For the sake of journalism and a good laugh, I decided to attend the Family Weekend event titled: "FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE: What you should know about the experience at Penn." I expected to hear paranoid freshmen moms asks what a “Tabard” is and if their sons were really going to have to smash a Rolex to get into a frat. Spoiler alert: Unfortunately, neither of these questions were asked. As a member of Greek Life myself, I thought I would just hear all the stereotypes and myths that I had to explain to my own parents when I told them I wanted to join a sorority. Never did I expect to actually learn something.
Here are some quick facts about greek life at Penn that you might have not known:
1. At registered events, Greek organizations are required to have a certain amount of food available. This is because Penn students can't be trusted not to drink more than their meals can soak up. And it explains the random tins of pasta and bags of chips that no one eats or even questions at chapter house parties.
2. The bartenders that frats hire are required to pour only single–shot drinks. Now you know why your drink is always weak AF. You're welcome.
3. Only four girls out of over 600 were released from the sorority recruitment process last year. In other words, only four were cut from every single sorority—what this statistic doesn't show is the number of girls who dropped out of rush voluntarily. We were convinced that "T the P" meant "Tolerate the Process," but maybe Megan Gaffney, every sorority girl’s favorite Phi Mu, was right to insist that we "Trust the Process." (Ed. note: The Panhellenic Council really couldn't squeeze just four more girls in?)
4. Students in Greek life are happier with their job and life after college than students who aren’t. Not sure how they could possibly have measured this, but I'm open to the idea of a career in investment banking being bearable, so I accept this conclusion.
5. Phi Sigma Sigma was a sorority at Penn from 1926 to 1933 and 1948 to 2010. And it might be coming back for round three. While not confirmed, Penn mentioned that former sororities will be invited to come back before a new sorority would be allowed to start a chapter. Is Penn making a push to go more Greek?
And here are some facts that should have been included:
1. According to a study done in 2009, 86 percent of men who live in frat house residents engaged in binge drinking, compared to 45 percent of men that are unaffiliated. I don’t think this is what the representative meant when he said that guys who live in the chapter house are “training to be leaders.”
2. In addition to the hefty fees, you also might have to pay for promotional shirts, retreats and, of course, something to wear to your themed mixer. Am I embarrassed that I’ve bought a hawaiian shirt for the sole purpose of a party? No. Should I be? Yes.
3. Not to mention the social pressure to be able to freely spend money on BYOs, downtowns and date nights. A typical BYO costs $20 or more. It doesn't include food that anyone actually eats and it doesn't include the alcohol. Which also costs money. Ugh.
4. People involved in Greek life can recognize the uppercase of every greek letter. I don’t think this counts as speaking a second language, but my resume doesn't have to know that.
5. Every "New Member Educator" is, at least to some degree, a sadist. The sadism ranges from forcing biddies to spend their Friday nights bonding by going around the circle complimenting one another (barf), to giving slave tasks often to be performed in ridiculous costumes (lol), to politely requesting that the pledges drink a gallon of milk or handle of Bankers and run to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (barf again, but, like, actually this time).