Keeping Philia in the Family: Making Your Greek House a Happy Place
“Philia” is the Greek word used to describe “friendship love,” or the happiness and safety one feels when among good friends. Ideally, fraternities and sororities will extol and promote philia in each of their chapters, for everyone involved. However, it’s sometimes difficult to keep everyone perfectly happy, especially since so many university students are interested in Greek life. They have good reason to be interested, as well. According to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (umkc.edu), which has a webpage of national Greek life statistics, the GPA of fraternity and sorority members is higher than the overall college GPA. Both female Supreme Court nominees were sorority sisters, and all but two Presidents since 1825 have been fraternity brothers.
Yet, these statistics mean nothing if Greek life members, and the members of headquarters, are not satisfied with their experiences. Thus, here are a few handy tips for keeping your headquarters and your individual Greek houses happy and filled with philia.
- Mix the old with the new. For example, if your chapter has a tradition of rebuilding damaged homes for community service, your new brother or sister might add in tutoring.
- Make sure your chapter advisors and officers carry out their responsibilities well. This includes attending regular gatherings, working amicably with members, and having a community presence outside the university (psu.edu).
- Make sure any fraternity and sorority traditions are open and accessible to all members. A good mix of athletic, academic, fine arts, and other activities will give Greek students a true sense of being in a diverse community. Even if an organization is specifically dedicated to one area of study, activities should still be accessible and inclusive.
- Respect all cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs without exception. Greek life should be a place of fun, self-expression, and growth for all.