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Freshman hesitation in joining Greek life seen in recruitment efforts

Photo by Valerie Vasconez

As the heat from the first couple weeks of classes simmer down, Greek life organizations are warming up their potential new members. 

Welcome Week saw the revival of the Block Party as a way to greet everyone back to campus, and Lydia’s Luau was introduced as a new social event for students to meet fraternity and sorority members off of Fredonia Avenue. 

Formal recruitment took place Sept. 2-5 for Panhellenic Council, and on Aug. 30 for Interfraternity Council.

Kathleen Prout, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, said there is an apprehension to join Greek life during the first few weeks of classes as a first-time freshman. She said this is a trend around Central Illinois and beyond. 

One cause of this could be due to the pressure to do well academically coming out of a Zoom-heavy school year, according to Prout. 

“A lot of them are saying, ‘Hey, maybe not right now; maybe later. I need to get some schoolwork underneath, I want to get my grades under control [and] experience college before adding another level,’” Prout said. “So, we are seeing a lot of students who have those opinions.”

Prout said that this could be the reason fewer women were interested in going through the Panhellenic recruitment process this semester.

According to Prout, there was a positive enrollment for the Interfraternity Council (IFC) organizations, but numbers could not be given because recruitment is not structured and information is still being collected.

“We did see more excitement to join right off the bat rather than waiting, specifically with our IFC recruitment,” Prout said.

Both Panhellenic Council and IFC are participating in continuous recruitment events during the semester and new member education and initiation must be completed by the last day of classes. 

Prout and the area adviser from the National Panhellenic Conference are also working to figure out the best way to support chapters who would like to have a stronger presence in the spring semester for informal recruitment, while adhering to the rules and regulations.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek organizations have not officially started their recruitment process. Alpha Psi Lambda and Sigma Lambda Gamma are chartered on campus and are using this semester to form a council to support them and Sigma Lambda Beta.

Any questions or concerns about Greek life can be addressed to Prout or the Student Activities Office.

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