Greek Community Welcoming New Members During Recruitment

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 5, 2014 – Greek recruitment is under way for the fall 2014 semester at Southeast Missouri State University with Interfraternity Council (IFC) issuing bids today and Panhellenic Council (PC) preparing for its formal recruitment Sept. 9-14.

A larger number of students are going through recruitment this fall than in previous years, according to Director of Greek Life DeAnte’ Smith. Marketing the Greek experience to incoming and existing students was a major focus for IFC and PC for this year’s recruitment cycle. Both Councils have distributed many publications and marketing materials to the campus, he said.

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“Every member on our Panhellenic Exec has been working hard to make this recruitment go as smoothly as possible,” said Panhellenic President Caitlin Silger of Wentzville, Missouri.

“Becoming Greek at Southeast offers so many opportunities for students to grow and learn and to become a better version of themselves,” said Silger. “As a student, I have been more involved in other organizations because I am Greek.”

For IFC President Weston Blankenship of Bragg City, Missouri, being Greek provides a sense of companionship.

“Perhaps one of the best benefits is becoming a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood,” said Blankenship. “Having a family here at SEMO has greatly and positively impacted my college experience.”

Silger said, “My advice for a student going through recruitment would be just relax and have as much fun as possible.”

IFC serves as the governing body of the entire Southeast fraternal system, while PC is the governing board of the six sororities at Southeast. Fraternities at Southeast include Delta Chi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Tau Gamma,Theta Xi and the possible reestablishment of Tau Kappa Epsilon this fall. Sororities on campus are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Sigma Sigma.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs and represents the five historically African-American fraternity and sorority chapters at Southeast, which include Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta. NPHC does not participate in the formal recruitment process taking place this week and next, Smith said, but instead selects new members based on criteria from their national organizations.

Philanthropy is a major aspect to what makes the Greek community unique. Each Greek chapter has adopted its own philanthropy on which they focus their efforts. Major philanthropies supported by Southeast Greeks include Ronald McDonald House charities, Autism Speaks, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Building Strong Girls, The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Youth Aids, T.A.K.E. Defense, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Multiple Sclerosis.

According to Smith, being involved in community service is not the only benefit that students take away from being Greek. Students in a Greek organization are held to academic standards that set themselves up for success in their classes.

“It’s an additional source of accountability for students,” said Smith.

Blankenship said, “I have maintained a higher GPA and become more involved by being Greek.”

Each chapter has individual academic standards and grade point average (GPA) requirements. According to Smith, the average Greek GPA for the spring 2014 semester was a 3.18. Alpha Chi Omega earned the highest sorority GPA with a 3.47, and Phi Delta Theta had the highest fraternity GPA with a 3.37.

The Greek system also develops leaders through a variety of organizational positions available within chapters, across campus and nationally. Most fraternities and sororities also provide leadership seminars both as a local chapter and as a national organization.

Greek Life also offers networking opportunities to students. Students will find that many members of the faculty and staff on campus are Greek as well as people in the community. Scholarships are also available to Greek students.