Fraternities and sororities provide a number of benefits to students during their college experiences. The value you gain from involvement in a Greek organization varies, however, based on the nature and objectives of a particular fraternity or sorority. While most incorporate social, service and academic elements, some have other priorities.
A social fraternity or sorority is what many students view as the "traditional" Greek organization, probably based on what they see in movies. Social houses emphasize the bonding and community shared between brothers or sisters. At larger schools, members of a social organization often live together in the Greek house. Informal and formal mixers and dances, intramural events and parties are among the common activities you might experience.
While most frats and sororities engage in some level community service, a service-centered house puts such projects at the top of its priority list. You can gain a number of leadership skills, resume-building experiences and personal satisfaction from a service organization. Some houses engage in specific projects through local nonprofit partnerships. In other cases, members pick service activities and perform a certain amount of work each semester.
A professional or program-specific organization requires that members major in a particular field. Medical fraternities, for instance, consist of members in pre-med or science programs who intend to go to medical school. Professional fraternities are typically co-ed since eligibility is based on shared academic and career goals, not gender-related bonding. Professional houses often include a mix of social activities and field-centered service activities.
Closely related to the professional frat is an honors-based house. This type of fraternity heavily emphasizes academic performance, and it is also normally co-ed. Honors frats may be program-specific or include students from the general student population. Membership in this type of organization is based solely on minimum GPA standards or achievement of other academic honors. Along with social and service activities, membership in an honors organization is a great credential for your resume.
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