School spirit in need of some Greek life

St. Thomas homecoming is just around the corner and Tommies will be attending football games and even tailgating, but one aspect of typical college homecomings will be noticeably absent: a large Greek system on campus. I believe a larger Greek system could spark more school spirit and community involvement at St. Thomas.

Currently, St. Thomas recognizes some Greek organizations. The options include Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority; Sigma Chi, a service fraternity for men and women; and Delta Sigma Pi-Nu Tau, a business fraternity for men and women.

In comparison to other schools in the Twin Cities area, St. Thomas’ Greek system is lacking. According to the University of Minnesota’s website, there are currently 37 fraternities and sororities on the Twin Cities campus. Hamline University’s Greek system includes nine different options, according to the school website.

More systems, more spirit

As witnessed during the Tommie-Johnnie game, there is nothing like a little rivalry to bring out school spirit. I believe adding more sororities and fraternities to St. Thomas’ Greek system would create even more school spirit on campus. The competition between sororities and fraternities to attract more pledges would add fun and spirit to the school atmosphere.

With more than one option for potential pledges to choose from, the first few weeks of school would become even busier. Different sororities and fraternities would be advertising with events on campus, only adding to the new school year buzz.

Greek life provides students with a community to be involved in and identify with. Plenty of students are involved with clubs and organizations on campus; a larger Greek system would be an extension of those opportunities.

Some students on campus may have already heard of Sigma Tau Omega, a service fraternity seeking to be recognized by the university. The addition of Sigma Tau Omega would provide another outlet for students to socialize and participate in a university activity, one that builds school spirit and promotes service projects throughout the community.

<p>Sigma Tau Omega is a service fraternity on campus seeking to be recognized by the university. (Courtesy of: Sigma Tau Omega)</p>
Sigma Tau Omega is a service fraternity on campus seeking to be recognized by the university. (Courtesy of: Sigma Tau Omega)

At St. Thomas, spirit is also defined by service to others. The Greek life already at St. Thomas contributes heavily to different service projects throughout the year. Additional sorority or fraternity options for students would provide even more service opportunities on and off campus.

Involvement in the Greek system is also an opportunity to network, as well as being a talking point on a resume. The addition of more business fraternities or sororities on campus would provide students with opportunities to make connections with alumni from their chapter.

Additional housing

Currently, the Greek life that is present on campus is not allowed to have sponsored houses. When most people think of the Greek system, the first thing that comes to mind is a sorority or fraternity house.

Houses used specifically for St. Thomas fraternities and sororities would provide more housing options for students on campus. Upperclassmen would have more options than the on-campus apartments. Because the houses would be associated with an on-campus organization, the students would be held accountable to the same standards as students living on campus. If the houses were monitored under the same policy as residence halls, they would serve as an extension of the university, rather than unsanctioned houses off campus.

Greek housing would provide additional housing for the university. The new houses would also provide residents with the opportunity to build community, similar to in a residence hall. These communities would give students a way to actively participate in other events that take place on campus.

Gina Dolski can be reached at

5 Replies to “School spirit in need of some Greek life”

  1. First of all, I’m pretty sure that it’s a St. Paul ordinance, not a St. Thomas policy that is preventing this. Secondly, it’s a terrible idea.  Greek housing would increase the amount of underage drinking, and it would further tarnish UST’s reputation in this neighborhood.  I could go on and on about how terrible sororities are all day, but based on the lack of comments here I’m assuming people agree with me.

  2. I’ve got to agree with Gina that having a legitimate Greek system would be awesome to see at Saint Thomas. The likelihood of this shift happening, however, has been minuscule since the old Greek system was purged in the 90s. The possibility has grown even smaller, I’m sure with the recent trouble that the Greek system has experienced at the U, bringing a bad (mostly undeserved) rap upon Fraternities and Sororities in the cities.
    In response to Mark’s comment: if the University were to have Greek housing, under control of RHA or some parallel administration specifically for the Greek system, it wouldn’t promote underage drinking any more than residence halls might. The “Animal House” idea of Greek Houses is a Hollywood invention.
    Also, Sigma Chi is a philanthropic and leadership fraternity (not exclusively a “service” fraternity) open only to men, not women.

  3. Apparently you’ve never been to a school with Greek housing.  The drinking is not a hollywood invention, it’s a reality!

  4. I’ll help you guys out. Its not a hollywood invention, but don’t expect a frat party to get as wild (or as good looking) as what you see in movies…

    I have a feeling both of you already know this though, and if not, glad I could help. 

    Frats and sororities are different all over though, drive down university ave. on a friday night and its obvious. Some houses have people everwhere and loud music blaring, while others arent that way at all. We cant generalize these groups by the positive or negative stereotypes they might carry just to push our own agendas. With everything there’s a good and a bad. 

  5. It’s obvious you are a bunch Geeds. The reason so many people think that fraternities and sororities are destructive is because they were never a part of the organizations. Sure it’s easy to say that fraternity housing will increase underage drinking, rivalries, etc. (We’ve all seen animal house), but do you care to look at the whole picture?

    Fraternities and Sororities are among the few organizations on campus that REQUIRE service hours by each of their members. While I don’t go to UST, I have ties to the St. Paul Area. At my university, the Greek GPA is nearly .2 higher than the campus average and there is an average of 14 services hours per member per semester. I am sure there are similar numbers for UST.

    How about Leadership? Forbes Fortune-500’s list of CEOs is riddled with Greek men and women. A vast majority, actually. Coincidence? No. Greek organizations are self-governing organizations that manage large budgets. They have requirements to meet set by national headquarters and parameters set by their respective college/university. Greek men and women are exposed to real-life decision making dealing with recruitment, alumni relations, external communications and budgetary matters. Last time I checked, the Frisbee Club doesn’t offer quite as lucrative career…

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