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Web Special: Last issue's voting results
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They were a great way for me to meet people and get involved with school activities. I had a very positive experience during my time at UW and my greatest friends and contacts are all because of the Greek system.


They're an incredible opportunity to take leadership positions, network with people, and get study help all the way through college. It's a lifelong choice and a lifelong benefit to everyone who participates.


This experience was so positive that I'm leaving a substantial portion of my estate to my sorority.


This system is one of "keeping people out" who are not deemed "good enough." The criteria is more often than not based on very shallow values and is very cruel. Thousands of students who have become exceptional adults were "dropped" during rush for reasons that boggle any intelligent mind. I was the rush chair at my sorority. It is a cruel and outdated caste system and should be eliminated.


To be at such a large university can be very difficult. If I did not have the support and close knit family-like environment provided by my sorority, I could have been lost in the crowds. It was a life changing experience, one that I will always cherish.


Unfortunately the Greek system was a barrier to getting acquainted with non-Greek students, and the "caste" system of socializing between houses occasionally created difficulty getting to know other Greek students. The Greek system created a small world, allowed for upperclassmen to mentor newcomers, and eased some of the tensions of transition to a large school.


UW has one of the best Greek systems in the country when it comes to balance. Due to the high academic standards of UW, fraternity members are taught a balance of academic, service and social leadership skills needed for life success. I would not take back one day of my fraternity experience and would recommend any incoming freshman consider the opportunity. The life skills I took away have placed me career-wise above many of my peers and will continue to re-pay me benefits for years to come.


Very important to belong to a small group in a large University setting!


Very positive experience. Helped me academically and socially.


Visibility of fraternities and sororities outside of the UW campus is very limited. Increasing the number of general public events would help. My eldest just transferred to the UW this fall. The only information he received was a flyer about the Greek system. Not sure how they would do it but trying to recruit transfer students would help with maturity levels (perceived or actual) and bolster the reputation of the houses.


When I arrived at UW from California I didn't know know anyone. Joining a sorority provided a supportive group of friends with similar interests and goals.


When I lived in Hansee Hall, I had to make frequent calls regarding noise from the fraternities on 45th. To be fair, this was in 1980-1981. I hope that the Greek system is more sensitive now about their noise impact on dorm residents.


When you walk past a frat house and the lawn, sidewalk, and street is covered in beer cans and bottles, people are stumbling outside and vomiting / urinating. It only serves to perpetuate an unfortunately commonly held stereotype. I currently live in Los Angeles and have seen UCLA's Greek rows. These Greek houses have long since realized that they must constantly work to break free of a stereotypical image that they have—by the sheer nature of being Greek houses—been unfortunately pigeonholed into. Realizing this they act as if there is a television news van constantly parked outside of their houses and their philanthropic activities take place all over Los Angeles while being organized between multiple houses so that a large number of people can make a bigger impact. The UW Greek system must push to make the good that they do extremely evident so that when they do receive or regrettably generate negative press for themselves this negative press does not overshadowed the good work they do. Currently the negative overshadows the good. Groups that are stereotyped must do everything in their power to break and not fit into that stereotypical mold which they are placed in or they will constantly be placed back in to that stereotypical mold.


While there are many exceptions, in general, Greek members seemed to reduce the level of intellectual rigor in UW classes. My general experience was that Greek members significantly weakened the intellectual climate of the university, and were primarily interested in social networking rather than intellectual exploration and scholarship.


While there is certainly something to be said for the important social rewards available in joining a sorority/fraternity and there are lessons to be learned by interacting with diverse individuals, and learning how to network, my experience in a sorority at the UW was negative. Certainly an experience is what you make of it and there are graduates of the UW and UW Greek System that have outstanding academic honors. However, I found that the Greek emphasis on 'raids, exchanges, socializing, etc.' was an academic detriment to my education. I would strongly caution any student interested particularly in a sciences or a pre-medical major to avoid joining the Greek System.


Who needs them?


With appropriate oversight, discipline and consequences Greek life can be a positive experience, but too many of today's Greeks may have watched Animal House a few too many times and are following the wrong role models.


With the UW being so large, being a member of a sorority gave me a chance to get to know other girls my age very easily and after 20 years, I am still good friends with several of them.


With UW being such a large school, I felt that living at my sorority made the transition to this large institution easier.


Wonderful experience in making friends, leadership opportunities, group living, social and business contacts.


World War II was a hectic time on campus, but my sorority (Alpha Chi Omega) provided a stable home base.


You learned how to interact with others. Since the U of W is so large, it breaks down the "bigness" to a manageable size. I had a great time and it made my college experience.