By Victoria Cullinan
Greek life is one of the many great social benefits that Union College has to offer. Even though I am a first-year, having an older sister in a sorority and hearing about all of her amazing experiences and opportunities has really made me excited to explore the Greek world myself. Unfortunately, as a freshman this trimester, the restrictions that are being imposed have made discovering and learning about Greek life difficult. Of course my priority here at Union is to work hard and to do well in school above all else, but Greek life and its social benefits are something that shouldn’t be held so far out of reach.
Since the on-campus fraternities and sororities are closed, Friday and Saturday nights consist of wandering off campus and onto unfamiliar streets to find social events. As great of a bonding experience as exploring Schenectady is to share with new friends, it is hard to feel safe at night outside of campus. For better or worse, these off campus houses are usually long walks and since the nights are getting colder with the approach of fall, more and more freshmen will decide to stay in their dorms. As a result, this could increase the amount of dorm partying and problem drinking as first-year students will be stuck sitting idle.
I know and understand that these new restrictions are set in place as a means of trying to discourage freshmen drinking. However, these rules are not actually limiting drinking— they are just changing where we do it.
Not being allowed to experience Greek life is causing the majority of our freshmen class immense disappointment because we are all excited to explore all the different aspects of Union. From my perspective, fraternities and sororities are more than just places to party and dance. They are a way to socialize, to make new friends, to give back to the community and to further discover all of the unique opportunities Union has to offer its students.
I think most freshmen would agree with me when I say that these restrictions only further enhance my eagerness and excitement to learn more about and to one day even possibly become a part of Greek life here at Union!