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The Prowler

The student news site of Carolina Forest High School

The Prowler

The student news site of Carolina Forest High School

The Prowler

The student news site of Carolina Forest High School

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Silver Streams Submissions
The Silver Streams will be updated frequently and will highlight our students’ art and writing talent. In the link below, you may submit any artwork, photography, writings, and/or music that you would like to be featured in the our on-line literary magazine.
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Meet the Staff
Lesley Medina
Lesley Medina
Staff Writer/Media Production

Hey, my name is Lesley! I'm a sophomore at CFHS. This is my first year on The Prowler. I'm on the CFHS dance team. I love to baking, hanging out with friends and family, singing, and dancing.  After graduation,...

Go Greek or Go Home!

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As we approach the spring and the anticipation of graduation, many of us are thinking about our next steps. We will begin a new chapter in our lives that will involve a lot of big changes; for some of us, it is the excitement of college and making the decision on whether or not to join a fraternity or sorority.

With the start of every fall semester comes the start of what is known as “Rush Week.” Many incoming freshmen often question whether or not they intend on rushing before arriving at their college. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether Greek life is for you.

The first officially formed fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, was established on December 5, 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA (Mullins Jones, Betty. The American Fraternity. 1976) when a group of students created a secret society where they could hold debates and further discussions regarding literature, a common extracurricular of the time. (Canopy. History of Greek Life. 2019). According to an article published by Appalachian State University, “Students wanted to learn about a greater variety of topics than were offered in the classroom, explore other academic venues in more detail than time allotted for with their professors during class time, and be able to express themselves freely.” As a result, Phi Beta Kappa was formed as a means to debate and discuss.

Greek life is made up of two different categories: fraternities and sororities. Fraternities, also commonly referred to as a ‘brotherhood’ consist of men, oftentimes called ‘brothers.’ On the contrary, sororities, also known as a ‘sisterhood’ consist of women called ‘sisters.’ A question often asked by Potential New Members (PNM), a term used to describe students seeking to join a sorority or frat, is: why should I join? 

According to Ball State University, “Fraternities and sororities allow students to meet many people through social events, service projects, recruitment, and intramural events. You’ll quickly become connected to the university and tapped into the available resources.” 

Joining a Greek life chapter opens many doors when it comes to meeting new people, adjusting to college life, leadership opportunities, academic resources, and ways to give back to your community, while also giving students a place of belonging when first stepping foot on campus. 

Carolina Forest alumni Jenna Graziano is a freshman currently attending the University of South Carolina. She is a sister of Kappa Delta, Beta Zeta Chapter. 

“My experience going through Greek life as a freshman was absolutely amazing. There are so many events and meetings you have to attend as a new member in a sorority. This made my fall semester extremely busy and go by so fast. It was nice to not be sitting in my room thinking about how I just moved into college and feel all those emotions [of leaving behind family and friends].  Being in a sorority on such a big campus makes you feel like you are a part of something; not only for the friendship and fun parts [of Greek life], but also [the importance and impact you make through your] philanthropy. I have done so much to give back to my community while having fun at the same time. I recommend Greek life to any freshman girl going into college.”

Alternatively, there are factors to consider such as financial obligation, time commitment, and hazing, before pledging to a chapter. Personally, one of the biggest things I have been taking into consideration as I venture towards my freshman year has been the financial obligation. Something most people do not realize is the financial aspect goes beyond the chapter dues each semester. All chapters require members to pay semesterly dues. These can be  anywhere between $500-$1,000 a semester, along with any other initiation and membership fees. Costs such as clothing that is acceptable and “on trend” for rush, suits and dresses for formal events, chapter merch, pins, and accessories, all add up to a very costly total.  Some chapters may also require members to live in the chapter house at least one year; this comes with both the cost of housing and cost of required meal plan through the house. 

Besides finances, time is another big factor to consider. At the beginning of each semester, chapters go through what is called “rush week,” pledging, or recruitment. These terms essentially all mean the same thing; it is the period of time when unaffiliated students meet all of the chapters, get to know the members and what each chapter represents, and eventually get a “bid.” A bid is an invitation to be a member in a fraternity or sorority. Pledging in and of itself takes anywhere from 1-10 weeks in most cases and is not optional if you want to be a part of a chapter. After being “initiated” or becoming an official chapter member, there are weekly meetings, fundraising events, and formals that are required. 

The last important thing to consider when deciding on rushing is the dangers of hazing. Hazing is a form of abuse oftentimes carried out in the military or in the recruitment process of Greek life. While hazing is illegal, it does not make it nonexistent. Unfortunately, hazing is more common than it should be. Examples of hazing include pressuring PNM, specifically in fraternities, to drink excessive alcohol, consume drugs including tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine, clean frat houses until late in the night, be “on call” to do chores for the brothers, do many acts while inebriated such as running a mile barefooted, spiking females drinks at bars, and all PNM are subject to abuse such as physical attacks and harassment. 

As a senior in high school approaching my first semester at the College of Charleston in the fall, I am intending on rushing. I have had various feelings towards Greek life and all that comes with the decision of rushing before finally deciding on participating. I think Greek life is a great way to make friends especially in a place where you know nobody and get acclimated to your new home away from home. I am hopeful to make some great friendships and memories throughout the process. 

Overall, Greek life has many pros and cons to consider before committing to a chapter. Greek life can be a right of passage to the freshman in college, or it can be an unnecessary headache for some. Every school and chapter is different, and everyone’s experiences can vary so you can only really decide for yourself whether Greek life is for you.

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About the Contributor
Gabby Hanson
Gabby Hanson, Editor
Hey everyone! My name is Gabby Hanson. I am so excited to be a part of The Prowler during my last semester of high school! I have been a Prowler staff member since my freshman year and have loved every minute of it. In my free time I enjoy spending time at the beach, hanging out with my friends, shopping, reading a good book, playing pickleball, and attending church regularly. I am excited to say I will be attending the College of Charleston this upcoming fall. I am so excited to serve on The Prowler staff one last time before my high school career wraps up!