With their numbers hovering around 300, being a Greek is not essential to fitting in and making friends at Gustavus—though it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone who wants to make new friends in new circles. The Greek organizations at Gustavus are generally viewed in a positive light—not only because they sponsor charity events, but also because they have some of the best house parties. Each fraternity and sorority attracts a particular kind of student, depending on the reputation for each Greek organization. Some are known to be more athletic or are leadership-oriented, while others are known for their academic prowess. The Greeks are regulated by the College, but they also govern themselves with their own Inter-Greek Senate. The College is mostly concerned with issues regarding rushing and hazing, and regularly enforces the rules governing Greek organizations. For some students, the Greeks are always in their lives, but for most, it's just another student group on campus.
Though the Greeks do throw the best parties on campus, being a Greek at Gustavus also means that you have to do community service. The Inter-Greek Senate requires each organization to participate and host a certain number of events each semester. Included in this are community-service and social-awareness events such as silent auctions to fund therapy for children, breast cancer research, and suicide awareness, and charity events within the St. Peter community. The visible role that Greeks play within both the campus and local communities make them beneficial, despite the drama that comes each year during “pledging” (the official term for "rush" at Gustavus).