No. 1 Greek Rank Merits Little Promotion

Rambler Editorial

The Greek community is an ostensible and powerful force on Transylvania’s campus. However, is Greek life the aspect of our university for which we should be most recognized?

Our recent No. 1 ranking for “Major Frat and Sorority Scene” in The Princeton Review’s “The Best 373 Colleges” has elicited both positive and negative excitement on campus. The Rambler, however, cautions the Transylvania community not to take this ranking too seriously.

The Greek system has made brilliant strides to improve the recruitment process this year. It has emphasized more communication and cooperation between chapters and has tried to improve faculty members’ perceptions of Greek life while decreasing the burden of recruitment on academic life, among other efforts.

Continued positive strides toward the improvement of our Greek system keep that system strong and deserving of praise, but this Princeton Review ranking does not attest to the actual strength of Greek life here at Transy. In fact, the ranking, based solely on students’ perception of the popularity of Greek life, takes no statistical data into account — no average Greek GPA, no average number of reported service hours, nothing tangible at all.

We therefore agree with the admissions office that this ranking should not be marketed to incoming students. This is not only because the ranking itself is arbitrary, but also because, despite the strength and positive influence of our Greek community, a college campus should strive to prioritize more important things — academics, diversity, sustainability and service, just to name a few.

While our Greek system does in fact emphasize academics and service in particular, the ranking itself, which is based on neither of these, calls forth more stereotypical images of Greek life.

When prospective students, their parents or others see “Major Frat and Sorority Scene,” certainly their first image will not be of a group of women or men studying or doing community service. They’ll imagine wild parties, drinking and hazing, because that is the image media has conditioned us to see.

If Transy should strive for rankings in any of Princeton Review’s categories, why don’t we shoot for most sustainable, best teachers, happiest students, best career services, most accessible professors, best classroom experience or others that reflect the priorities that any top college campus should have. Or better yet, why don’t we strive for highest rankings in categories that are actually measured objectively like best acceptance rate into graduate or professional programs?

This ranking may serve as a motivating force to continue the improvement of our Greek system and make it stronger than it already is. However, Greek life should not be the most recognized aspect of a college campus. Our hope is that receiving this ranking, but not receiving others, will also open our eyes to the more important aspects of our campus which need improving.

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