To an outsider, little is known about what exactly goes on inside one of the 19 fraternity and sorority houses at the University of North Dakota. But to a member, it can become a true home away from home.
With just under 1,000 brothers and sisters, choosing a house that fits just right can be a daunting task. Luckily, a full week for recruitment has been put aside for both fraternities and sororities to give potential members a chance to find a match.
“You’ll meet some of your best friends, even beyond your four years in college,” said Alyssa Walker, UND’s fraternity/sorority life coordinator. “Even at UND, it can be hard to find a tight-knit group of friends. It’s all about making connections.”
In addition to a social life, each house provides new students with their own set of mentors, many with similar academic backgrounds. “(Our house) recently achieved the top fraternity GPA for the spring 2011 semester with a 3.23,” Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter president Mark Becker said. The average undergraduate GPA for all members of the Greek community is 3.02.
This week, fraternities have been hosting recruitment events ranging from Hawaiian luaus to bonfires. “These activities allow potential recruits to explore each fraternity at their own pace,” said Walker. “You’ll meet members of all the houses and see for yourself which one is right for you.”
“(Greek life) serves as a gateway to getting involved in many other organizations and activities on campus,” said Delta Upsilon president Ben Boucher. “Unlike other campus organizations, Greek life continues beyond the undergraduate experience by offering opportunities for involvement as an alumni member.”
All fraternity events have been free and open to all UND students. While the main recruitment window is over today (Friday, Sept 2) fraternities offer informal recruitment opportunities all year long. More information about that can be found in the Student Involvement Office or with Alyssa Walker.
By contrast, sorority recruitment is a formalized set of events kicking off with a recruitment orientation on September 11 at 4:00 p.m. in the Union lecture bowl.
After orientation, the first round of recruitment begins on Friday, September 16, with a tour of all six of UND’s sorority houses. Over the weekend each potential new member eventually chooses two houses she’d be interested in joining and is possibly met with a formal invitation to join.
The structure and formality is just another fun part of becoming a member of the Greek community, Walker said. Although life in a fraternity or sorority may seem foreign to an outsider, in the end it is a group friends with similar missions in life.