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Going Spartan greek

Recruitment more challenging for greek life in the spring semester

January 26, 2015
<p>Finance junior Chelsea Chiu, left, and human resource management freshman Tina Lee, center, laugh Jan 23, 2015, at 303 Albert St in East Lansing during the Lambda Phi Epsilon Spring Rush Event. Kennedy Thatch/The State News</p>

Finance junior Chelsea Chiu, left, and human resource management freshman Tina Lee, center, laugh Jan 23, 2015, at 303 Albert St in East Lansing during the Lambda Phi Epsilon Spring Rush Event. Kennedy Thatch/The State News

Photo by Kennedy Thatch | The State News

While fall recruitment is largely publicized and draws hundreds of students looking to join greek life, spring rush for many of these organizations is generally smaller and less of a pronounced event. But for current members of greek life, it’s no less important.

This spring, members are being granted bids in each the North-American Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and the National Multicultural Greek Council.

A different introduction

Wyatt Larcinese, recruitment chair of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and environmental biology sophomore, said spring rush is more difficult than the fall for his fraternity.

“Fall rush is less stressful for us because guys are walking the streets, looking for ... a fraternity to go to because there is no snow and it’s warm out,”said Larcinese, “In the spring, there is two feet of snow, and no one’s going to want to leave their cozy dorm to come to a fraternity that they know nothing about.”

Phi Kappa Psi hosted a free dodgeball tournament and casino night to recruit brothers.

While most sororities on the National Panhellenic Council are closed for spring semester, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Sigma Delta Tau and Pi Beta Phi are having a 2015 continuous open bidding, which is an informal form of recruitment for Panhellenic sororities.

“Usually spring will take somewhere between five and 10 girls,” said Emily Navoy, vice president of Gamma Phi Beta and a supply chain management sophomore.

Some greek letter organizations are accepting new members, but do not hold an actual rush week, like National Pan-Hellenic Council sorority, Zeta Phi Beta.

Blake Bass, vice president of Zeta Phi Beta and an anthropology senior, said her sorority recently held an open house to get to know potential new members.

“We like to get to know who we think should be in our sorority,” Bass said.

The recruitment process differs for each council and chapter, but the greek community as a whole is soon to see new brothers and sisters.

More than parties

“Greek life is misrepresented and misunderstood,” said Kelvin Searose-Xu, president of MGC fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon and economics senior.

Searose-Xu said people don’t recognize that there is more to greek life than just partying.

“Many times the viewpoint of greek life is on a really small spectrum and doesn’t encompass everything,” Searose-Xu said.

Lambda Phi Epsilon has worked on their recruitment process since the beginning of the semester, hosting mixers and community service projects for men interested in rushing.

“We get involved in other service events, so people interested in rushing get to know not just the social side of greek life, but also the professional side,” Searose-Xu said.

Larcinese agreed with Searose-Xu, and said deciding to join a fraternity goes deeper than party invites, women and alcohol.

“You’re joining a fraternity for the brotherhood,” Larcinese said. “A lot of people say you join to buy your friends. No, you’re buying opportunities. You’ll make friends either way but you’re buying opportunities to do things with these guys that you wouldn’t do otherwise.”

Giving back to the community

Many greek letter organizations choose philanthropies to dedicate their efforts to.

Melissa Yang, president of Alpha Phi Gamma and a biological science senior, said her chapter focuses on preventing domestic violence against women.

“These women need to be recognized ... and women need to speak up against the violence that they get,” Yang said.

Every year, Yang said her sorority hosts APhiG Speaks, where members stand in the international center and duct tape their mouths, in an effort to raise awareness of domestic violence issues.

Gamma Phi Beta supports Girls on the Run. This is an organization which teaches elementary school girls confidence and strength through training for 5K races.

“It is a 12-week program,” Navoy said. “At the end of it (the girls) run a 5k, but throughout their training process they learn things about bullying and gossiping and self-image.”

Navoy said her sorority’s goal is to empower these girls as they grow older and to mentor them along the way.

A networking opportunity

Greek life brings professional connections and networking for its members. Elliot Wilens, vice president of recruitment for Delta Chi and hospitality business junior, said his fraternity utilizes networking with its 2,000 alumni members.

Each year, Delta Chi holds an alumni dinner in which eight brothers are awarded a scholarship based on the highest GPAs and most fraternity involvement.

“We all really do care about each other and want everybody to do well in school,” Wilens said.

The alumni group has a total of $15,000 to divide between these eight men.

“(Alumni) are always offering us internships,” said Wilens, “There’s guys who walk around the house like, ‘Who needs a job this summer?’”

Wilens said he always looks forward to the alumni coming back and speaking about their experiences.

Bringing together similar interests

Yang said Alpha Phi Gamma is an Asian-American interest sorority that helps members get closer to their culture while still interacting with other groups and meeting new people.

Throughout the year, Alpha Phi Gamma collaborates with Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers to bond through community service projects.

“It brings me closer to my culture ... and to spread awareness not only to Asian community but to everyone else,” Yang said.

Greek life makes it easy for students to meet people with similar interests as them. For Matt Workman, supply chain management sophomore and recruitment chairman of Delta Sigma Phi, being in greek life helps shrink MSU’s large student body into a more intimate group of people.

“After joining greek life, I’ve got my own separate community of a few thousand kids,” Workman said.

Workman is a student from California. In high school, he said he thought he knew what brotherhood was when he would hang out with his football friends in his free time.

“I didn’t know the meaning of brotherhood,” Workman said. “Brotherhood is the guys who will be standing up there at your wedding, there for your highs and lows and will help you get through anything.”

Editor's note: This article has been changed to accurately reflect Delta Chi's name. 


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