With hazing allegations sparking warnings, sanctions and suspensions of Greek organizations on campuses across the US, some students are now wondering if the question isn’t whether or not they should “go Greek,” but whether they should “go local.”
Going “local” or “rogue” means rushing a fraternity or sorority that is, in some way, unrecognized
-- either by national associations of Greek organizations (like the National Panhellenic
Council and the North-American Interfraternity Conference), the university itself, or both.
Disaffiliation from universities and/or national Greek organizations often comes as a result of repeated violations for hazing, alcohol, or inappropriate recruitment practices. Fraternities and sororities then become suspended for a period of time or disband, or go underground, rebranding themselves and heading off-campus.
As with Greek life in general, there are drawbacks and benefits to going “local.” Here, GreekRank.com breaks down the pro’s and con’s of rushing an unrecognized fraternity or sorority.
Cost: Because unaffiliated Greek chapters are not overseen by a national organization and report to a board, they are not required to pass along a portion of dues to a governing body, a Greek or Student Life administration, or the university. More money in the local organization’s pocket could mean your dues are going to better parties, more events, or a bigger house off-campus.
Less Structure: Again, without the ties to a national organization or Greek council, there’s less structure and bureaucracy, and more freedom. Little if any rules and requirements may exist forcing you to attend weekly meetings, take part in councils and elections, or play a role in larger-scale recruitment and philanthropy. Maintaining a certain amount of study hours a week? Not happening here.
Inclusivity: Because maintaining a certain chapter stereotype or standard is often important to recognized Greek chapters, you may find that local organizations are more open-minded in recruitment. Grades, background, race, and appearance are less of a deciding factor; how fast you can shotgun a beer and your enthusiasm while doing so matters more.
Networking: Chances are, your “rogue” fraternity or sorority does not have an expansive national network of alumnae. And since many go Greek because of the potential for strong professional connections and job opportunities after college, consider how important networking is in your decision for going Greek or going local, and if the extended social network is worth it.
Exclusivity: By rushing a local or unaffiliated organization, you lose a bit of the exclusivity that comes with a chapter tied to Greek council. That includes admittance to other fraternity or sorority parties, rush and Greek Week events, and other Greek happenings on campus in general. You’re off-campus and on your own -- and that might actually not be so bad.
Charity: For recognized or affiliated greek organizations, philanthropy is a requirement. Because traditional greek organizations began centuries ago with foundations in values and ethics, charity work plays a large role in Greek life. That’s not always the case with a rogue organization that has little protocol in place for volunteering and humanitarianism.
Academic Standards: Most Greek organizations affiliated with the university and national organizations typically place an importance on maintaining a strong GPA. In unaffiliated organizations, little if any GPA reporting is required. While that may be a positive aspect to some, maintaining a standard for grades keeps members academically-focused. You did go to college to graduate, after all.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of what you’re looking for out of an organization and your four years at college. Consider what your reasons for rushing are, and weigh the options for what’s available off-campus and unaffiliated before immediately discrediting the idea.
Every month, more and more universities are taking action against Greek organizations to prevent what happened at Penn State and LSU-- you may even find that rushing in the traditional sense with an on-campus Greek organization won’t even be a possibility any more.