Greetings, Mercerians new and old! It is another school year, and with that recognition comes bombardment from all signs to join this club or that organization, or help some freshman find their way to Willett. I write to you today to explain from an insider’s perspective the reasons why you should not run away from the over-enthused Greeks who will shove their letters in your faces and act like they’ve not only had way too much caffeine, but are unable to unscrew their gigantic smiles.
First, let’s address a few stereotypes. Greek life at Mercer is not analogous with the monstrous scope of Greek life at major SEC schools, or any other school for that matter. This campus holds only four sororities and eight fraternities, along with five NPHC organizations. The student body boasts 26 percent Greek involvement, a small share compared to other institutions. Mercer is also a dry campus, but of course all of you new kids heard that already with sighs of disappointment.
At Mercer, you will not be buying friends. Being Greek is an investment in your future. Not only does each fraternity and sorority wield a large amount of influence through extensive alumnae organizations, letters look great both on jerseys and on your resume. Greek organizations hold members to higher standards of involvement and leadership positions on campus, social and community obligations and academic integrity.
You will not be hazed. Each organization on campus has strict regulations to prevent hazing. Greeks do not play around with the h-word.
Now, I will just encourage you straight from the heart with a personal story to register for Fall Recruitment 2011.
Deciding to join a sorority was the best decision I made my freshman year, and you can quote me on that. In high school, I was the quintessential insecure perfectionist. I had very few friends who were girls and a low self-esteem to boot. I was involved in a lot of clubs and teams, but I joined them for college applications rather than my own interest. Moving to Macon was a fresh start. I knew that I could step up, change my image and enjoy the next four years, or fade into insignificance on a small campus in the middle of nowhere.
Since then, I have joined only clubs in which I have genuine interest. Over 50 sisters love me just the way I am, and I can walk confidently across campus shouting hello to every person I meet. My sorority has taught me how to love myself, meet new people, prepare for my future and has ushered in a new chapter of my life.
This is the chapter where I am the master of my destiny, my happiness, my Mercer.
Of course, there are other ways to reinvent yourself on campus. There are other religious and athletic organizations that will offer you T-shirts and opportunity. But they are nowhere near as fun as running up a hill on Bid Day, screaming and throwing on a jersey with funny letters and knowing you have been accepted and welcomed by something bigger than a house, deeper than a friendship, stronger than any bond.
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