By Jeniel Terrero
Greek Life’s spring semester recruitment began for sororities on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in The Tilles Center Atrium, and will begin for fraternities on Monday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m. in Humanities room 119.
There are 16 Greek Life organizations on campus, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, and Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, just to name a few.
If you are questioning whether you should participate in Greek Life, attending recruitment might help make your decision. Katherine Wieme, Greek Life and Student Involvement Director, said that Greek organizations on campus are designed to reach the most amount of students and showcase how fraternities and sororities can benefit an individual. She also said that each organization is different, and their forms of recruitment vary. In addition to the existing Greek organizations on campus, Greek Life and the Office of Campus Life are working together to bring new fraternities and sororities to campus, giving students more options to be placed in a group where they want to belong.
Joining Greek Life is all about taking a risk, according to Jessica Feliciano, a junior Digital Arts and Design major. Feliciano, who is a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, said that she was nervous of the responsibility to represent a group of girls. Breana Martinez, a junior English major who also belongs to Alpha Xi Delta, agreed, and said she was also worried about whether or not this group of girls was going to like her. For her, the stereotypes presented on TV were what kept her on the fence about pledging, but taking the initiative to attend recruitment and meetings was what helped making up her mind. “I realized that I met the best group of women I can surround myself with,” Martinez said.
“And since LIU Post is a non-hazing school, finding a group of women who never discouraged me, never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to, and welcomed me from the start made me feel comfortable with joining a sorority,” she said.
Martinez also said that finding a Greek organization that makes you comfortable requires you to desensitize yourself from all the bad things you have read, seen, or heard beforehand. “You have to rid yourself of the stigma because no one is going to be a better judge of character than you are,” she said.
Wieme reassured students that, at LIU Post, hazing during pledging won’t be an issue. “All members must attend an anti-hazing workshop each semester, review and submit risk management policies and plans to the [fraternity or sorority’s] national office and the University, submit a detailed new member education program and packet, and new members meet with University staff and student leaders throughout their program,” she said.
Sophomore Criminal Justice major Pavlos Pavlatos, of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, said that Greek Life is not just about the fun; joining his fraternity made him realize that Greek life creates bonds that last a lifetime. “Whether it’s just hanging out in a dorm or grabbing a bite to eat, we have one another’s backs,” Pavlatos said. ”If any one of us needs help with anything from schoolwork or anything else, there’s always someone there to help. You realize that when you spend all this time with your brothers, you make bonds that will never be broken.”
Martinez and Feliciano expressed the same feelings about their sorority. Martinez said that although they are a diverse group of women, the activities they participate in allow them to find out what makes them all similar. “No matter what we do, I can always find a sister who will support me in anything,” Feliciano said.
Some students worry that joining Greek Life would create a distraction from their other responsibilities. In the case of junior Psychology major Marianna Scalise, who attended recruitment last spring, she realized it would be hard to balance being part of a sorority with school and work.
“Some people have a bad view of Greek life,” Scalise said. ”But having friends who are a part of it, I know that they are also involved in a lot of positive programs. As much as I want to be a part of that, I knew it couldn’t fit my schedule,” she continued.
Martinez suggested otherwise, saying that being involved in a group of women who share the same mission makes school easier and more enjoyable. “If it wasn’t for Greek life, I wouldn’t be as organized as I am today. With my sorority, we have mandatory study hours where we all go to the library and study together,” she said
According to Wieme, the Office of Campus Life holds all fraternities and sororities to high standards. “We truly believe that they represent the very best of our student population. Greek organizations must meet minimum requirements to maintain their recognition, which include a minimum of five active members, submission of semester paperwork, maintenance of a minimum GPA per organization, and adherence to University and national policies and rules.
Feliciano, Martinez, and Pavlatos all believe that it’s important to be yourself if you want to be recognized into a Greek Life organization. Pavlatos also said there are many other aspects Greek Life groups look for when recruiting new members, particularly in his own fraternity.
“For one, teamwork is essential, especially when it comes to things such as community service or fundraising,” Feliciano said. ”Character, as well, the brothers of TKE are gentlemen.” Feliciano said that her sorority just wants to see girls who are outgoing and love expressing who they truly are. “Show us strong leadership, loyalty and commitment, and most likely you’ll get recruited,” she said.