Arts & Culture / Mosaic / January 21, 2015

Greek chapters welcome new members

When people think of college fraternities, they tend to think of turned snapbacks, togas and rowdiness. When people think of sororities, they tend to think of pink t-shirts, tight-knit cliques and superficiality. While these stereotypes may ring true for some frats and sororities at other schools, they, for the most part, do not ring true here at Knox. Knox’s Greek life is significantly different than the Greek life at other schools, and Knox’s frats and sororities have managed to shatter many students’ presupposed conceptions.

“I never thought I’d join a sorority because personally I find Greek life to be extremely ritualistic and oppressive. It’s a very conformist thing that people have to do,” said freshman Iman Ghosh, who pledged to a sorority last Saturday.  “I think it says a lot about Knox that I could like [being in] a sorority at Knox.”

The student body generally views the frats and sororities on campus positively, recognizing the work and philanthropy they contribute. And the positivity that the frats and sororities embody clearly left an indelible impression on pledges.

“Being at Knox and seeing how the frats and sororities interact with each other and [mainly all] the philanthropic work that they do definitely made me want to join one,” said Ghosh.

While many students like Ghosh have planned to join for quite some time, other students decided to “go Greek” almost spontaneously.

“I had two friends [who] were affiliated with a fraternity and they invited me to an event Sunday night which I didn’t even know was on,” recounted freshman Jonny Banham, who pledged to a fraternity last Friday. “I met some of the guys there, met some of the other people who were pledging, got along with them pretty well …  and decided to join.”

The rush process for fraternities is relatively simple. Students who wish to join a specific frat attend recruitment events during which they mingle with their potential frat brothers. The fraternity will then send out bids to students they feel would be a good addition to their brotherhood.

“It was really easy … all I did was turn up, give my information and then went to their following event a few days later … I just enjoyed myself really and they ended up liking me as well and offered me to join,” said Banham.

The rush process for sororities, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. The process takes place over the span of almost a week. The process begins with the sisterhood rounds, in which students visit every sorority house, two per day. After the sisterhood rounds come the philanthropy rounds, in which students revisit their three favorite houses. At the end of the recruitment process is the preference (pref) party, in which students submit their bids to their top two choices Saturday morning. Students must then wait until 7:30 p.m. to see if their bid has been accepted by a sorority.

“It’s so funny because if you get a call, you get a call that tells you that no one has selected you. But if you have been selected, you don’t get a call,” recounted Ghosh. If a student doesn’t get a call by 7:30 p.m., they report back to the pref party, where they would find a personalized envelope containing the name of the sorority of which they are now a member. The sorority recruitment process may seem rather tedious, but for the young women who pledged to a sisterhood last Saturday, the process seemed worth it.

“I don’t think that I really enjoyed the process and how regimented it was. But while I was a part of it I realized that the sense of community and the sense of friendship was much stronger than what I thought it was,” said Ghosh.

Stefan Torralba

Tags:  fraternities greek life sororities

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