You may be asking yourself: Why should I join a fraternity when I can just join a cultural organization, a service organization, or even simply hang out with my friends?
Quick Question: What’s the main, definitive difference between a college organization and a fraternity? One may say traditions, but if you think about it, every organization has some sort of traditions. Additionally, each has capable leadership (hopefully), members, events, dues, etc. In terms of look and feel, there seems to be no difference at all, which begs the question of why one would want to join a fraternity over a cultural, service, or hobby oriented organization. But now think about what happens when you leave and graduate from college. You are no longer a part of that organization, and you probably only keep in touch with a few select friends from that organization rather than the organization itself.
The answer is probably becoming clear. The main difference is that an organization is a transient commitment while a fraternity is a lifetime commitment. There is a very real membership effect that goes into play here. A college organization may have around 20 members every year, and it may go up to 25 next year, dip to 15 the next, and back to 20 the next. A company works the same way. Employees are recruited, fired, leave, and hired. Numbers go up and down and all around. A fraternity always grows in one direction: UP. You can only see this after you have graduated and can look at your chapter and see how it grew from 8 members to 40 today. That’s an exciting prospect to hold – to not only be closely connected to your brothers, but to know that your network grows every year even after you leave.
Now, you may ask, what are the REAL benefits to this?
- An always increasing network: As the years go by, the network increases and allows you to have brothers in all places, for social or professional networking purposes.
- A commitment of involvement for a time long after you and your brothers graduate: When you become a member of a fraternity, you gain a true family who will be dedicated to the betterment of the organization long after graduation. When I think back about the times I had with my brothers, I know that I can still reach out to them easily on our list serve, at Homecoming, or at Fraternity Conventions. That’s something special that you will not find with any old organization.
- A family that lasts forever: When Homecoming rolls around each year, my brothers from my chapter are the first people to ask who’s going and encouraging brothers to come. The same thing happens when a big event happens on campus, a vacation, or a wedding. These are the gentlemen that will be there for your best days or your worst. When you have an engagement, a wedding, or a tragedy, this is the family that will be there for you every step of the way. I would ask you to tell me an organization where you can find this, but you won’t be able to because this is something profoundly unique about Greek Life. Moreover, the rituals and values you share with your fraternity brothers are immensely strong links that strengthen your bonds even more, making that connection even more unique.
So – why should you join a fraternity instead? Because you realize the value in a lifelong commitment to an organization you hold so dear. You see the tangible benefits of being in a true brotherhood. And you realize that these gentlemen will be your second family, always there in times of sadness or happiness. That’s why you join a fraternity.
This blog post was originally published by Brother Ehson Afshar on August 31st, 2010.