Greeks Are Tired of the Party Stereotype


Dane Goodwin

(Photo by Dane Goodwin)

(Photo by Dane Goodwin)
(Photo by Dane Goodwin)

When many U students imagine Greek life, they think of parties and keg stands.

Some people say fraternities and sororities are full of the popular kids, but those who have pledged Greek say the stereotypes don’t hold up.

Ambra Jackson, president of the Panhellenic Council, said many of the misconceptions about Greek life come from films such as “House Bunny,” “Legally Blonde” and “Animal House.” She said sorority and fraternity members in those movies are portrayed as unintelligent people who are only focused on partying. But she urges students at the U to not believe it.

“The Greek community is very social through formals, date nights, exchanges, philanthropy events, etc.,” Jackson said. “However, Greeks are heavily involved in multiple areas of college life. Many members of our community are heavily involved through student organizations, student groups and academic-based things.”

Chris Coombs and Johnathan Moreno, students from the Sigma Chi fraternity, said they believe Greeks get a bad rap at the U.

“I think people on campus see us as a group of guys who dress alike, wear Sperry’s and polos and have their parents pay for everything,” Moreno said. “It’s just not true. We have guys in our fraternity who put themselves through school, have never worn boat shoes in their life, come from blue-collar families and work [hard] to get good grades.”

Coombs said the negative stereotypes are rooted in society as a whole.

“Across the country the stereotypes are the same,” he said. “Whether it be in the South or here in the West, fraternities have a bad stigma nowadays. There’s a lot of pressure from all facets of society and misconceptions about what we represent.”

Moreno said how people view fraternities has consequences in their day-to-day interactions.

“People think we are spoiled and think we are better than everyone else,” Moreno said. “They like to think that all we do is party and drink and try to make us out to be alcoholics when that is just not the case. These stereotypes have even affected professors’ perception of us. We asked one professor over for dinner, and he responded by asking if we were going to put him in a pool of booze and haze him.”

Coombs and Moreno both said the philanthropic efforts of the Greeks on campus are often overlooked. Sigma Chi’s charity raises money and awareness for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

“When people hear the statistics on how much we give to Huntsman Cancer and how much we really do beyond partying and making friends,” Coombs said, “I think it can help change those stereotypes.”

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