The Question: Greek Life
Facts and statistics are easy to find. A student perspective is another story. Welcome to The Question, a blog by sophomore Kimberly Takahata designed to give you honest answers to some of the most popular questions about life at Brown University. Your quest for real stories from a real student ends here.
After freshmen year, there are a few options for housing. One of them is rushing a fraternity or sorority. This week, I’ll run you through the Brown Greek experience.
The Question: How does Greek life work on campus?
Short answer: Fluidly.
Long answer: Brown is home to ten houses, six all-male fraternities, two all-female sororities, and two co-ed fraternities. Eight of them are chapters of national organizations, while two of them are uniquely Brown. (And a list inside a list! Here’s the full run-down of all of the Greek houses that call Brown home: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Phi, Delta Tau, Kappa Alpha Theta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, Theta Delta Chi, and Zeta Delta Xi.)
All of the houses are located right on campus on either Wriston Quad or Patriot’s Court, which is a minute walk from the Sharpe Refectory, one of our main dining halls on campus. As such, all of the Greek houses are completely integrated into the community. Within each building resides a Community Assistant, one of the student ResLife staff members, as well as a small number of independents (those not associated with Greek Life). Although this does mean less autonomy as a chapter, it provides a greater support from the Brown community for all of the activities each house hosts.
About ten percent of students are members of a house, so there is a presence but it is not at all a social determinant. Rather, students join the houses because they truly enjoy the people who live in them and agree with the mission of each organization. Michael Coates, a current sophomore in AEPi explained it best: “the people in my fraternity are some of the best I know. They’re all great people, and would do anything for you at a moment’s notice. We also have masters in all sorts of fields, from Economics masters going off to work on Wall Street next year, to Organic Chemistry experts who wrote last year’s Orgo Lab Manual, to some of the best musicians on campus. All of them are willing to help anytime. Having such an awesome support system, socially, academically, and emotionally, is a great way to go through college.”
Even for non-Greek members, the houses are always welcoming. Friends come in and out, continuing to prevent any boundaries from firmly separating students. On the weekends, the houses provide a popular option for social life on the weekends, with different events happening across the green. In addition, each year, the houses raise over $50,000 for charity. Each Halloween, local students come and trick or treat on the Quad, running from house to house to receive their candy.
So sorry, but no animal houses here. But the bonds that are forged are worth it.
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