October 26, 2012

Since I am not involved with a sorority I am not familiar with all the inner-workings of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL). One thing I have noticed is that at DePaul we call it “Fraternity Sorority Life” instead of “Greek Life.” A lot of people have asked if there is a difference and why DePaul uses FSL. I met with Ashlee Canty, Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisor, to find out why and learn a little bit more about Fraternity and Sorority Life.

First, a little background about FSL at DePaul. We have 3 councils: Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council (IFC), and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). In FSL there are 26 chapters: 7 Panhellenic Sororities, 6 Fraternities, and 12 MGC chapters. There are a total of 900 members in FSL at DePaul, which accounts for 7.5% of the student body. That number is growing as we just added Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, and Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity last fall.

So, why do we not call it Greek Life like so many other schools do? Well there has been confusion that Greek Life is for students of Greek nationality and related to the country of Greece. While fraternities and sororities are Greek lettered organizations, they are not just for students of Greek culture. Ashlee dispelled the rumor that Greek Life has a negative connotation. My initial thought as to why we call it FSL is because Greek Life had a bad stigma. That isn’t the case. The phrase Fraternity and Sorority Life is actually part of a national trend. More and more universities are using the term because it is mindful of different terms. When you think about it, FSL is more specific and has more clarity so there is not any confusion.

Ashlee also clarified another myth: The reason why we don’t have houses has nothing to do with the “brothel law.” As most of us know, living in the city is expensive. Property is super expensive (especially in Lincoln Park). If a chapter did have a house, the chapter dues would skyrocket in order to maintain the house. Plus, Lincoln Park is a very residential neighborhood and home to many families. The community members might not be the happiest if a fraternity or sorority house is next door.

The Fraternity and Sorority Life myths are now busted. We hope you learned something new about FSL! Are there any other DePaul myths (related to student organizations) you’d like to learn more about? Leave a comment!

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