Going Greek

By the numbers:

  • 850,000 hours are annually volunteered by Greeks across the country.
  • All but eight U.S. Presidents have been fraternity men since 1825 when the first social fraternity was founded. Today, 76 percent of all U.S. congressmen and senators are Greek.
  • Of the nation’s 50 largest corporations, 43 are led by fraternity men and sorority women.

You probably know more Greeks than you think. Check out some famous Greek men and women at:

http://www.greek101.com/lounge/famous.php?org=all

Thinking of trying sorority recruitment?

We talked to the leaders of formal recruitment to see what advice they had for you.

Ashley Freeman, VP of Rho Gammas and Emma Moredock, VP of Recruitment have some Do’s and Don’ts for the best recruitment experience.

Do:

  • Ask questions. If you have a question you think sounds awkward or uncomfortable, it’s probably not. If you have concerns about your grades slipping or what the requirements for grades or community service are, then those are the questions you should be asking. They want to know the real you. Bring questions that reflect what’s important to you. That way, you can figure out which sorority fits you and what you want best.
  • Lean on your Rho Gamma for advice throughout the week. Rho Gammas are your recruitment guides, similar to your Frogs for Orientation. The Rho Gamma you are assigned to will walk you through the process, answer all of your questions, and support you as you make your final decision. They are trained to be a resource for you, so don’t be afraid to confide in her or ask her questions.
  • Follow through with the whole week of recruitment. Recruitment is worth experiencing. Everyone has doubts, but give the whole week a chance. You’ll meet people in your Rho Gamma group and in the houses that you’ll become friends with even if you don’t join a sorority.
  • Think of things that set you apart from everyone else. Speak up. It’s easy to just nod and go with it, but your opinions and values matter to them. Telling them more about yourself makes it easier to find a connection, and in the end to decide where you feel at home.

Don’t:

  • Talk about booze and boys. Even though a sorority will probably become a big part of your social life, it’s only because you care about those girls and want to spend time with them. Although you are going to hang out with them on the weekends, that’s not why you should join an organization. The bonds you form are what really matter.
  • Base expectations on what you’ve heard others say, especially at other schools. You’re going to be hearing other girls’ opinions even when you don’t want to. Avoid getting caught up in what’s popular. You know what’s right for you, so be confident in your decisions, even if it’s not what other girls think is the best and most prestigious. If you’re going through and pursuing the right fit, you’re going to find it. If you’re pursuing the most popular, then you might be disappointed throughout the week.
  • Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. If you go in saying exactly what you know they’re looking for even if it’s not you, then you’re not going to have a real connection with the girls once you get in. It’s more important to be honest and authentic than to have the “right” answer. Represent you.

How I knew Greek Life was right for me

I always knew I would go Greek….

“I always knew I wanted to be in a sorority. My aunt was in a sorority and so were a lot of my older cousins, so I had a lot exposure to it. And I knew that it would make JMU a smaller community for me, one that I felt a part of. And there was also a lot of leadership opportunities in which I was really looking for.”

– Ashley Freeman, Junior

I never thought I’d be a sorority girl….

“I’m from West Virginia, so I didn’t know a single person, and I did recruitment in order to meet people, because I didn’t really know another way. I went through it kind of not thinking I would join, and that I would wait to do it until next year, but that didn’t happen. I loved it. It was just such a quick sense of community, which I was really looking for because I was always used to a team or a sport in high school. “

– Emma Moredock, Junior

Thinking of trying a fraternity?

With 15 fraternities and 365 days of recruitment, the process can seem daunting. Paul Photo, Vice President of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), offered some advice for anyone considering rushing a fraternity.

Do:

  • Definitely look into Greek Life at JMU. There is nothing to lose by coming out to events and meeting new people.
  • Identify what you are looking for in an organization: social life, academics, service, or maybe all of that.
  • Look into different organizations. By attending the events of different fraternities, you can find the best fit for you.
  • Form your own opinions and don’t buy into the stereotypes you hear. And for transfer students, don’t let Greek life at your previous school make your decisions here. Every chapter and community is different from school to school.
  • Be yourself. Don’t try to put on a front to impress these guys. Since you’ll be spending four years together, they’ll want to see who you really are.

Don’t:

  • Don’t make your decision based on one event, or one party.
  • Don’t miss out on the process just because your peers don’t think fraternities are cool.
  • Don’t be afraid to let your parents know you are looking into Greek Life. The FSL office has more than enough resources to prove they aren’t just drinking clubs.
  • Don’t underestimate the commitment these organizations make, you’ll quickly learn that you get what you put into them.
  • Don’t be intimidated. This can easily happen when surrounded by 50 guys you don’t know. But play it cool and be yourself, that’s what they want to see.

Fraternity recruitment is 365 days a year, which means unlike sorority recruitment, you can join at any time. Most fraternities will advertise their rush events around campus, but you can also visit the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office or check out their website for more information. The website will also have specific information about each organization and the contact information for the executive members and the rush chairs.

http://www.jmu.edu/fsl

Twitter: @JMUfsl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jmu.fsl

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