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When you hear about fraternities and sororities I’m sure that many of you have stereotypes pop into your head, but here at EKU we should be proud of our Greek System.Even though the Greeks only make up 9% of the entire population of EKU, they have the biggest impact on the campus. They provide the greatest Leadership experiences, in one year alone, EKU’s Greek System has completed over 80,000 hours of community service and strive for the highest academic achievement. They are the main support system for all the major events held here on campus.

First lets look at all the leadership experiences that are available to greek members at EKU. Many Greeks have the opportunity to attend national and district leadership conferences or retreats. As a member of my chapter, I have been able to go to the district leadership conference, The South Eastern Panhellinic Conference, as well as a non greek affiliated institution called Leadershape. Also, greek students have the chance to take offices with in their chapters and within the executive greek board which is over all Greek Chapters. Greeks have extra exposure to other campus organization’s offices such as SAA, SGA and many others.

Statistics prove that college leadership training is valuable after college. 35 of the past 37 presidents were members of fraternities. 2/3 of the cabinet members since 1900 have been greek. 85% of the Supreme Court justices were greek, and 76% of the nations senators and representatives were all greek in college.

According to Lindsay Greenwell, the assistant director of Student Involvement and Leadership, EKU’s greek system always strives for academic excellence. Each chapter sets grade requirements to enter the greek system as well as requirements to maintain membership. To help keep grades a priority national headquarters usually provide additional scholarship opportunities. My sorority for example, alone gave out 1.1 million dollars in grants. $60,000 of that money was in non-merit based gifts in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000. Due to the grade requirement and scholarship money 71% of greek students graduate from school as opposed to 50% of non-greek students.

It is apparent that individually and as a community, the greek system overall succeeds the average campus undergraduates GPA’s for men, women, and overall registered student organizations.

Eastern Kentucky’s Greek members do countless hours of community service for their own philanthropies as well as participating and helping other chapters raise money. Some of the charities that they support are national such as St. Judes, American Heart association and Susan G Kolman Foundation. But the most important people they help are the people right here in our own community such as the Richmond Rape and Crisis Center, Adopt a highway, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Richmond parks and recreations, and so many more.

It is obvious that Greek Life here at EKU is more than just stereotypes and parties. It is a community that encourages Leadership, Scholarship, and Service. If you’re considering joining a fraternity or a sorority please make an informed decision based on the truth about greek life here at Eastern Kentucky University. For more information about Greek Life, please visit our website at www.studentlife.eku.edu/GreekAffairs/.

Amy Gruenwald