By Jessica Landman
Throughout the month of September, SUNY Plattsburgh’s 14 different fraternities and sororities have been hosting recruiting events for their potential new members. These events range from activities, such as dodgeball and kickball, to bingo and karaoke. Also, there will be more recruiting events happening on and off campus for the remainder of the month.
There are plenty of options for Plattsburgh students when considering joining Greek life. Female sororities and male fraternities are well known, however, there are other options such as female fraternities, like Theta Phi Alpha, as well. The major difference between fraternities and sororities is that fraternities are almost exclusively male and sororities are all female. There are also academic sororities on campus, such as Gamma Sigma Alpha, that students are able to join through academic excellence presented during their time in college.
A few major differences between fraternities and sororities are requirements like grades or membership fees, but overall they are very similar in their recruiting, membership and purpose. The organizations look for recruits who show certain qualities such as leadership, responsibility and time commitment.
Potential new members attend an organization’s recruiting events to meet the existing members, other potential members and discover Greek life to determine if they want to be involved. It is easier than one might think to get involved in Greek life. Recruitment chair of Theta Phi Alpha fraternity Violet Mueller said. “All you have to do is come to our events, be yourself and have a good time.”
“I really hope to recruit girls who may be younger, but I know they will grow into women that could be president of the organization,” President of Theta Phi Alpha fraternity, Elizabeth Oser, said. “Since joining Theta Phi I’ve been able to get leadership skills and be able to publicly speak and have confidence in myself.” Members of fraternities and sororities also gain experience in community service, academic support and social skills.
In order to become an active member, recruits have to get a bid, which grants the recruit membership into an organization, every semester, from a fraternity or sorority. All members involved in Greek life are expected to pay dues, which act like membership payments in order to fund the organization because they do not receive funding from the student association. Members are also expected to complete community service and hold a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
Time commitment may be overlooked when considering Greek life as well. “It depends on what members want to put in and that is what they will get out,” Zane Ovitt, chairman of the academic committee and chairman of the philanthropy committee of Zeta Beta Tau, said, “but I put in a few hours a week.”
When joining Greek life, there are a plethora of questions a student should ask themselves before making such a commitment such as not only looking at the members, but also considering what the organization’s purpose and what they stand for.
Allison Swick-Duttine, director of fraternity and sorority life said, “Ask questions like how much does it cost, how time does this take, what’s the new member process and what’s your organization’s stance on hazing?”
If a SUNY Plattsburgh student still wants to become involved in Greek life but missed the recruitment in the fall, there is another chance. Fraternities and sororities hold similar recruiting events and give out bids, therefore, more events like these will happen in the Spring of 2023 as well.