Disclaimer: More Than Colors, is a written web-series about Greek Life. Its goal is to negate some stereotypes and myths, and genuinely enlighten non-greeks on general information on Fraternities and Sororities, Greek etiquette, and the unknown.
Greek etiquette is important. It’s good to know the “do’s and don’ts” whether you’re in a party, on campus, or in your community. Conflicts sometime arise because most non-greeks have no clue about the expected etiquette. I do not believe non-greeks are going around intentionally and maliciously throwing up org hand signs and strolling. If so, that’s another conversation with another level of severity.
There’s some key things to remember when thinking of Greek etiquette. You must be aware of the
Hand signs can only be used by members of the specific Fraternities or Sororities. Non-greeks CANNOT use these hand signs, and when they do it is considered disrespect rather than endearment or praise. *Click the pictures to enlarge them*
Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Phi Alpha
Delta Sigma Theta
Zeta Phi Beta
Iota Phi Theta
Kappa Alpha Psi
Sigma Gamma Rho
Phi Beta Sigma
Omega Psi Phi
Now that you know the colors, names and signs of the Divine 9 organizations, it should be easier to identify and respect. Remember, membership has its privileges and signs are definitely one.
Another thing to be cognizant of is
“The Yard” is the stroll circle that forms on a dance floor. When multiple orgs enter a party, it is almost guaranteed a yard will be formed. Something to be aware of is that the yard will not break up or stop for YOU. Strolling is another privilege Greeks have and we take it seriously.
One of the most disrespectful things you can do on the yard is trying to break a stroll line (separating members of an org while they are strolling). This is looked at as disrespect and 9/10 will start with a firm warning, but could end in conflict. The best thing to do is wait for a break in orgs, or simply go around. Greeks are not strolling to knock over people or cause problems, we’re simply having fun and doing what Greeks do.
Here’s an example of “The Yard”
Now that you know not to break stroll lines. Let’s talk about
Some non-greeks think that discretion or privacy is just something Greeks stress to try and be secretive or cool. It’s actually deeper than that. The culture of probates and reinventing yourself is an added experience. Discretion adds for an enhanced effect on the campus and the new initiates at the probate. There’s no better feeling than revealing yourself and having the crowd scream because they didn’t know you were making this decision. If everyone knows what you’re doing, it won’t be a surprise.
Make sure to never tell anyone your plans. Honestly, anyone outside of the org you’re interested in can’t help you in any way seek membership. Talk to the org president or any member you feel comfortable with, they can guide you with your journey. Social media and friends should not be informed on your interests.
The last thing I want to discuss is the
Fraternities and Sororities are here for the community and the campus. We are normal people that take pride in service. If you speak with any well rounded Greek, they should inform you that their organization is based upon business and service. We are not social organizations. The campus and community should be enriched and cultivated by the services and presence of fraternities and sororities. Therefore, if you have concerns and requests about campus life in regards to events and things you’d like to see prevalent, reach out.
Do some research and see what these orgs are truly about. Ignorance or lack of knowledge about our existence can lead to stereotypes, conflicts, and overall misconceptions.
In conclusion, respect us…as we should be respecting you, be discreet, do your research, and be aware.
Feel free to ask questions below, Myself, and other Greeks will answer to the best of their ability.