As I’m working on a research proposal for my English class, I’ve read more about Greek-letter societies the last week than I’ve ever read my entire life. I literally have twenty tabs open to various academic papers addressing the impacts of Greek system affiliation on academic performance, leadership development, alcohol use, body image and a range of other college experiences and outcomes. These are really interesting to read because different studies contradict each other’s findings and there is still so much up for debate. To be honest, I was very surprised to find the amount of academic research I found conducted on sorority and fraternity involvement. I knew that sororities and fraternities are a controversial topic, especially now that the idea of banning Greek-letter societies from all college campuses has been become a hot topic, but didn’t realize that there is a wealth of academic research on the effects of fraternity and sorority membership!
I went to the Education library in Neville Scarfe the other day to check out some books on my topic and was a silly first year unable to locate the section that my books were located in. I went to the circulation desk with a sheepish smile and fortunately the librarian was super nice and helped me find the books. If you have no idea a section of books are in one of the many libraries on campus, don’t hesitate to ask for help!
Two books that are interesting reads are Pledged: the Secret life of sororities and Inside Greek U: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige. While I don’t agree with the views expressed in the books, both will provoke questions. Alexandra Robbins, the author of Pledged, received a lot of hate for her book from sorority members and alumni because her books paints sorority life as an experience marked by substance abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, racism, violence, eating disorders and promiscuity. Alan Desantis potrays a a similar view of Greek life in Inside Greek U.
(Random interruption: Our cat is stretched out on the floor and is staring at me intently. )