Should my son or daughter join Greek life?

Bid day at Trinity University with sororities

by Marilyn McCullough —

As a parent, when your child tells you they are thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority a wave of emotion will strike. For some it will be the "Oh, no!" moment you’ve been dreading. For others, it may be elation as you recall your personal experiences being in a Greek organization. And for the rest, it may be a simple shoulder shrug and change of conversation. This, of course, is under the assumption you’ve been told about this decision before it happens.

Hugs on bid day at Trinity University
Bid Day is a season for hugs.
A defining choice

Regardless of your opinion of Greek organizations, I am here to tell you that it is a defining choice in your child’s college experience. For my daughter, it was one of the best decisions she made at Trinity University. So before you’re overcome with the urge to put the kibosh on the idea of fraternity and sorority life, talk to your son or daughter and read up about Greek life at Trinity. With local organizations instead of national, there is definitely a different feel and common bond.

There are also some unique and inspiring opportunities that your child will be exposed to such as The Body Project, which is a program that discusses the pressures our society currently puts on young women and men to achieve an unattainable, culturally idealistic body figure, and how we as students can resist these pressures, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and feel comfortable in our own skin. In addition, this Project provides new sorority and fraternity members with the chance to learn how to feel more positively about their bodies. There is a focus at Trinity on being engaged on campus and in the community. So, no. It isn’t all about beer pong and shenanigans.
Bid day at Trinity University with fraternity

Fraternity members enjoy Bid Day at Trinity University near Miller Fountain. 

Should I be concerned?

Time management and focus are likely concerns for a parent. No one wants to picture their tuition dollars fueling theme parties instead of study hours. There are certainly horror stories of alcohol abuse, faltering academics, or worse, but as a parent I just hoped I taught my daughter to make good choices and could support her decisions. I won’t tell you not to worry or that Greek life is for everyone, but, I will tell you that when my daughter joined a sorority, Sigma Theta Tau, it strengthened what I believe will be lifelong friendships with amazing men and women.

Trinity’s Fraternity & Sorority Life page notes, “Greek Life at Trinity University serves as a home-away-from-home for about 24 percent of the undergraduate student population. Being in a fraternity or sorority at Trinity provides opportunities for leadership development, alumni networking, service to the Trinity and San Antonio communities, and creating lifelong friendships.”

This was absolutely true for my daughter and her friends.
Happy sorority members on bid day at Trinity University
More hugs on Bid Day at Trinity University
My advice?
Be cautious. Communicate your concerns. Be supportive. Have faith in your son or daughter’s ability to make good choices. In case you’re interested, here are some photos from Bid Day (the day when new members join the various Greek organizations).

About Marilyn

Marilyn McCullough, an Arizona resident by way of New York, is a docent at Ft. Tuthill Military Museum and retired teacher. She sent two children to Trinity, one of whom "went Greek."


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