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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Activities & Organizations

Greek life provides a sense of community, members say


Many students who have joined Greek life say it is one of the best decisions they have ever made because they gained a family. | Donna Keeya/The Cougar

Many students who have joined Greek life say it is one of the best decisions they have ever made because they gained a family. | Donna Keeya/The Cougar

Joining a fraternity or sorority can offer a sense of community for college students, along with a way to volunteer, gain skills and form connections.

Greek life consists of fraternities for men and sororities for women. Jason Bergeron, the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the UH fraternity and sorority system consists of five separate governing councils.

The formal recruitment process for joining Greek life, is a way for students to get involved on campus and within the Houston area. Building friendships is also a common incentive for students to want to get involved in Greek life.

“I’m just looking to meet new people and get involved in the University,” freshman Valentina Guzman said, who will be joining Greek life this fall.

Recruitment for Houston Panhellenic sororities is a four-day mutual selection process that results in potential new members, commonly referred to PNMs, receiving a bid, or a formal invitation to join a specific sorority. 

“Going through recruitment was one of the best decisions I made in my college career,” said advertising sophomore Bianca Young and a Delta Gamma member. “I got to meet a lot of new friends and join a sisterhood for life.”

The recruitment process is designed for PNMs to be selected by the house where they were the most compatible with the active members and can feel the most at home.

“I would suggest for people going through the recruitment process just to keep an open mind and really be yourself, and that’s going to be the easiest way for you to find your home,” said Taryn Alessio a junior Zeta Tau Alpha member.

For Interfraternity Council fraternities, interested students will attend open houses for the participating fraternities and later attend events that are directly targeted towards specific chapters.

“Brotherhood is one good thing,” said Brett Jackson, a junior Pi Kappa Phi member. “Good people that you’re always going to have around.”

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, United Greek Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council usually have their recruitment focused around their individual chapters instead of council-wide events. 

After graduating, fraternity and sorority members become part of their alumni networks, where “brothers” and “sisters” continue communication with other alumni from their same fraternity or sorority.

“I know some people got jobs through our alumni, and I know other fraternities have even bigger alumni than us because we’re kinda newer,” said Collin Gray, a senior Delta Upsilon member.

Many fraternities and sororities have a philanthropy they promote and volunteer for. Organizations have the same philanthropy at locations all across the country but are primarily volunteered at the local level. These philanthropies range from the Make-a-Wish Foundation to Service For Sight. 

“Our philanthropy is domestic violence awareness, so it’s trying not to focus on the really sad things while they are important, it’s about empowering women,” Sydney Longshore, a kinesiology sophomore Alpha Chi Omega member said. 

Greek-a-Palooza will be held on Wednesday and will feature all 48 fraternities and sororities. The event will take place from 4-6 p.m. in Lynn Eusan park. More information regarding Greek life can be found here.

Correction: An earlier version of this article used different language for the recruitment process for Greek life. It has been updated to reflect the terms now used.

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