I had a rather heated debate with another A.net member about this very subject some months ago.
I can understand that we might agree to disagree, and everyone's own personal experiences will certainly affect their outlook of being Greek, but for me it was one of the best experiences of my life...and remains so.
The origins of fraternities in America is as old as the country itself....a debating society, place to discuss issues of the day and so forth. Some of today's social fraternities were originally devised as professional societies (legal, engineering, etc).
My own take on it is that when I went to college, I was ambivalent if not overtly anti-Greek. No, not me...Animal House? Hazing? Binge drinking? No thanks.
But--and this is MY
experience and may not be typical, although the Greek world is trying to evolve beyond the stereotypes--I soon learned even before rushing that my chapter and house didn't haze, didn't call their pledges "pledges" but associates, and was engaged in rigorous academics as well as philanthropy that would make the local Kiwanians blush.
For me, those were big drawing points. And the fact that the chapter GPA was greater than the all-men's GPA of the university. And that it was a massively diverse group of all races, all geographies, all demographics, from surfer boys to stoners to tee-totalers and ROTC cadet officers and all points in between.
Professionally, the networking is invaluable. It's opened doors for me like few other associations I've been a part of. And socially, without question, it rocked.