Greeks prepare for the rush of large freshman class
by Madison Santos
“I can truly look to my left and right when in meetings and know that everyone in there is my brother,” said senior marketing major Andrew Cohen when speaking about his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE). TKE is one of the 12 fraternities and 11 sororities that make up Greek Life at NAU. In order to become a part of this Greek community, students must go through a week-long recruitment process commonly known as “rush.”
Described on the NAU website, rush week allows students to spend time with different fraternities and sororities to get a sense of their values, philanthropic endeavors and social activities.
Greek Life at NAU is divided between three different councils. The College Panhellenic Council (CPC) represents the seven Panhellenic sororities on campus, while the Interfraternity Council (IFC) represents eleven of the fraternities. Both councils are social by nature. The third council is the United Greek Council (UGC), which consists of four sororities and one fraternity that identify as multicultural chapters.
“Our UGC chapters place an emphasis on a specific identity,” said Jason Perry, the advisor for the Interfraternity Council and the United Greek Council. “At this time, we have two Latina-focused sororities, one Asian-focused sorority, one LGBTQA-focused sorority and one Latin-focused fraternity.”
Each council has its own recruitment process, but according to Perry, they are all fairly similar because they share the same goal: to make sure interested students find the correct fit. Francis Monroy, the president of the College Panhellenic Council, said that — in the end — the councils do not separate students.”
“Even though there are three separate councils, Greek Life at NAU is a close-knit community,” Monroy said.
Each council practices mutual recruitment, in which not only do the students select their desired chapter, but the chapters select their desired students. “Chapters do not force any interested student to accept a bid,” Perry said. “Certainly, our chapters will pursue a student they are interested in, but not to the point where the student feels uncomfortable or pressured.” Perry also mentioned that it is estimated over 90 percent of the students who participate in recruitment become members of Greek Life.
Shannon Heinritz, who is one of the Graduate Assistants of Greek Life, said that “recruitment is a weekend full of energetic events and lots of talking.”
Heinritz is also the advisor for Panhellanic sororities on campus. “A student interested in recruitment will be meeting a ton of new people and creating new friendships,” she said, “and it is important that potential new members have an understanding of each chapter and what they are all about.” Not only is the process educational, but it is designed to be enjoyable as well: in the past, rush week events have included dinner nights, Mountain View socials, leadership workshops and more.
“As a freshman, I didn’t know a lot of people moving to Flagstaff, but one of my friends urged me to at least go through the rush process,” said junior public relations major Kaylee George. “I was hesitant,” George explained. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ‘fit in’ the stereotypes of Greek life. However, I rushed and fell head over heels in love.” George has been a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority ever since.
NAU Greek Life is progressively growing larger, and, according to George, pledge class size increases each year. “Don’t listen to what other girls, boys or what anyone else tells you,” she said. “Make your own opinion, because it may be the place you belong.”
Senior business major Maddie Dwyer is the president of Delta Delta Delta and, like George, has a strong affinity for Greek Life.
“To me, Greek Life means support, friendship and leadership,” Dwyer said. “It is a community that makes me want to be a better person and provides students with a unique ritual and values to live by.” She explained recruitment is a crazy and exciting experience, but in the end it is all worth it. “The best advice I can give freshman looking to go through recruitment this year is to keep an open mind while going through the process. There are several amazing chapters on campus and all have something unique to offer. Trust the process; you will end up where you belong!”
Visit www.nau.edu/greeklife for dates, times, and more information about recruitment.