As a new member of any Greek organization, you will spend a few weeks before initiation learning the ins and outs of your fraternity. From its founding members and core values to the year and university it began, there is so much to know about the history of your fraternity, whether you’re a pledge or an active member. 

The history of any fraternity is tied to its present-day mission, values, philanthropic ideals, and creed. See why the history of your fraternity matters and how you can help realign your chapter in times of reevaluation. 

Each Fraternity Definition and Purpose Is Linked to Its History

Many fraternities and sororities have been around for hundreds of years; the first official fraternity at a university was Phi Beta Kappa, a professional fraternity established in the 1700s in Virginia. 

Even 200 years ago, most Greek Life organizations were established to bring like-minded people together. From social fraternities looking to develop lifelong friendships to service fraternities aiming to provide charitable efforts to local communities. Every fraternity and sorority is founded with core values and a mission to do good. In those days, those who joined were looking for a solid foundation of friendship, support, and high academic standards.

Knowing and understanding the values on which your fraternity was founded can help members feel connected to their fraternity. This includes founding members, their goals, and their hardships. In addition, you may find that the struggles members faced in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these issues may still be relevant to college students today. 

While some principles and practices may feel outdated, there is much to be learned from the history of your fraternity and its founding members. The standards they held themselves to can motivate your members to continue holding themselves and others accountable. In addition, giving back to the community and promoting campus involvement will help establish your organization as a chapter with high community service and support standards.

Ask Yourself: Does the History of My Fraternity Align With My Chapter’s Values?

As Greek Life gets more bad press for hazing and various unethical actions, active members can study their chapter’s history to find ways to give back. They can do good in the community, and work towards improving the reputation of Greek Life overall, along with their chapter’s reputation on campus and in the community.  

Familiarizing yourself (or re-learning) with your organization’s founding principles can help redefine your chapter’s work or realign it with its original ideals. You can even organize a committee within your fraternity to study the founding principles and objectives to bring new ideas to the table that will improve the character and influence of your chapter.

For example, many Greek letter social organizations are founded on friendship, character development. They also provide service to others, community involvement, and academic excellence. 

If your chapter struggles with one of these areas, you can research how other chapters prioritize these necessary standards through action and encourage your own to follow suit. These can be applied to current activities/events your chapter hosts, future adjustments in recruitment processes, philanthropic events, and more.

Use GreekXperience to Optimize Your Chapter’s Principles and Ideals 

There are many advantages that college students can experience when joining a fraternity or sorority. Learning the history and ideals of your fraternity’s original founding class can help you. Additionally, you can gain perspective on the essential principles that should stand the test of time. Holding your chapter to a higher standard will cause a domino effect on your university’s Greek Life community.

GreekXperience is the first all-in-one platform designed exclusively for Greek life. Join now and learn more about how Greek life. It has transformed many men and women into some of the most renowned names in history. Then, explore our blog for more insight and ideas on how you can improve Greek Life on your campus.

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