This past week, Rush and Recruitment Week began for both fraternities and sororities. Rush and Recruitment provide opportunities for students to join F&M’s various Greek organizations.
Fraternities have been a part of F&M’s traditions for over 150 years, with the first two fraternity chapters — Phi Kappa Sigma and Chi Phi — established in 1854. According to President of the Inter-fraternity Council (IFC) Brett Giacco ’14, these traditions and school policy have had a profound effect on the way fraternities plan and execute their Rush Weeks.
According to Giacco, every year Greek life develops more of a presence on campus, causing the process of rushing to become increasingly regulated by the school.
The challenge each fraternity must face for recruitment is to cater to both the school and their respective alumni
The IFC usually covers two or three events for Rush Week, including an information session at the beginning of the week where each fraternity gives a brief presentation about its history, traditions, and rush opportunities. This year the IFC also planned a casual meet and greet to present rushes with the opportunity to learn about who is involved in the recruitment process such as fraternity members, the Department of Public Safety, college administrators, and others.
Approximately 100 to 150 male students are expected to go through Rush Week this semester. Giacco believes the high rate of Greek affiliation among students — almost 50% participation for men — is due in part to the traditions associated with fraternities at F&M. Giacco says he joined because he was not on a sports team and wanted a good way to get involved at F&M; for him, a fraternity is a support system and a home away from home.
Sororities, while lacking the expansive tradition of fraternities, are still a large part of the F&M experience and have been for many years. Sororities have been on campus since 1982 when Alpha Phi was chartered, and the newest sorority on campus is Alpha Delta Pi.
Like fraternities, there is a high percentage of girls involved in Greek life at F&M. Sarah Kirk, a sophomore involved in sorority life, said, “Greek life appealed to me because I wanted to establish connections within a sisterhood and make long lasting friendships, and to be proactive in the F&M community while getting involved in community service.”
Recruitment for sororities differs slightly from fraternities. The Panhellenic Council, known as Panhel, has more of an influence over how recruitment is run. Potential new members, PNMs, are organized into groups and walked to four different meet and greets with each of the sororities. Panhel sets up strict guidelines specific to sorority, school, and Panhel standards.
“A total of 164 women showed up on the first night of recruitment. Last year the number was 137,” said Molly Thompson ’13, president of Panhel. “As you can tell from these increasing numbers, there is a growing interest in sorority life on this campus. My hope is to see more sororities colonize on campus to allow the most women possible to participate in Panhellenic life.”
In the upcoming semester, each fraternity and sorority will have a national philanthropy they will serve.
For example, Alpha Phi is aligned with the American Heart Association and Chi Omega is aligned with the Make a Wish Foundation.
The IFC is planning a community service event and will work with other groups around campus.
“Each sorority is associated with a philanthropy and work throughout the year to donate both time and money to their cause. Sorority members also participate in community service events within the Lancaster community,” Thompson said. “Because sorority members are visible to the community, it helps to build ties with the community and the school.”
As for the future of recruitment, it seems it will continue to expand.
In the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic change in the relationship between Greek students and the administration, and this new relationship will allow the organizations to prosper.
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