On The Trinity Perspective, you will find those answers—or at least someone who asked the same questions. We have been in your shoes. The Trinity Perspective collects advice and stories from current students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share with you—prospective students, families, and the Trinity community.

Greek Life: What You Need to Know and Questions You Need to Ask

By John Pederson (’15)
John Pederson
John Pederson ('15)
Engineer & Acapella Singer

What sorts of people join fraternities and sororities? I expect you are imagining you party animal friend from high school or Zac Efron and his prankster fraternity brothers from Neighbors, but the reality is not nearly as exciting. The truth is, fraternity and sorority members are normal college students who have committed to a creed or set of guiding values. As values-based organizations, opportunities for leadership development, self-improvement, and professional development organizations will look similar regardless of the host institution or their letters. However, if I can dispel one stereotype, members are not cookie-cutter clones; fraternity and sorority members are normal students, musicians, leaders, athletes, artists, and everything in between who happen to belong to a social organization. 

So if Greek students are exactly like everyone else, “why would anyone join one of these organizations?” you may ask. While reasons for joining a sorority of fraternity are personal, common reasons are to gain access to expansive professional networks, to follow in a sibling or parent’s footsteps, or to get to meet likeminded people at their institution. Asking a Greek life administrator, a Greek Councilmember, or any equivalent role at your perspective campus these quick questions will help you decide how attending a Greek Campus or joining a Greek organization can play a role in your college experience.

Trinity University Greek Life

1. Do these people have similar values to me?

Greek organizations are all values-based and will have a stated mission or creed. At Trinity, our Greek Council also has pillars of leadership, camaraderie, philanthropy, and scholarship that guide all of the organizations on campus.

Trinity University Greek Life

 2. What reputation does this club have on my campus/nationally/internationally?

This question is best asked to non-Greek students to get an accurate and honest opinion. Ask a couple of people who have nothing to gain by answering honestly (not your admissions counselor, tour guides, or Greek students) to get a good idea what the organizations are actually about.

Trinity University Greek Life

3. How good is this club’s GPA compared to others?

Many Greek organizations have higher GPAs than the all campus averages. Some do not. While an organizational GPA is not a direct reflection of a club’s shortcomings, I find that surrounding myself with high achieving students to be a huge bonus to my organization. This goes hand in hand with number 2.

4. How involved are individual members in campus life? Does this club do meaningful philanthropy, have students in leadership roles outside of the fraternity/sorority, and are they a visible presence on campus?

See number 2. You would be surprised how much reputation plays into the Greek scene. If you are running for president of the student body and you are Greek, your club’s reputation may be the only thing people know about you. Organizations that are highly involved in campus happenings, volunteer regularly, and that are a visible fixture on a campus will generally be well respected. 

Trinity University Greek Life

The answers to these questions will help you find a club that is a good fit for you and that you can thrive in. Remember that without you, a club cannot continue to exist, so you can afford to be discerning when deciding which clubs you want to join.

Click here to find additional information on fraternities and sororities. 

About John Pederson
John Pederson is a senior Engineering Science major from Castle Rock, Colorado. John is involved with Chamber Singers choir, Trinitones (the all-male acapella group on campus), Trinity Distinguished Representatives, Residential Life Student Staff, and is the Greek Council Men's Co-Chair. In his free time, John enjoys running, listening to music, and watching 30 Rock.


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