Recruitment is in full swing for both sorority and fraternity hopefuls. Fall semester always brings changes and potential new members to the nationally recognized organizations here on campus.
Sorority and fraternity recruitment specifically breeds nerves and some sleepless nights. After months of planning for this time, it has finally come for many. This isn’t just an organization; for many, it’s a place they will eventually call home for the next four years and where they will form bonds with their brothers or sisters. With bid night being held on Monday, Sept. 26, the anticipation is even heavier.
Some view this as a make or break to their college experience. So, why join a sorority or fraternity? For some it’s simple, it just felt right or they wanted a core group of friends. For others, it’s not so simple. Will they have time? Will they fit in? It’s a big commitment and it undoubtedly changes your college experience.
The excitement was tangible at a sorority meet-and-greet event this week. Freshman Kit Howard said that she’s excited to start the process. “I’m the fourth generation in my family to go to UNH and my grandmother and my mother were both in sororities here. So I thought it would be pretty cool to check it out, see what it’s all about, and possibly continue the legacy,” she said.
This fall also brings a new chapter, Phi Sigma Sigma, to UNH. Founded in 1913 in New York City, it is smaller in size on the national level, with about 60,000 members. It’s clear that UNH students are excited to have Phi Sigma Sigma, with 338 likes for their new Facebook page.
For fraternities, most strive to form a brotherhood with an unbreakable bond. The members also want to eradicate fraternity stereotypes. Fraternity and sorority life is growing, and Theta Chi fraternity president Cam Kenney is trying to work with the town of Durham to reconsider the zoning policy. “We want them to extend that, to open up more opportunities for fraternities and sororities to come on campus and get housing quicker,” Kenney said. He is also adamant about “ending the horrible stigma of the past.”
“I know a lot of people have an incorrect interpretation of what [sorority and fraternity] life is,” Kenney said. He said that he wants the sororities and fraternities to “spread good messages and make a good name for our community.”
“We’re not just a group that parties and does things that they think we do. We give back to the community, and we love to spread that message,” he said. He emphasized that no matter what you do, sorority or fraternity life or not, you get out what you put in. Kenney said that doors have opened up for him because of his presence in Theta Chi, that wouldn’t have otherwise happened if he never joined. He said that he’s glad he made the decision to join, because when he was a freshman he had no plans to become a member. He took a chance and it paid off.
Phi Mu Delta fraternity vice president Justin Poisson seconded that. “We like to be with leaders. With guys who are intelligent and involved, as well as [available] for service opportunity. I’d love to see [sorority and fraternity] life be a force for good,” he said.
People will try to tell you how to act and feel and behave in college. Whether you want to join a sorority or fraternity or not, don’t be afraid to try things. Trust your gut, go to events and meetings, and if you don’t like it, don’t do it. So what if everyone is overgeneralizing about “reputations” of sororities and fraternities? Pave your own path. Go see if it’s really truly like that. My guess? It’s not. Overgeneralizing happens a lot at college. See for yourself, and maybe in the spring or next fall, you might find yourself with a group of brothers or sisters, or on bid day with a smile and a new beginning. Or not – you might find yourself on the rugby field asking yourself how you got there. But my point is that the choice is absolutely up to you, and that’s kind of awesome.