By Rachel Smith
I have been a nerd for my entire life. I did not mind spending a majority of my Friday and Saturday evenings in high school playing video games. I was so far removed from the bubbly, party-hardy, “I-wear-a-bed-sheet” sorority girl that movies and TV shows present. Growing up in the same town as the University of Colorado certainly didn’t foster in me a positive perception of sororities and fraternities. Nearly every fall, Boulder’s daily newspaper would publish an article about the wild parties, the hospitalizations, and the deaths that took place within the organizations. Naturally, I came to Beloit as a student who didn’t like Greek organizations and disliked the prospect of being in one even more.
However, my perceptions of what Greek Life changed upon my arrival at Beloit. I learned that Greek Life wasn’t as intimidating or reckless as I thought. The booze-fueled parties with throngs of bodies gyrating to the messianic choruses of T-Pain were non-existent, and I was shocked that a lot of people whom I considered to be fantastic nerds were in a sorority or fraternity. After becoming close to several members of AST, my friends and I attended a few recruitment events. One evening last spring, several of the AST sisters arrived at my door, enthusiastic and toting a gift bag. They gave me a bid to join their sorority. The kindness, intelligence, and quirkiness of the sisters and their commitment to academic excellence and philanthropy persuaded me to join.
Even though a majority of the students at Beloit College aren’t in a fraternity or sorority, Greek students have a large and positive presence on this campus. They’re not just throwing parties, they’re organizing volunteer projects on and off campus, participating in sports, helping students as RAs, OLs, TAs, and tutors, and holding major roles in Beloit Student Congress and non-Greek clubs. All of the Greek organizations on campus put a high emphasis on philanthropy, whether in the city of Beloit or for a national organization. In fact, many of the sorority and fraternity members exceed the number of volunteer hours that they are required to do each semester. Greek organizations on campus encourage their members to get out and be involved. If joining a sorority has taught me one thing, it is how to manage my time between the sorority, leading Japan Club, volunteering, participating in Alliance and BSFFA, schoolwork, socializing, and relaxing.
I have been a proud sister of AST for nearly three semesters. Joining a Greek organization has been a tremendously positive influence on my development as a student, leader and human being. The students of the fraternities and sororities here are driven in both their academics and extra-curricular activities; they are friendly, strong-hearted, and just plain awesome. There is no other place on campus where I can get to know and appreciate women who come from such diverse backgrounds, hold a variety of beliefs and interests, and participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. I have been forever grateful to my sisters for loving me unconditionally, even through my rougher patches during my college career, and I consider them to be my family-away-from-home.