraternity, some students might want to know more about the Greek system. The Greek organization or system refers to the organizations on campus that are either a sorority or fraternity. These groups typically have a president, vice president and other members, and members vote on those positions every year. They host fundraising events, maintain chapter houses on or off campus and ensure that all members follow the rules and guidelines of the head organization.
The Pledging Process
The pledging process changed quite a bit over the years. While hazing was once popular on many campuses, colleges now ban the use of hazing. Hazing occurred when current members would put potential members through intense challenges and contests and make them do odd or unusual things. Several students died from drinking large amounts of alcohol or when competing in other challenges. Schools now host open house events, where students meet with current members and express interest in joining their houses. Current members select applicants and notify those applicants. Potential fraternity and sorority members must do a number of small tasks, and the organizations vote at the end of the pledge period to decide on its new members.
Politicians, lawyers, former presidents, actors and other famous faces joined Greek organizations while taking college classes. According to Hillary Miller of The Huffington Post, some of the more surprising celebrities who were part of a sorority or fraternity included Paul Rudd, Harrison Ford, David Spade, Elizabeth Banks, Ashley Judd and Brad Pitt. Only three former presidents of the United States didn’t belong to a fraternity, and a large number of Hollywood actors were former sorority and fraternity members.
The percentage of students in a sorority or fraternity who graduated college is higher than the number of non-Greek students who graduated. In the United States, only half of all students who do not belong to a sorority or fraternity graduate, while more than 70 percent of Greek members finish their studies. More than 80 percent of all political and leadership positions on college campuses across the country belong to members of a fraternity or sorority. Students taking part in those organizations learn how to work well with others, lead small groups and communicate effectively.
While television shows and movies make the Greek life look like one big party, the students who belong to those organizations do a number of other things. They help raise money for nonprofit organizations, take part in community events and help run their campuses. When deciding whether or not to pledge an organization on your campus, think about the percentage of students in a sorority or fraternity and what those students do.