By Dylan Crowe, Guest Writer

What does it mean to be Greek? That can be difficult to answer, because it could be different for everyone. Some may judge Greek life by what is portrayed on social media accounts such as Old Row, TFM or other popular page. Some may see it as a way to get their foot in the door of leadership, or develop skills for their future profession. What is ultimately certain about Greek life on Eastern’s campus is that your experience will be what you make it.

Greek life is not for everyone, and there are plenty of other organizations to join on campus to get involved. However, Greek life is the largest community on campus, and continues to grow every day. Currently, we have 13 fraternities on campus and this fall we plan to add another organization, Phi Kappa Tau.

To be Greek means to hold a higher standard than others. It does not matter what chapter you join, whether you are in a fraternity or sorority, or under a different council. As cliché as it sounds “We are all Greek together.” During my time in Greek life I have attended many leadership conferences, and at almost every event I have attended I have learned of another organization within our Greek community. I have also learned that any decision made by any Greek or Greek organization effects the entirety of Greek life. Where ever a Greek goes, their letters are worn on their chests.

On the days leading up to recruitment, I wasn’t sure if it was really something that I wanted to do. Some friends at home had joined fraternities, but I still wasn’t sure if that was for me. I decided to stick with it thinking that at the end of the day, if I didn’t enjoy it, I still got some free food and stuff from the chapters. It was a weird feeling going up to each fraternity because I’m not a very social person, (which is one of the reasons I wanted to join) so talking to all these new people was somewhat uncomfortable. I probably met well over 100 people at recruitment, and no matter which chapter I talked to or how long I talked to them, I felt welcomed. Each person was nice and wanted to know about me while also teaching me about themselves and their chapters.

Fast forward a year and a half to November of 2016. I was elected president of my own chapter and treasurer of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). This was an exhilarating time in my life. To be elected president of my chapter was probably the most amazing moment I’ve had in college so far. I had the opportunity to lead 60 members of my chapter for the next year, striving for greatness and attempting to achieve more than we had done in the past.

Originally, becoming the IFC Treasurer was just a cool thing to put on my resume. I was happy I had won, but I didn’t know how much this would change me. This experience opened new horizons, because at first, I had not socialized with many other fraternity men that I didn’t previously know. Starting in the spring of 2017, we had all come together with NPHC and the Panhellenic women to attend AFLV, American Fraternal Leadership and Values Conference. During this time I not only learned a ton about Greek life, but I was able to bond and make stronger connections with the other men on the council, allowing me to get to know people from at least six other chapters on campus.

Being Greek doesn’t mean to exclude others that are not in your chapter or council. When those letters are on our chest we are one big Greek family with skills and talents that we all utilize to help each other develop and grow, creating a network for our future employment and enjoyment of college to the fullest.

Coming out to recruitment is the first step into becoming a member of something much bigger than yourself. The members within your individual chapters will be there for your highest and your lowest moments. Greek life is a family that will be there for you when you need it most — no matter if you are in a different chapter, or in a different council. Unfortunately, we have lost a few of our members in the years due to tragic accidents, and that is why we must live our lives to the fullest and make those who we have lost proud of who we are and what we are becoming.

I am a proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity. Every day I try to live by my ritual and exceed the expectations placed on our community not only for myself, but for those who are no longer with us or who never got the chance to experience fraternity life.

I recommend joining Greek life to every single freshmen, because after two years within my organization, I have never been happier and more alive due to the choices I have made. College is what you make of it, and by joining Greek life, your experiences could be infinitely better.

Crowe is the Interfraternity Council Treasurer at EKU and President of the Eta Beta chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity.