Greeks see growth

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The beginning of the 2013 fall semester marks a host of new decisions for new freshman coming to UND. Among the most important is the decision of whether or not to get involved with Greek Life.

During the last academic year, UND had 15,250 students registered for classes — a school record. The UND Greek community has continued to grow along with the student body. Currently, 10 percent of the UND student body is involved in either a fraternity or sorority.

Giving back

 For students who are looking to get involved and make connections, Greek life can be a way for students to find opportunities to give back to the community and meet friends. In 2012, the UND Greek community donated approximately $35,000 to non-profit organizations. In the same year, Greeks volunteered more than 13,000 hours of community service. Any student looking to participate in nearly any type of group activity can turn to UND’s Greek community. Of the approximately 1,050 members, 77 percent are also involved in another student organization that is not affiliated with a fraternity or sorority.

Academics

Some incoming students need assistance adjusting to life at UND. Fraternities and sororities provide a safety net of support to keep GPA’s up and graduation rates high.

“We pair up girls with the same majors in our house for support.” Said Ashley Vick, a sister of the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter at UND. “We also host study-a-thons to encourage better grades.”

In the fall of 2012, both fraternities and sororities averaged higher GPAs when compared to non-Greek students. The average GPA for the UND Greek community is 3.03, whereas the UND undergraduate population averaged 2.98.

The UND Greek community also maintains higher graduation rates. In previous years, 30 percent of the Greek community graduated in four years versus 24 percent for non-Greek students.

According to Alyssa Walker, UND’s coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life, Greeks were better supported and were more motivated to continue school. A full 74 percent of Greeks continued on with their fourth year of college instead of 63 percent for the general student population.

Recruitment

Sororities and fraternities provide several opportunities for students to learn more about Greek life.

During the first week of school, on Aug. 28, the Involvement Expo in front of the Memorial Union offers an opportunity to look into organizations across the interest spectrum, featuring a wide variety of groups from UND’s more than 200 student organizations. A Greek specific involvement expo will follow on Sept. 15, so without having to commit to joining the Greek community, prospective Greek members can have a chance to get to know current members of the Greek community.

Greek recruitment takes place Sept. 16 – 21 for fraternities and Sept. 20-22 for sororities. Prior to attending recruitment, students should register online. During recruitment, every fraternity and sorority hosts events to encourage participation of potential members. These events range from inflatable jumping castles to cookouts and mixers.

Making connections

Besides the reasons above, most Greek members end up meeting their best friends. “Most of the sisters end up meeting friends that they will have for the rest of their lives” Said Vick. “You definitely feel more connected with events and people on campus.”

Walker explained that Greek members participate in philanthropies, formal dances, Homecoming and other campus-wide activities. Fraternities and sororities also offer students the chance to learn to be leaders and shoulder responsibilities many college students never experience. Students involved in Greek societies support one another and give back to the community as a team.

Be on the lookout for Greek events and programs to see if a fraternity or sorority is for you.

Christianson can be reached at [email protected]

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