Arriving at USC, I had mixed feelings about the Greek system.
After a semester here, I’m not the only one. Many are divided on the subject of Greek affiliation, especially when it comes to social activities.
Though many people in the Greek system love it, many who aren’t Greek are quick to criticize. With a system so polarizing, what we really need is a stronger bridge between Greeks and independents to help end the social schism that we see Thursday and Saturday nights at USC.
Many students know that Greek social life can be heavily political. You have different houses, rivalries and tiers.
On top of that, there’s the entire rush process that can be either a dream come true or a nightmare for a rushing hopeful.
To make matters worse, there are the stereotypes and stigmas that surround the various fraternities and sororities. People will judge a house based on the actions of one member, whether an incident occurred recently or many years ago.
We must take into account, however, that for something to be so popular, it at least has to be interesting.
And surely many friends have been made on The Row. In fact, that’s a prime reason to get involved with a fraternity or sorority: You meet a ton of people.
Despite the benefits of Greek life, independents might suggest that fraternities should let anyone into their parties.
But if that were to happen, we would see a highly disproportional female-to-male ratio. And no one — Greek or non-Greek — benefits from this method.
A lot of people might either go to Hollywood, or hang out with friends in the dorms or apartments. As an independent myself, I’ve found alternative options, and there have been many nights when my friends and I have walked around apartment complexes going from one small party to the next.
Still, as an independent I don’t mind occasionally paying a small fee to experience the Greek social scene for a night.
Like it or not, cover fees are often the only feasible way to blend the two cultures.
Often these cover charges are for the charity events that each house throws from time to time. Anyone who pays can go, and it’s all for a good cause.
We could all benefit from more of these events. Ticket prices keep people from just going in and out to get free drinks. Plus, not only do students get to see big-name artists, but they also get to contribute to a charitable cause.
The Greek system might not see the advantages of accommodating independents. With such a prominent role in our campus and in the community, though, the Greek scene should do everything it can to reach out to the entire student body. If it were to do that, there would be much less animosity toward the system.
The bottom line: People want to have fun with their friends, Greek or not. Let’s make it easier for people to party together. An entry fee is certainly a small price to pay.
There is no reason why Greeks and non-Greeks can’t enjoy college life together.
Clinton VanSciver is an undeclared sophomore.