NIU greeks refute common stereotypes

By Suzie Sharpiro

At NIU, stereotyping greeks is not uncommon. In fact, it happens quite often.

As for the greeks in fraternities, they are stereotyped as being “dumb jocks.” This stereotype is very common because people think of fraternity guys as members of athletic teams.

“First of all, athletics is part of the whole college atmosphere,” said Jim Murphy, vice president of external affairs for the Interfraternity Council.

“The term ‘dumb jocks’ is a very overused term, but it doesn’t really apply to all greeks. First of all, through athletics, you meet so many people from different houses. Second, our GPAs are above average on the NIU scale,” he said.

Another big stereotype is that greeks buy their friends.

“A lot of people think that when you join a fraternity or a sorority, you buy your way into the house. This is not the case at all.

“There are high dues because of high insurance. You also are paying for athletics and social life,” Murphy said.

In the late 1970s, the ever-popular movie Animal House established and glamorized many of the stereotypes associated with greek life. The movie portrayed greeks as partying drunkards who rarely studied. It was quite disturbing to parents that had kids who wanted to join the greek system.

“There is nothing like big keg parties that go on in the movie,” Murphy said. “We prohibit kegs and we have a strong risk management policy that strictly punishes fraternities that break guidelines.”

Sororities have certain stereotypes that are similar to fraternities. They too are perceived to be followers and are also accused of buying their friends. Some people have a belief that sorority girls are very snobby and have to be beautiful. This is simply not the case.

“The stereotypes of sororities are not true at all,” said Tricia Sniadanko, Rush chair vice president for Delta Gamma.

“All the houses on campus are very active with philanthropy, which raise a lot of money for different events and charities. Greek life offers so many great opportunities and opens up so many doors,” Sniadanko said.

Rush for fraternities will be on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Thursday, Sept. 2 and Tuesday, Sept. 7. For more information call 753-1421.