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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Greek Life: ‘Something everyone should try’

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Hailey Eisenbach/Arizona Summer Wildcat Alpha Phi is a sorority located on UA’s Greek Row.

This fall, incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to join the UA’s extensive greek community on campus, which includes more than 50 fraternities and sororities spread over four different governing bodies. With 1,600 men and 2,200 women as members of greek letter organizations on campus, 13 percent of the student population is in Greek Life.

According to some students, being involved in Greek Life can be an intense but rewarding experience. Morgan Abraham, an engineering management junior and president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, said that joining a fraternity or sorority is something that everyone should try.

“My fraternity experience so far has been unreal,” Abraham said. “Between the people I’ve met, things I’ve done, and things I’ve learned, joining a fraternity has been by far one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. While I have a lot of fun, for me the best part about being in a fraternity is the leadership and business I’ve learned. It’s been an amazing experience and I recommend everyone at least try it.”

Sororities and fraternities are known as social organizations, but they are also very involved in charity and volunteer work. Kim Gould, a psychology sophomore and member of the Sigma Kappa sorority, said that being involved in Greek Life has also influenced her to become more active in volunteer work with both the Arizona Cancer Center and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

“I’ve also found some of my best friends at college through my sorority,” she added, “I believe that’s made it 100 percent worthwhile.”

The Interfraternity Council is the governing body for fraternities on campus. There are 20 fraternities affiliated with the council on campus. In addition, there are two organizations returning to campus, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

The Panhellenic Council, meanwhile, oversees 14 sororities at the UA, 11 of which have houses on campus.

“All of our chapters offer lasting friendships and a place to call home while at the University of Arizona,” said Panhellenic Council President Lexi Shinn. “When you go Greek, you don’t just join a chapter for four years, you gain a lifelong membership. My experience in Greek Life has been one of the most fulfilling of my life so far. I have met sisters who have changed my life, and I have gained extraordinary friendships.”

There are two additional greek councils, which have different schedules and processes for membership than the Interfraternity Council or Panhellenic Council. The first is the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which is composed of five historically African-American organizations. This includes four sororities and one fraternity. The second council is the United Sorority & Fraterwnity Council, which is geared toward special interest and multicultural chapters. The United Sorority & Fraternity Council oversees seven sororities and six fraternities.

Recruitment is the week-long process for joining a sorority and is relatively formal. Prospective sorority members, known as Potential New Members, or PNMs, move in early, on August 12. Recruitment events last from August 13-16. A formal invitation to join a Greek organization, known as bids, are given on Sunday, August 19.

Incoming freshmen who want to participate in recruitment must register by August 1 and pay a registration fee of $100. Late registrations or walk-ons are not allowed. There is no required grade point average to join a sorority, but the Panhellenic Council recommends a 3.0 high school grade point average, or 2.5 college.

“For both incoming freshman and older girls that may be rushing, the whole recruitment process can definitely be pretty indimidating,” Gould added. “It’s a lot of bouncing, cheering and small talk — until you find the house that’s right for you. It’s like the right shoe; when you find it, you’ll know.”

The process for joining a fraternity is known as rush, and, unlike sorority recruitment, it is informal. Rush events this year last from August 27 to August 31, with fraternity bids being given out on September 1. The registration deadline for rush is August 26, and the fee is $30.

Members of fraternities or sororities who have not yet been initiated are known as “pledges.” Unlike sororities, fraternity pledges must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in high school or 2.5 in college.

More information about Greek Life may be found in The Bond, which is a guide to Greek Life published by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Programs. A hard copy may be picked up in the Student Union Memorial Center, Room 404, or accessed online at http://arizonagreek.orgsync.com/thebond.

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