by Natalie Owens '24
As a first-year student, you may have already decided to join in on recruitment to get involved in sorority life on campus. There are a variety of reasons for joining, some may be to meet new people, to gain networking and leadership skills, or to build lasting friendships and connections. Whatever the reason may be, the idea of participating in recruitment can be daunting. You may think, it is time-consuming, it is expensive, “I’ll get lost in the crowd” or several other concerns. Several students on campus all involved in diverse ways of Greek life gave their advice on Greek life and recruitment.
The “Greek experience” can provide students on campus with lifelong friendships and leadership training, monetary scholarships, academic assistance, civic engagement, tradition, teambuilding, networking, and much more. Many members believe you are giving a part of yourself to something greater. By joining, you agree to live by the organization's values, they encourage you to seek out the chapter that fits you perfectly. You may also be surprised to find long-lasting friendships, connections, and your home away from home.
Kamryn Bondoni President of the Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Tau, said, “My favorite part of Greek Life would have to be the endless connections I have made within the community. I came to Mount Union, and I knew nobody. Prior to starting recruitment, I only had one friend, my roommate. After going through sorority recruitment, I suddenly had 40+ women that I could call my sisters. I had several other sorority women from other chapters who knew who I was and wanted to be my friend.” Greek life can be a way to gain new friends who share the same ideology, beliefs, and values as you.
Many sororities are part of a national organization, while some are more campus-specific. Members of Greek life often share common interests and support each other through college and beyond. Recruitment occurs over several days where you can explore different sororities to see where you best fit. Throughout recruitment, you will meet with the members, explore the chapters' beliefs and values, and learn about the commitments required for joining. This gives you a chance to explore all the different options, to see where you would best fit. “Sometimes people think they want one chapter based on things they learned prior to recruitment, but they might surprise you once you go through recruitment! Give each chapter an equal chance when going through, and do not be afraid to explore all your options!” Kamryn said.
Many students who are a part of Greek life are more inclined to get involved elsewhere on campus. Kamryn who as mentioned is President of the Delta Sigma Sorority on campus, is also a raider guide and helps first-year students get their footing as they come on to campus. By getting involved on campus, you can expect to meet more people and have more connections, not to mention being involved in Greek life on campus looks wonderful to a future employer. “Being part of a Greek Organization means that you openly represent a set of values. If an employer knows you have the same values as them, you may have an upper edge in your application!” Kamryn said.
Emma Smith, a Panhellenic Executive board President on campus, gave advice on participating in recruitment, “Stay Open-Minded; Keep an open mind and be willing to explore different sororities. Try not to go into the process with preconceived notions about which sororities you want to join. Sometimes, the best fit might surprise you. Be yourself, and during the recruitment events, be genuine and authentic. It is important to present your true self, so you find a sorority where you feel comfortable and accepted for who you are.”
As a part of Greek life, you will also be a part of philanthropy efforts to help support not just locally but often globally. Many sororities on campus work together to donate time, money, and service to their specific philanthropy. “Philanthropy efforts are an important part of Greek life and are driven by the chapters' values and missions. Each chapter has a specific philanthropic cause or organization to support, and members of the sorority work together to raise awareness and funds, volunteer, and engage in activities that contribute to that cause.,” Emma said.
Mount Union Office of Student Involvement and Leadership recommends budgeting $500-$700 per semester for sorority costs, with costs being higher during your first semester because of initiation fees, national dues (if applicable), and insurance costs. The fees also include things like your membership pin and event costs like formal and sisterhood and brotherhood events. Being a part of an organization like Greek life on campus is seen as an investment. In return, you will gain unbreakable bonds, networking skills, and philanthropic opportunities and some students can even get scholarships, and academic assistance. It still may seem like a lot, but the Office of Student Involvement also has options to help with costs by request.
Being a part of a sorority can be so rewarding for new students on campus. You will gain new skills like networking, teambuilding, and tradition, but also long-lasting friendships, academic assistance, scholarships, philanthropic opportunities and unbreakable bonds you will build with a community of likeminded people who you can always count on to support you all through your time here on campus, and the rest of your life.
Find your home during recruitment! University of Mount Union Sorority recruitment is held September 21-24. If you are planning on joining a sorority, you also must attend a 30-minute info session prior to sorority recruitment, and those dates are scattered throughout the month of September.