Greek organizations have long been pillars of collegiate culture, offering students a sense of community, leadership development and lifelong friendships. USC needs to expand Greek Life in order to allow the community to accommodate new members.
One thing that draws many people to USC is its Fraternity and Sorority Life. Greek life is very popular, with 4,156 active members participating in the College Panhellenic Association as of 2022.
These organizations not only offer social opportunities, but also provide a tight-knit community within the university where individuals can find comfort in their collegiate journey.
The increased enrollment in the student body brings in more students who are interested in rushing. This fall, the USC Panhellenic Association hit a record number of 2,000 girls who participated in sorority recruitment to join one of their 13 sororities. While this is a great number for the College Panhellenic Association, the ability to accommodate this many people interested in joining Greek Life is becoming a concern.
Having housing for every sorority and fraternity at Greek Village would make the Greek Life experience feel more authentic. It would provide that sense of community for the members, as well as an intimacy within chapters that builds stronger friendships. The village is currently home to 20 sorority and fraternity chapters.
With the possible expansion of the Greek Village, the community would be able to accept a larger number of new members interested in joining. The expansion would entail building six additional houses in the village, bringing opportunity for more sorority and fraternity chapters to have on campus housing.
The plan for more houses to be added into the Greek Village could also serve as an opportunity to add new chapters to campus. This could soon be a reality, following a recent vote.
"The chapters of the College Panhellenic Association voted on the topic of extension on Monday, Feb. 5. The vote passed with more than two-thirds of the chapters voting yes for extension. Moving forward, CPA will work with the National Panhellenic Conference on next steps required in the process of bringing a new chapter to campus," Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Haley Fern said in an email.
There are 23 fraternity chapters active on campus, compared to 13 sorority chapters. But there are only 2,835 fraternity members compared to 4,156 sorority members. Since there is almost double the amount of sorority members compared to fraternity members, it would make sense if there were more or the same number of sorority chapters, but this is not the case.
Sorority chapters have huge populations that have never been seen before on USC's campus. The average number of girls in one sorority chapter is around 300 at USC. When one of the main focuses of being in a sorority is sisterhood, how can one truly feel that sense of sisterhood with such large chapters?
Bringing in new sorority chapters would produce smaller and more intimate chapters that would allow members to feel more like a family to each other. This would promote the "sisterhood" ideology that every sorority holds. With more chapters, there would also be greater diversity in the values they represent, allowing students to find groups that align more with their interests and identities.
Given the growing population of the school, resources need to be expanded, and this should include Greek Life.
Because the Greek Village can only house a certain amount of chapters, two sororities have lost housing in the Greek Village this past year. The fraternities that originally owned the houses returned in 2023 and reclaimed those houses, kicking out the sorority chapters. The two sororities were forced to move their accommodations off campus. While these two sororities are thriving, it is unfortunate that the members lost their on campus housing, and there is no way for them to relocate in the completely occupied Greek Village.
Having a house in the Greek Village makes the experience of being in a sorority at USC more genuine through the community and intimacy that it brings the members. This is why every sorority and fraternity should have the opportunity to have a house located in the Greek Village. This would give all of the chapters a tight-knit community and allow them to be seen as equal
Greek Life is a community where many have found their home away from home. With more people coming to the school, the expansion of this community would be uplifting for its members. More students would have the opportunity to find their sense of belonging at USC, and current chapters would have the opportunity to keep flourishing.