Maria: Greek Life at a Not-so-Greek School

A lot of people come to tours at Boston University and will ask about Greek Life. It’s understandable; with movies like Legally Blonde and Animal House, it may be hard to imagine college without fraternity parties or seeing the stereotypical sorority women sporting their Lilly Pulitzer dresses and bows. But many people come to BU and realize that it’s not your typical college. We have two forms of public transportation running through our campus and get off of school for random holidays like Patriots Day (not that I’m complaining). So coming to BU is definitely a unique experience, and that definitely applies in the Greek Life department.

I decided to join a sorority my freshman year and went through formal recruitment in the beginning of my second semester here. And in all honesty, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in college thus far. Greek Life at BU is not like it is in other parts of the country where Total Frat Move can be a play-by-play of their daily lives and they have to be typical southern belles to receive a bid to a sorority. Being Greek here is a lot more casual, and has made BU act as a smaller school. It’s intimidating walking around as a freshman seeing thousands of people every day who you don’t really know, but the second you join a sorority, you’re pretty much coming into a family of 100+ women, many who may become some of your best friends at college. And you also get to meet so many people – you’ll meet your friends’ friends, who will introduce you to their friends, and so on. It’s an amazing social network where you meet tons of people on campus that you may not have met otherwise. And aside from the social aspect, there’s a major philanthropic aspect to it, which is one reason why I joined a sorority. Every Greek organization on campus has a different national philanthropy. My sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, has two national philanthropies – Girls on the Run and Camp Fire USA, and our philanthropic mantra is “building strong girls.” Therefore our philanthropies focus on building leadership skills, confidence, and self-esteem in young girls through a variety of activities. We host different fundraising events each semester for our philanthropies, as well as attend other chapters’ philanthropies. It’s a great way to unite the Greek community and support each other and the important causes we raise money and awareness for. One of the best examples I like to share is one of the fraternities’ fundraiser. Sigma Chi holds an annual weeklong event called Derby Days where all sorority chapters participate in challenges and donate money, all in support of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Last year the sororities helped the brothers raise $23,000, which is an incredible amount of money, especially in 5 days time.

Joining Gamma Phi Beta has definitely shaped my experience here at BU. I’m currently President of my sorority and am always proud to wear my letters on campus. However, this doesn’t mean you have to join a sorority or fraternity to enjoy your college years. Because BU has so many clubs and organizations, students from various backgrounds, and is in an amazing city, there are other ways to get involved on campus and off campus and still have an amazing time in college. Greek Life may not be for everyone, but it should be like everything else you conquer in life – keep an open mind.

Until next time,



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