Features

To Pledge or Not to Pledge?

ERIC HETLAND, Greek Life Columnist

Within the next three weeks, each Greek organization will have handed out its bids. This invitation indicates a strong interest from that organization for its rush members to become a pledge. Whether it be because you came to the rush events and impressed its members, or because they believe that you would be a great fit, these organizations give out bids to people who would contribute positively to Greek Life.

Getting a bid can be a scary yet empowering experience. I remember when I got my bid in March 2010 from Phi Kappa Psi. Many mixed feelings and thoughts went through my head. Is this really what I want to do? Am I really going to become a Greek? Aren’t fraternities full of meatheads and jocks that I would never get along with? What will my friends think of me? Will they judge me? Will they think less of me?

On top of that, I was going through my second most busy and stressful semester at Beloit. I decided to sit down with Mitchell Young ’10, the President of Phi Psi at the time and former BelCon president. Mitchell explained to me all the important dates and what the commitment entailed. It was that conversation that cleared up any doubts I had. Their interest in me was clear when Mitchell organized a second pledge induction for me, because I could not make the first one on that Friday. I was impressed.

As Beloit College students, we pride ourselves on independent thought and, oftentimes, progressive tendencies. We believe in being non-conventional and non-conformist. We decry being told what to do or what to think. The vast majority of us believe in all of these things. However, on a campus that can be unwelcoming to Greek Life, is that not exactly what happens? We pride ourselves in being independent, but too often do I hear conventional and misinformed stereotypes about Beloit College Greek Life. On this campus, it is the unconventional decision to go against the grain and try this out. Greeks are told that they just stay in their comfort zones. Yet, most Greeks on this campus had to go out of their comfort zone just to show up to a rush event, accept a bid, go through pledge education, and become initiated.

I encourage all those who receive a bid this month (or in the future) to give Greek Life a try. Pledging does not mean you have made a firm decision in becoming Greek, it simply means that that the organization likes what it knows about you and would like to know more. It can be a very validating experience. As Celine Dion puts it; “What do you say to taking chances?”

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to email me at hetlande@beloit.edu.

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