To Be, or Not To Be

 

 

The Hatfields versus the McCoys, Coke versus Pepsi, Muslims versus Jews—the world has always seen its share of famous rivalries. On almost every college campus, the tension between Greeks and non-Greeks is quite obvious, with stereotypes shrouding both groups. Some may say it is a rivalry, but to others it is a mere difference in lifestyle. Here at UCF, students from each side have their opinions about the path they chose—and about what they think of their counterparts.

From the Non-Greek Side:

Ryan Schahrer

“Spring semester last year, I rushed. Once I got in, I realized that not everyone had as much in common as you'd think. There was a huge disconnect. I realized that the close relationships I made with people that I just met from classes and through other friends were what I was supposed to be experiencing in a fraternity. It became a job rather than a fun thing to do. Dropping the fraternity gave me lots of free time and let me hang out with the people I actually cared about. I think a lot of it is just hotheaded wealthy Florida kids. They wanted me to value the fraternity above everything else, and that was my biggest struggle. I value the individual; I care more about the relationships I have with people than the image of a fraternity. It does open doors, but you have to sacrifice a large part of who you are, your time and your individuality. I wouldn’t rush again.”

 

Zinnia Valdes

“I don't really see the reason of ‘going Greek’ besides having to pay a lot to join or going to socials—or as I call them rituals—when I can just join a club of my interest. Being Greek, some people may get distracted from their responsibilities by attending unnecessary events they have. Obviously, it may look good on your résumé for some reason, but I know others who are Greek and have not gained much from it other than having over 2,000 friends on Facebook and some connections here and there. If you have the right intentions and right motives then you will make the best out of it, but just have the money and have the time for the extra events you will have to go to… that don't help your future.”

 

From the Greek Side:

Rachel Smith*

“So many people think, ‘All you guys do is party and it’s so fake,’ but really it’s not like that at all. I know there are fake people and party people in sororities and those who are not in sororities. I feel like with other schools, like FSU and UF, their Greek system runs the school, but I feel like UCF hates us and is always trying to get us in trouble. Every little thing that happens, any stupid thing that happens at a bar, if the person is Greek, then to the rest of the school, everyone who’s Greek did it. A random person could do something like that at a bar, and it’s not like all of UCF is blamed.”

 

Grant Tucker

“For as much of a bad rap fraternity life has, it really teaches you how to manage your time. Yes, we like to go out and party and we definitely like to party more than anyone else, but at the same time, fraternity members’ GPAs are higher than UCF non-Greek GPAs. My dad always used to say, ‘work hard, play harder,’ and that’s the kind of mentality I have and I think a lot of people in Greek life have. As far as individuality, the fraternity doesn't make someone conform. It’s a personal choice. Some people have their cliques in high school and they come to college and they want to stay in their cliques. There are people who aren’t Greek who do that.”

 

*Name has been changed.

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