Here at USC, when someone makes a reference to “Greek life,” it’s often assumed to be the community of houses that make up The Row. The Greek community, however, is much larger than the 34 chapters with houses on 28th Street.
The Greek community is composed of over 60 different organizations: 12 multicultural, 4 pre-professional, 6 religious and 32 Interfraternity and Panhellenic Council fraternities and sororities.
These organizations each come with their fair share of perceptions and stereotypes. Regardless of the delineations, these organizations are brotherhoods, sisterhoods and families for many students who are challenged to find a niche within a university of roughly 18,000 undergraduates.
The letters or symbols which a member receives upon initiation to a Greek organization are not the sole identifying factor in a student’s college experience. First and foremost, this student is a Trojan and a scholar who happens to have expanded his or her horizons by joining a community. These students do not limit their involvement to their fraternities and sororities but are additionally involved in USC’s 850 other student organizations.
Though Greek organizations are frequently criticized with claims such as, “Paying dues is like buying friendship,” many students feel that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
These organizations provide networks of undergraduates and alumni, a community of brotherhood and sisterhood and opportunities for gaining leadership experience.
In this special issue of the Daily Trojan, we intend to expand the current knowledge of the USC community to understand the many different aspects and types of Greek organizations. In these pages, you can find stories ranging from the experiences of LGBTQ individuals in the Greek community to what it’s like for an athlete to go Greek.
Though this is not a complete picture of each chapter or group, we hope this creates a spark and desire to explore and learn about these unique student groups. In addition, it’s important to understand how many Greek organizations there are so that a dialogue can continue between their leadership and the leadership of other student organizations to potentially work to change existing stereotypes.
We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the intricacies of these groups that might get overlooked in our daily coverage.
The Daily Trojan Staff