Some college kids join fraternities or sororities and forge lifelong friendships. Others condemn Greek life with notable fervor. Still others remain out of the fray, altogether disinterested. Such is the case with just about any university, but at Pepperdine, the Greek debate seems exaggerated. When many Pepperdine kids already characterize the student body, in general, as arrogant and snobbish, you can just guess how they feel about the fraternity and sorority members on campus. Also, when those same students complain that Pepperdine is too small and too like a country club, it makes one wonder: what’s the point of joining a Greek group? Wouldn’t it be something like joining a fraternity within a fraternity?
One answer to that question is that, yes, many students do want to belong to an exclusive group that distinguishes itself among an already exclusive student body. Cynics are wont to define this behavior as “buying friends.” But the other thing to remember is that Pepperdine’s Greek system is a lot different than other schools’ systems. Several of the frats and sororities place a far greater emphasis on such unglamorous aims as school spirit, community service, and Christian worship than they do on social mixers, beer bongs, and formals. Inter-sorority tensions, which run notoriously high at big southern universities, are practically nonexistent here. Most of Pepperdine’s Greek organizations intermingle and support each others’ philanthropic events. Also, many would say that Pepperdine’s Greek system is practically the only way to remain plugged into campus life for full four years—especially if you move off campus at some point, as most students do.