This coming Sunday, recruitment for Trinity’s seven sororities and six fraternities will officially begin with the “Greek 101″ information session in Ruth Taylor, followed by a kickoff event on the Esplanade.
These events will occur at the end of “Greek Week,” a series of events for current members which lead up to the start of recruitment.
“[Greek Week] is more about us getting really excited for the recruitment process, and also demonstrating Greek unity through doing joint events as well as things that are in good, competitive fun,” said Jeremy Allen, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life.
In the coming weeks, Potential New Members can look forward to first-round formal events as well as various informal events.
Mackenzie Hill, recruitment chair for Alpha Chi Lambda, explained the basic recruitment schedule.
“Every club will have a first, second and third round event; first round is pretty much everyone’s invited, second round everyone’s invited, but people who are more interested in the sorority go, so the numbers are usually smaller,” Hill said.
Hill explained that third-round events will happen after PNM’s have “preferences” up to three sororities in January. This round of formal events is mandatory for people who want to join an organization, and is by invitation only.
Other events throughout the fall semester are more casual.
“Our formal events are themed, our first two are around some sort of theme. And then informals are usually like ice cream, or dinners, and things like that,” said Kelly Burke, recruitment chair for Spurs sorority.
Burke said that recruitment can be worthwhile even for those who are not sure they want to join Greek life.
“Even if you don’t want to rush, I encourage people to go. It’s a great way to meet people and just if you’re unsure of where you want to be in school,” Burke said.
Trinity’s recruitment lasts all semester before bids are extended on Feb. 3, 2017. Burke said this is a unique and positive aspect of Trinity Greek life.
“But I think that’s what makes it special, especially getting the opportunity to rush all semester long,” Burke said. “I feel like that’s a different aspect that most organizations or most universities don’t offer.”
Benjamin Blanke, Greek Council men’s recruitment and orientation chair, encouraged students to explore the Greek community even if they are not sure they want to join Greek life.
“I would urge everyone to sign up for every club, because you really don’t know what the club has to offer until you’ve gotten to know them,” Blanke said.
Blanke said that the recruitment process comes with relatively little time commitment for PNMs. However, sororities’ more extensive use of one-on-one rush dates can create an additional time commitment for women rushing.
For Burke, these lifelong relationships are an important part of Greek life, and a benefit of having such a long recruitment period in which PNMs and actives can truly get to know each other.
“It’s not just four years, it’s the place you want to come back to for alumni weekend,” Burke said. “It’s the people you want to call when you’re getting married.”
These positive aspects of Greek Life at Trinity contrast negative media stereotypes of sororities and fraternities.
“I was super anti-Greek life prior to coming to Trinity,” Hill said. “I didn’t like the idea of being limited to one organization, or being categorized in one kind of stereotype. And I didn’t like the idea of having to pay for friends, which is kind of what it seems like at national chapters in big schools.”
Hill said the connections she made during the recruitment process changed her mind about Greek life. She realized that she would not be limited by being in Greek life.
“I don’t feel limited by my sorority at all,” Hill said. “I have so many friends who are in other organizations or just not Greek at all. And I think that if you can find a community that’s going to help you grow without changing you, then go Greek. And if you don’t, then that’s fine too.”
About 76 percent of Trinity students find their place on campus outside of Greek life.
Katy Freeman, senior art and communications major, began the recruitment process in her first year at Trinity and decided not to continue. Freeman said that she has nothing against Greek Life and has friends who are members of Greek organizations.
“I just realized that it wasn’t for me,” Freeman said. “A lot of my most memorable college experiences don’t come from the organizations I’m in, they come from just being with my close-knit group of friends, and I’m just ok with that. That’s just something I realized when I came to college.”
Students with questions about the recruitment and orientation process are encouraged to contact either Benjamin Blanke or Yvette Peà±a, recruitment and orientation chair for women.