For many, college is supposed to be the best of your life. It’s the time to try new things, meet new people and explore yourself and your identity.
On a campus as big as Georgia State’s, however, meeting new people and finding lifelong friends can be a difficult task—especially with such a high percentage of commuter students.
Many students turn to Greek organizations to build instant relationships and bonds to find friends and make connections.
Greek organizations are known for negative stereotypes such as enabling hazing and partying.
However, Greek life at Georgia State aims to rewrite the typical narrative. At Georgia State, fraternities and sororities push inclusivity, protest hazing and hold members to impressively high standards.
Max Verlohr, President of Georgia State fraternity Sigma Nu, joined the organization in his sophomore year after transferring from the University of South Carolina.
V explained that before coming to Georgia State, he did not know a lot of other students and wanted an opportunity to branch out.
After talking with some of the members, he joined Sigma Nu to be part of an organization with close bonds between brothers and friends to uplift and inspire.
“We’re such a commuter school, so sometimes it’s hard to find people to hang out with,” Verlohr said.
“If you’re not in any clubs or anything, students will come to class and then leave immediately without getting the chance to meet people. Greek life is a great way to make connections and become active in the school and community.”
According to Verlohr, fraternities are much more than just the stereotypical party organizations presented in the media. Fraternities at Georgia State participate in philanthropy, push volunteer work and are actively involved in the community.
Apart from volunteer work, fraternities also participate in activities such as intramural sports, competing against one another in events such as dodgeball and flag football.
“Things are super different than [what’s] in the movies,” Verlohr said. “People think that all we do is party, but we focus a significant amount on intramural sports and philanthropy. Sports and volunteer work are a big thing for us, and we want our members to stay active and stay involved.”
The current social chair for Sigma Nu, Wesley Grant, joined the fraternity in the second semester of his freshman year at Georgia State. Grant felt a connection with Sigma Nu almost immediately after he joined.
“These guys are always there for you, and they’re always pushing you to do better no matter what,” Grant said. “It’s hard to find friends like that.”
Alexis Hart, the historian for Zeta Tau Alpha, joined Zeta her sophomore year at Georgia State. Hart decided to go through the recruitment process after determining that she wanted to join a community of like-minded girls who would accept her.
After going through recruitment, Hart found her home in Zeta and described the girls in her sorority as the most genuine friends she has.
Although joining Greek life might seem intimidating initially, Hart described her experience as incredibly welcoming.
“It is a genuine sisterhood,” Hart said. “I connect so well to my sisters, and we’re all very similar. However, we celebrate one another’s differences.”
According to Hart, one of the many perks when it comes to joining a sorority at Georgia State is the ability to reach out with alumni and make connections with sisters who have already graduated.
With Greek organizations well established all over the country, connecting with alumni can lead to both career and social opportunities.
“It’s a huge network of women all across the country,” Hart said.
“I know in my sorority, Zeta, there are a lot of times within the professional field where I will run across other members of Zeta or Zeta alumni. It’s always nice to have those kinds of connections, and I know it’s the same in other sororities, as well.”
Before joining Zeta, Gabby McQuade, Vice President of recruitment, discussed her yearning for friends who genuinely understood and welcomed her. When McQuade talked to the girls in Zeta, she immediately felt she had found the people she would be friends with for the rest of her life.
Despite the degrading stereotype describing sorority girls as “dumb and blonde,” McQuade emphasized the immense amount of diversity amongst sororities at Georgia State, as well as the sizeable academic push in Greek life.
“We have the highest GPA in Zeta, and all of my friends have a GPA of 3.0 or higher,” McQuade said. “We have to have a certain GPA to stay in Zeta. Otherwise, we are put on academic probation where we are required to log our studying and get tutoring to succeed academically.”
Despite many stereotypes, Greek organizations at Georgia State strive for their members to be the best they can push academic success and community involvement while creating strong bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.