Before I get into this blog I want to give a #ShoutOut to my Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. as we pay homage to our revered Founders on the 99th Anniversary of the inception of the greatest Fraternity on God’s green earth. #BluPhi
I’ve been a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. since November 28, 2001. Guess that makes me an old-head. But guess what? I’m a financially active old-head. I’m the current Graduate Advisor of two Undergraduate chapters here in Austin and I’m a common face during Fraternity meetings and functions. When I pledged 11 years ago, I swore to uphold the high ideals my Founders’ set forth for my organization and I do my best to make my organization better each year.
For those that don’t know, BGLOs (Black Greek Lettered Organizations) are LIFE-long relationships. Unlike our white-counterparts, once you join a BGLO, you’re a part of that organization forever. (with the exception of getting excommunicated for doing something foolish) So it would be common sense that a prospective member should have a very good reason to join a life-long organization. Right? Well, here’s the thing. Common sense doesn’t seem to be so common these days.
In my experience, the average Greek member stays active for about 2 to 3 years, then stops paying dues. They stop attending meetings. They stop helping out in the community. They stop helping the organization when it becomes more of a burden, than a convenience. They stop doing the things they swore to do upon their initiation. Why is that? It could be a lot of things, but I believe a key reason is falls on why they joined in the first place.
So for those prospective members out there, I’ve made a list of things to review before you take the plunge into the world of Greekdom.
If you want to pledge an organization solely because your friend is a member… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you want to pledge an organization solely because that organization is the most popular on campus… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you want to pledge because you can’t wait to stroll, strut, party-hop, etc. at a party… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you want to pledge because you think you your future frat/soror will hook you up with a job once you graduate with no questions asked… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you want to pledge because it’ll help you gain an identity… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you can see yourself flaking out on your future brothers/sisters at a true time of need… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you want to pledge an organization strictly to attract the opposite sex… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you suck at keeping secrets…especially to the opposite sex… #YouShouldntGoGreek
If you don’t understand the concept of your actions affecting an entire organization… #YouShouldntGoGreek
The list is much longer, but I think I’ve driven my point home. The summation of the above issues and more are why our Greek system today is a joke. It’s why many Greeks fall by the wayside after a few years. It’s why our organizations operate more and more like gangs than service organizations. It’s why BGLOs GPAs fall below school average. It’s why GDIs know our “best-kept secrets.” It’s why the former respect and admiration for our collective organizations has fizzled.
So to those of you interested in joining a BGLO, remember joining one of our illustrious organizations is like a marriage. If done properly, it will last a lifetime.
And for those members of BGLOs who are currently doing nothing for your organizations, I realize life happens. We start families, we have kids, we start careers. I also realize you may not agree with your local chapters. But remember what you swore upon the day you were initiated into your respective organization. No one said it was going to be an easy road to travel, so consider this another speed bump in the legacy your leaving behind. Be the Brother/Sister you sought out to be years ago. Be the catalyst of change your organization needs to move the needle in the right direction.
I hope this blog motivates one person to join for the right reason or it motivates a dormant Greek member to become active again.
Until next time children…stay classy.