The professional fraternities on campus are one of Cornell's best kept secrets. Well, they aren't necessarily "secret" but many people don't immediately think of the professional fraternities on campus as being a main part of "Greek" life. However, having recently been initiated as a part of Alpha Chi Sigma, informally known as the Chemistry fraternity on campus, I thought I'd highlight a few aspects of these rare gems.
1. A professional fraternity is another way to make the large size of Cornell feel a lot smaller and more familiar. Some students tend to feel overwhelmed by the size of Cornell's student population. However, a professional fraternity is a great way to meet new people-people who most likely have similar interests as you do since the fraternity has a common goal that unites all the brothers within the fraternity. Just like clubs, teams, and other groups on campus, the fraternity is a great way to develop a close knit group of friends that you know you can rely on...and depending on the fraternity, you know you can go to for Chemistry help!
2. Many of the professional fraternities sponsor outreach events that help you give back to the community, which can be extremely rewarding. From simple community service to activities that foster creativity and imagination, it's a great way to get involved. Getting involved is also a good way to establish connections, and with people in the profession that you're looking to pursue. Whether you're performing a scientific demonstration for a Boy Scout troop or setting up lunch with an alum to discuss future career opportunities, you are benefiting from being a part of the fraternity.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention that while professional fraternities are thought of as more of a society, we still have class when it comes to semi-formal, Halloween festivities, and the like.
Moral of the story: don't forget to check out the professional fraternities when considering Greek life! They are a huge asset to the Cornell community, and now an integral part of my life.