Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Clubs provide equal student growth

I knew coming in to college that Greek Life was not going to be for me. I don’t have the personality for it, nor have I ever desired to fit in to that sort of scene. At a school like Augustana, Greek Life can feel alarmingly like something from high school or “Mean Girls”.
I know now that Greek Life can be so much more than just another overhyped popularity contest, but I’m still not going to rush as a sophomore. Why? Because there are better, more accessible ways to be a leader on campus than joining a chapter of Greek Life.
Augustana offers around 200 different clubs and organizations for students to participate in. Any  interest you might have, there is surely a club that can help you explore it and provide you with opportunities for leadership and networking.
Take College Democrats and College Republicans as an example. These two clubs seem like they would want nothing to do with each other. Instead, they frequently co-host political events on campus, such as their recent viewing of President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address.
Both clubs have connections to local and state politicians, such as College Democrats’ connection to State Representative Cheri Bustos. Through clubs like these, Augustana students have been given opportunities to have internships with these politicians.
Can Greek groups offer similar perks? Probably, but only if that politician also happened to be in your particular Greek organization.
Greek Life is also expensive. Members are required to pay dues, which are usually upwards of $200 a year. Most chapters at Augustana will work with members on different ways to pay these large fees, but the fact remains that membership in these sister- and brotherhoods comes at a cost.
Some clubs on campus also require dues, but I would much rather pay a $5 membership fee than one that will cost me $200.
It’s also much easier to quit a club than it is to quit Greek Life. The promises made during pledging are taken seriously, and with good reason. That commitment is a major part of Greek Life.
However, the thought of that level of commitment to a group can be uncomfortable and unappealing.
Despite my personal reservations, many of my best friends on campus are involved in Greek Life. I’m happy that they have found a fulfilling group to be a part of.
As someone who will never be Greek, I’m happy to stick to my clubs, where I have both the freedom and the variety that I want from my social experiences here at Augustana.

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Clubs provide equal student growth