Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fraternity and Sorority Membership Linked to Higher Well-Being for College Grads

As incoming college freshmen weigh the pros and cons of pledging a fraternity or sorority this fall or next spring, they should consider this: Being part of the Greek system may have benefits that reach far beyond their college years.

A new Gallup survey, released Tuesday, of more than 30,000 college graduates across the U.S. finds that those who were members of fraternities or sororities are more likely to be “thriving” in their well-being and engaged at work than college graduates who did not go Greek.

Gallup partnered with the National Panhellenic Conference and the North-American Interfraternity Conference to conduct this research. It is a subset of the initial Gallup-Purdue Index survey released last month, which studied the characteristics of the student experience that are most important to long-term outcomes for graduates. The report found that college graduates who had inspiring mentors and professors, who took part in long-term academic projects and extracurricular activities, and who had an internship or job where they applied what they learned are more likely to have higher well-being and work engagement later in life.

The 16% of college graduates who were members of Greek organizations are more likely to report being emotionally supported and having experiential and deep learning activities while in college, all of which likely have contributed to their higher work engagement and well-being.

Fraternity and sorority members’ engagement advantage indicates that they are more likely to be intellectually and emotionally connected to their organizations and enthusiastic about their work. Overall, 43% of fraternity and sorority members who are employed full time for an employer are engaged in the workplace, compared with 38% of all other college graduates. Importantly, these differences are statistically significant after controlling for key demographic variables, including gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

Additionally, fraternity and sorority members are more likely than all other college graduates to be thriving in each of the five elements of well-being (purpose, physical, social, financial, and community). Thus, fraternity and sorority members are more likely than their non-Greek counterparts to find fulfillment in daily work and interactions, to have strong social relationships and access to the resources people need, to feel financially secure, to be physically healthy, and to take part in a true community.

Individual Greek members and chapters have unfortunately been associated with issues involving hazing, binge drinking, and sexual assaults, and Greek organizations should certainly continue their efforts to prevent these negative events from happening. But it appears that, on the whole, the Greek experience has notable long-term benefits.

Read the full report to learn more about these findings.

5 comments:

  1. You may certainly decide to rush a fraternity or sororiety, but that does not mean you have the decision to pledge. The reason Greeks dominate in virtually every quantifiable category of life/achievement is because we pick people based on whether they will dominate their own lives and achieve. So, please do try to join, but just understand, we aren't clubs. We select our members carefully... You don't just choose to enter Greek life, Greek life must also choose you.

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  2. And the above comment is why Greek life is seen as a running joke on most college campuses,

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  3. Being in a sorority at a huge university in the late 1960's proved to be worth far more than simply having a lovely place to live. Incredibly, we did not all look or think or act the same, which required far more tolerance and diplomacy than I had imagined, but which also made me more respectful of everyone in my life. My "sisters" told me in a variety of ways that my selfishness and impatience wouldn't be tolerated by anyone except perhaps my own family of birth. In other words, I finally learned to play well with others, and life from then on has been far better than before. So yes, Greek life, as it was in the late 1960's anyway, helped me grow up to be a better or at least a nicer person.

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  4. Yes, Greek Organizations do choose you. Do we dominate over you? Not if it is a good chapter. Chapters understand that the letters don't make you. You make the letters. My Greek experience taught me how to lead a team, build relationships with key people in the administration, successfully manage a project. These are all skulls that transferred to my work life. My intake process placed an importance on knowing who you are as a person. This is an important thing to understand in your life. If you cannot be the master of your fate, who will be?

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  5. RE: "And the above comment is why Greek life is seen as a running joke on most college campuses, "

    But the college that the the greek organization is located on itself also "chose" every student as well and vice-versa. That whole process is similar to a rush experience. It's a little tiresome to hear some bitch about greeks but also decide to spend or borrow lots of money to go to a school where they must pay room and board so they can have their own little built in social life on campus far away from their parents. It's not necessary to "go away" to school. One can decide to stay local and go to a nearby state school. How about a community college even? Oh no! Many greek hating independents still want the prestigious name of a particular college too, so community college is out of the question. The constant hypocrisy is so ridiculous.

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