You may be swiping through your social media feed and noticing a bunch of posts saying “go Greek” and maybe even wondering what that means. Greek life is essentially a community of students who are involved in fraternities and sororities. Here at Penn State, they offer many different options to get involved with various organizations, including Greek life.
Sometimes Greek life is frowned upon in movies and shows. However, there are many positive things that these organizations can do for you.
Every organization has its philanthropy, which means each chapter will work to improve the welfare of others, usually through charitable donations to good causes. Events are often hosted to raise large amounts of money, and most of these events are also fun, bonding experiences with your chapter. A massive philanthropy for each chapter is Penn State’s THON — every organization gets involved with it. THON is a student-run philanthropy that works to enhance the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer.
Some people focus on joining a chapter based on their philanthropy, and others join a chapter with who they made the brightest connection with. Connections are made throughout recruitment. It is a long process of talking and getting to know each chapter. For sororities, there are three rounds: values, philanthropy and preference. During these rounds, you make bonds with chapters and get to know their members more and more each time you are invited back.
Overall, the process may seem very confusing and stressful, but every chapter wants each potential new member to feel comfortable. Chapters suggest to be yourself, with the promise of ending up exactly where you’re meant to be by the end of the process.
During the process, each potential new member will get the opportunity to rank every sorority through an app, and every sorority will rank each PNM. The process is generated through an app to be entirely fair and organized.
The process sounds very overwhelming and may seem to be, which is why every PNM is given a Pi Chi. A Pi Chi is essentially there as a tutor throughout the whole process. Every Pi Chi is in a chapter but does not sway any member to go to their chapter. They are there for advice through the whole process and will guide you in every way.
Recruitment at Penn State
For recruitment this semester, things will be looking slightly different from past years because we are in a pandemic. The university has been doing their best to keep things as normal as possible. The values round will be online. Then the philanthropy and preference rounds will be in-person. However, if the university changes and goes online, everyone will be kept informed. As crazy as this hybrid process seems, nobody is alone.
Potential new members and current members of each chapter are all going through this process together. Therefore, there are many resources to talk to throughout it all.
So Why Join?
When entering a chapter, there are so many different opportunities. You can be as involved as you want to be! There are chances to get involved and work closely with THON, other philanthropic opportunities, work with the executive board and so much more.
It is okay to be stressed — many people are! However multiple members from every chapter express that they ended up where they needed to be, despite the extensive process. Do what is right for you. Many chapters have been posting advice on their Instagram stories, which can be a great place to learn more about the process! Getting involved in Greek life allows you to make more connections, meet new people and get deeply involved in new organizations.
Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, and tell us about your recruitment experience!