The Positive Sides of Greek Life

I am a proud brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity here at UO. I can safely say that going Greek is the best decision I have ever made. Despite the positive sides of Greek Life, such as philanthropy, community service, and relationship building, there is a stigma that comes with the territory. Everyone has heard stories of hazing, sexual assault, and drug use, but that is far from what the Greek Community is truly all about. I have met brothers from all over the world and made connections that will be valuable in the future. I know that if I ever need anything, I have over 70 brothers I can count on. If I ever meet an AEPi, I can give him the grip and know he is my brother. We are bonded by something far greater than he or I.

At the UO, each member of every house has to perform at least five community service hours every term. Every year, Greeks raise millions of dollars for philanthropies all over the world. Each house has a philanthropy, or philanthropies, that it raises money for. This past Summer, AEPi nationals donated over $100,000 to various charities all over the world. Last year, my chapter raised $7,000 through our Loco for Latkes philanthropy. Philanthropy events help to benefit those less fortunate in fun, social ways, such as all you can eat food events, or sporting events. They also promote inter-Greek unity and help build connections and relationships with members of other houses. Some philanthropy events inspire competition and others expand the waist, but each philanthropy offers opportunities to meet new faces around campus.

AEPi, Sigma Chi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma were the champions of Chi Omega's Chi Olympics philanthropy benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation.

AEPi, Sigma Chi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma were the champions of Chi Omega’s Chi Olympics philanthropy benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation.

The AEPi kickball teams won both first and second place in the first annual Sigma Nu Kick Ball Cancer, which raises money for prostate cancer research.

The AEPi kickball teams won both first and second place in the first annual Sigma Nu Kick Ball Cancer, which raises money for prostate cancer research.

The process of joining AEPi was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I instantly became best friends with my pledge class. We were taught about what it means to be a brother, a man, and a gentleman. We also learned the history of how our brotherhood came to be and the traditions and rituals that bond me to my thousands of brothers world wide.

No matter what time of day or night I have over 70 brothers to call, all of whom have differing personalities. I have learned much about how to deal with different personalities types and I have also gotten to know myself better via these countless interactions with my brothers. Everyone has their own story and background that helps to shape who they are as a person. In a fraternity, one never stops getting to know people.

I have made friends in my time in AEPi that I will never forget. I have had more fun than I ever thought possible. The experiences I have had in my years here are invaluable; I would not trade them for the world. Before anyone lets his prejudice or bias affect his judgement of the Greek Community, I would implore him to try to see it through our eyes. On that note, let’s talk. I’d be happy to share some stories.

Some quick facts about the Greek Community:

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About justinsteinbaum

I am an Advertising major at the University of Oregon with a multimedia minor. I love using my creative side to solve problems; I have always thought of myself as an idea man. I love socializing and meeting new people. I could eat burritos and sushi every single day for the rest of my life and I would be a happy man. I am happiest when I am spending time with my family and friends.

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