Greek Life

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Greek Life


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1 College Junior

Greek Life: Barely has a presence on campus. In fact I haven't been able to find it at all

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Harry Potter Arrives in America – We have a house system instead of a Greek system, sort of like Harry Potter. You are a member of a house the moment you arrive on campus and can be as involved as you like. Personally, I felt like my house was a family waiting for me when I got here. They helped me with both my academic and social life. I decided at the end of my freshman year to apply to live in the house itself. The process involves references, short essays, and interviews. There is absolutely no hazing since you are already a member of the house. I love living in the house. We plan parties, movies viewings, community service, and lots of other events for both our affiliates and the campus. The houses are central to the social scene at Bowdoin.

5 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: The College abolished the Greek life system about 15 years ago. Instead, each freshman dorm is associated with a social house, which is responsible for putting on parties. Typically, associates of the house are admitted an hour earlier than the rest of campus. The houses are nice to have, but they're not an essential part of campus life.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Greek Life: There Is None – There is no Greek life at Bowdoin, and it's great that way. Each of the freshman dorms (a.k.a. Bricks) is affiliated with a social house. The social houses basically fill the role of fraternities and sororities, except that anyone can join. They host parties for the whole campus and have events specifically for the affiliated students. Who needs Greek life?


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The Greek system hasn’t existed at Bowdoin in any form since 2000. Greek Row was replaced by College social houses—upperclass students apply to live in one of eight social houses, and each house is affiliated with a first-year dorm to assist the proctors in transitioning first-years to the social life on campus. The houses used to be fraternity houses before Bowdoin believed the Greek system hindered Admissions from attracting the best student body possible. Unlike the Greek system, the social house system is controlled by the Residential Life Office, which plays a role in who lives in each house. However, each house is given a budget to plan its own programming for its residents, their affiliated first-years, and the community.

Less than 20 percent of the student body participates in this housing option. About 30 students live in each house in singles, doubles, or triples. Each house offers laundry facilities, common areas, and social areas, and some include elevators and prime parking spaces. Social house parties tend to attract first-years and sophomores, but parties like Halloween at MacMillan, Graffiti at Baxter, and the ’80s Party at Ladd do attract some upperclassmen. If you're looking for free beer, social house parties will have it. These parties are most often described as "hot, sweaty, and gross," but they are still attended.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrad Men in Fraternities
Undergrad Women in Sororities
Number of Fraternities
Number of Sororities
Did You Know?
Howell House is the chem-free social house and provides fun activities that don't involve getting hammered, like apple picking, gingerbread house making, Rock Band tournaments, and movie nights. This is a great social outlet for students not interested in partying, but Howell's campus-wide events usually have very low attendance.

Student Polls

What is Greek life's role in the campus social scene?    Based on 22 responses

  • 0% Greek life is pretty big. You don't have to join to enjoy the parties, but you might want to consider it.
  • 5% Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.
  • 0% Greek life is huge-you're no one if you're not Greek.
  • 0% Greek life is pretty low-key and has little effect on the social scene.
  • 95% We don't have Greek life.

What is the general attitude of non-Greeks toward Greeks?    Based on 16 responses

  • 19% Most non-Greeks think Greeks do great things for the community.
  • 69% Most non-Greeks are indifferent about Greeks.
  • 6% Non-Greeks think Greeks are only good for the parties they throw.
  • 6% Non-Greeks see Greeks as snobby and cliquey.

What kind of housing is available for Greek students?    Based on 21 responses

  • 5% Greek students live in opulent chapter houses.
  • 0% Greek students live in dedicated wings in the dorms.
  • 95% No special housing is available.
  • 0% Greek students live in run-down chapter houses.

How difficult is it to get into a fraternity or sorority?    Based on 14 responses

  • 43% Very easy.
  • 7% Somewhat easy.
  • 14% Somewhat difficult.
  • 36% Very difficult.
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