TENETS OF GREEK LIFE: Recreating the Brand

By Johnathan Kellz


The Greek Life is a phrase used to describe all Greek Letter Organizations. In a college setting, to live the life, you accept the tenets of the life by being a member of a sorority or fraternity.

Anyone who lives The Greek Life understands the principals or pillars of the life: leadership, scholarship, philanthropy, and fellowship (sisterhood / brotherhood). However, I put to you that another dimension exists, that there are tenets to The Greek Life as well. Precepts and doctrines are introduced during recruitment, instilled during rush, and cemented over your scholastic career.

In time past, living The Greek Life did not stop at graduation. Networking in and away from a personal legacy was significant but the practice is fading for many. We are now living in a world post 2008 and perhaps it is time to change the brand. Perhaps it is time to make The Greek Life more sought after much longer after commencement ceremonies.

There can be an economic boon of embracing and supporting a person’s affiliation with The Greek Life as well as the hosting college by embracing The Tenets of Greek Life.



In order to have any positive impact on an organization, there first needs to be pride in that organization. This tenet of The Greek Life occurs the moment you are pledged. Even before initiation, a sense of pride is present as your very specific legacy begins.

  • Pride in the sense of community
  • Pride in the philanthropic causes your house supports
  • Pride in your brothers and sisters
  • Pride of traditions and rituals
  • Pride in your leadership or in your leaders who give you something to strive for
  • Pride in academic achievement due to the support you receive from your fraternity or sorority
  • Pride in your legacy

Whatever it is about being part of something bigger than you are, which instills a sense of pride, will drive enduring success.

How does pride drive enduring success? Think WOMM (word of mouth marketing) otherwise known as Viral Marketing.  Theresa Howard wrote a USA Today article in 2005 about Viral Advertising, she wrote that “It’s a marketing strategy that involves creating an online message that’s novel or entertaining enough to prompt consumers to pass it on to others — spreading the message across the Web like a virus…”

If you live The Greek Life in a way that you can be proud of, broadcast it. Bringing the spotlight to the positivity of living the life will recruit the public and alumni to support your college and your house.


Every student living The Greek Life owns a responsibility to their house and later, their chapter. This tenet, to be effective, should be life long and exist under a very large umbrella. Under this cover a member should always be aware of their actions and how they reflect upon their house, college, and legacy.

Only if pride exists can this tenet be long lasting. Only if you are responsibly committed to your legacy and what it stands for, can your pride be sustained.

Where is your responsibility and how does it endure in the following scenarios?

  • Perception of the member through the legacy of The Greek Life
  • Supporting the brand
  • Alumni continuing to support the chapter, house, and institution
  • Perpetual philanthropic involvement
  • Support of brothers or sisters

The Greek Life, in order to become a banner that people recognize and respect rather than smile upon as a pleasant memory or entitlement must surpass the great time had while initially participating in the life, yes? The Greek Life is a privilege and was treated as such since recruitment.

We are all living commercials for something. In recreating the brand you can put an exclamation point on it. In college, after or whenever you are advertising the success The Greek Life afforded you, wear the colors, a pin, or anything that sends the message. Own rather than rock the gear from the Stanford Bookstore. For your house, consider Something Greek and proudly display the letters if you can or the words when you cannot. I believe you would find the appropriate symbol to convey your pride.


This tenet involves a commitment to keep your chapter viable and everlasting as personalities, national focus, trends, and fads, all change. The chapter must be perdurable.

How you keep your house and chapter in the public eye and weighted for consideration when listed on a resume exists not only through your actions (as they are intangible) but through tangible accomplishments that can be displayed with pride.

What you do has to be quantifiable and comparable to have resounding strength. What you have accomplished may have seriously positive community impact through its philanthropic focus but

  • How did it occur and what was your role in it?
  • How was your involvement specifically impactful?
  • How did the support system to your house by your alma mata make a difference?

Adding your role and its specific numerical contribution is better. Adding the exact steps you created, lead, or took part in as well as how the program changed in success because of it is near perfect. People are attracted to numbers and visuals.


It is truly a new world. It will be completely in your control in the short run.

In, arguably, of all times before you, never before have your predecessors stepped forward and shouted as effectively as yours “make a difference”.

The last tenet is both simple and completely logical. If you commit to the tenets of the Greek Life, you are committing to your legacy and a greater good. Commitment to recreating the brand will cause an economic boon surrounding The Greek Life and what it newly represents.

About the Author:

Jonathan is freelance web developer with a love for everything Internet, education and environment. When he is not busy helping people with their websites, he loves to travel, spend time with his dog and watching baseball. You can reach him through his personal site at SEOJO.ca.

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