Greeks seek to raise numbers

Nicholas Birdsong / Washburn Review

Greek recruitment efforts are moving into high gear at Washburn University with the start of the 2011 fall semester. Sorority chapters across the campus will hold their formal recruitment events in early September, but students are already lining up to get involved.

“I’m really excited because the number of women going through the process has been increasing for the past five years,” said Alanna Seymour, vice president of the Washburn Panhellenic Council. “We had 100 people go through the process last year, and my goal this year is 125. We are already at 51 right now, which is pretty decent considering not many people have moved back to campus yet.”

Seymour said that sorority recruitment is held later in the year at Washburn compared to other universities to provide incoming students the opportunity to join Greek life.

The process begins Sept. 1 with a mandatory orientation session. The following Tuesday begins the recruitment process with “Go Greek Night,” and the opportunity to meet the chapters on campus. For the following six days the campus sororities give prospective members house tours, introduce them to the respective philanthropy causes and attend a Washburn football game with them. The week ends on Sept. 10 when recruits are notified which sorority they will be invited to join.

“What sets the Greek community apart from the average student organization is really the values that these organizations are founded on. Each organization that has fraternity and sorority letters is founded on four values that every chapter has and those are academics, community service, leadership and brotherhood and sisterhood,” said Jessica Neumann, director of Student Activities and Greek Life at Washburn.

Fraternity recruitment is done much different from the sororities. The formal recruiting process is held in the summer before the school year.

“Our fraternities recruit 365 days a year,” said Neumann. “There isn’t really a structured recruitment process during the school year. Each chapter usually hosts open houses or recruitment events and that’s really how an individual determines if that chapter is right for them, by interacting with the men in that organization.”

Students are able to register for sororities by going online to the Washburn website and accessing the registration document through the SAGL page. Students can also access fraternity pages on the website and contact recruitment representatives from each chapter.

“From a new student’s perspective, going to recruitment events is a great way to meet people,” said Neumann. “The Greek community really provides you a home away from home and a support system, a network of brothers and sisters that are going to be there for you, probably for the rest of your life.”