They are the members of the student body that are loud, show up to class late and drink entirely way too much. Why would anyone want be to a part of that? Contrary to popular belief, Greek life does have something to offer students and there is a new Web site with the tools to promote it.
Greekstrength.com was created by Jerry Sneed, 21, to show the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority. Sneed was a brother of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity in Johnson, Illinois. In his fraternity he learned communication skills that helped him network with alumni, which in turn, inspired him to create this networking site.
‘The site is about making Greeks more successful through connections,’ said Sneed.
He started the site by getting involved with a business deal with two of his fraternity brothers and a couple of friends from high school.
‘I reached out to one of my fraternity brother’s father for funding,’ said Sneed. ‘Another brother also put in some money and then I got a couple of guys from high school that knew about computers.’
The five-man team was born and constantly worked to improve the image of Greeks, while helping them prepare for their future.
A bit ironic for someone who wasn’t sure he wanted to be in a fraternity.
‘I got into the game late,’ said Sneed. ‘I joined as a sophomore, but I wish I had more information as a freshman.’
Information is one of many things the site offers to incoming freshman and it could be something beneficial when the images of fraternities and sororities continue to be poorly portrayed in the media.
‘The negative image of Greek life serves what the media is trying to accomplish,’ said Neil Sanchez, 21, who holds offices in both his fraternity and within CSUN’s Inter- Fraternal Council. ‘It is an inaccurate portrayal, but of course there are always some truths.’
Sanchez is the vice president of the IFC which governs CSUN fraternities to promote the interests of council chapters. He is also the president of his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha.
Johnathan Mann, 21, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said he has gained more confidence in his leadership abilities and his communication skills.
These are the types of skills Sneed’s site promotes.
‘Lead, inspire, succeed is our motto,’ said Sneed.
Sneed also said Greek life takes you one step out of normal college life and helps you develop skills while networking.
Carli Delp of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma was able to get an internship with the help of sisters on other campuses.
‘My (biological) sister is a Kappa at Pepperdine University and another sister there was able to get me an internship at Fox Sports,’ said Delp.
Connections are what Sneed is trying to promote. He said his site offers this on a national level with tools to improve one’s self and one’s chapter.
‘The site has a resume builder and a sample calendar to improve organizational skills, to name a few,’ said Sneed.
As beneficial as all this may sound, some people are still held back from the Greek life.
Laura Diaz, 22, said that she thought about joining but didn’t have the time.
‘I considered it as a freshman but I heard it takes a lot of time and when rush started I couldn’t get work off to go to the events,’ said Diaz.
For some the Greek life doesn’t fit in their schedule. Diaz said her plan for college is to get out as soon as possible. Along the way though she has made contacts within her classes which have helped her get her job.
‘I am a Teacher’s Assistant at an elementary school,’ said Diaz. ‘A lot of my coworkers come to CSUN.’
Not everyone needs Greek life to find connections but what Sneed wants to offer is a network in any field of study on a national level, rather than a local one.
‘This is a great way to gain contacts with alumni from different campuses,’ said Sneed.
After all, Greek life is about helping yourself and others succeed.