As some of you may have noticed, Panhellenic (general sororities) recruitment is underway! Greek affiliation is a unique opportunity for college students. It is a great way to meet other men and women with similar goals and ideals. There are many benefits in becoming a member of a social or professional fraternity or sorority. There are opportunities for community service and leadership positions. One of the strategic goals of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Greek Organizations is “to design and provide opportunity for leadership and personal development.” But what areas of leadership does being a member of a Greek organization actually improve? University educators wanted to find out.
A study was conducted that looked at over 4,500 first time freshmen at 24 different universities across the country. The researchers wanted to compare how levels of leadership were different between Greek members and unaffiliated (non-Greek) students. The researchers looked at eight leadership values established by the Socially Responsible Leadership Scale.
You know what they found? That Greek affiliated men and women did appear to be more developed in some of the leadership values! Greek affiliates had a strong belief in maintaining a responsible connection with the community compared to unaffiliated students after one year at a university. Fraternity men scored higher in “citizenship” and “change” than non-affiliated men after one year at the university. This means that fraternity men showed a better ability at adapting to changing environments while maintaining the brotherhood group and its functions.
Sorority women also scored higher in “citizenship” than non-affiliated women after one year at the university, as well as “common purpose.” This means that sorority women believe in sharing values and goals with each other as well as the importance of being connected to the greater community. It is believed that sorority membership tends to increase an individuals sense of ownership and consensus. The study also found that one of the major benefits of being in a sorority is the opportunity to socialize and connect with groups of other women. This type of environment may be beneficial for women in improving their academic performance and overall personal development.
For more information on joining a Greek organization at SDSU, please visit:
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