Greeks begin recruitment
With the start of the spring semester, fraternities and sororities across UH are recruiting prospective members with promises of camaraderie, self-improvement and a lot of fun.
But not every student is convinced.
“I’ve thought about joining, but it’s not for me,” accounting senior Nathan Lovell said. “I don’t think I can spare the time with class, and if it’s just partying all the time, then I don’t think I’m missing much.”
Matthew Marett, a member of UH’s Sigma Chi chapter, is aware of the criticism but contends that these are stereotypes that misrepresent Greek life.
“Pop culture has painted fraternities as slackers and partiers with movies like Animal House, but it’s a perception that overshadows all the good work we do,” Marett said. “Because being in a fraternity naturally builds confidence, others will see us as cocky or overzealous. It’s not true at all.”
Marett is an active recruiter for the Interfraternity Council, one of four Greek councils that together house more than 35 fraternities and sororities at UH.
Many of these groups will be scouring the UH campus through this week attempting to attract as many new pledges as possible.
Marett said the objective of all these organizations is friendship, responsibility and charity.
“Fraternities are for people looking for a deeper experience in education,” he said. “It’s for creating strong bonds and relationships, and for the support structure that gives you someone to turn to for any problem. It’s about being a better citizen and for gaining a respect for your fellow human.”
Fraternities and sororities at UH encompass many different cultures and faiths.
Alpha Psi Lambda and Omega Psi Phi are well-known fraternities for serving the Hispanic and African-American communities, respectively, while Sigma Pi prides itself on being the most culturally diverse on campus.
The IFC requires at least 200 hours of community service from each of its chapters, and nearly every fraternity has a primary charity or cause for philanthropy.
Delta Epsilon Psi members are required to complete at least 20 hours of community service. Sigma Chi’s UH chapter recently donated $1,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals.
According to Marett, it’s the largest sum any UH organization has donated to the charity.
However, for a university with only 12 percent of students living on campus, some students are uninterested in remaining on campus after classes to participate in extracurricular activities because it can result in a longer commute.
Kathy Adolfsson, a management information systems junior, said she hasn’t joined a sorority because it takes her an hour to get home, and she would not be able to stay longer than she has to for extra activities.
“It does look like fun, and a lot of my friends have had a good experience with it. But when I have to drive almost an hour to get back home, most times I don’t want to stay any longer than I have to,” Adolfsson said.
Marett said he understands the concerns, but still thinks the experience of joining is worth it.
“You’d have a more complete college life,” Marett said. “You’ll be donating your time to improving our campus, and that’s worth it to us. We have the strongest school pride. We love UH almost too much.”