Open door policy brings new fraternities to campus

Kayla Sturm

The Greek life community at Kent State added a new fraternity called Phi Kappa Psi this semester.

“We, as a fraternal community, cannot say no to fraternities because of our open-door policy,” said Curtis Cofojohn, president of the Interfraternity Council. “It’s pretty much like, ‘Hey, welcome to Kent, hope you do well.’”

The process

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) has a different, and fairly easy, process than the Panhellenic Council (PNC) when bringing a new chapter to the community.

“(IFC) headquarters contact our Center for Student Involvement office and consults with them about statistics about the campus to see whether or not they think they could be here and prosper,” Cofojohn said. “We have a large campus with a lot of men who are potential fraternal members, so it’s very opportunistic for them to come here.”

After headquarters contact the CSI office, there are a couple more steps that follow.

“They come to campus and, pending IFC vote, are given associate membership, which is basically (a) one year temporary status to see if they can one: rush, and two: maintain their organization and adapt to the Greek environment here at Kent State, which is highly competitive in grades, fundraising, community service, philanthropic events and social status within the community,” Cofojohn said.

Each chapter has its own event that raises money for an individual charity, according to Cofojohn.

“(Every) year, we also put on a local community charity … to raise collective funds from all 24 chapters and come together once a year,” Cofojohn said.

The fraternity life at Kent State strives to succeed in the community.

“I think the largest achievement of fraternity life at Kent State is an ongoing one. I believe it is our reputation as Greeks,” said Kirk Baglia, a member of Phi Delta Theta. 

“We have broken many stereotypes about fraternities by living out the principles upon which we were founded, excelling in academics, and outwardly taking steps to benefit the greater community.”

The data

Although the process does not take much time to bring a new fraternity to campus, it does take time to build up the numbers in membership. Throughout the years, membership numbers will generally fluctuate up and down.

In spring 2008, IFC had 397 members. In spring 2009, membership increased to 474. Further down the road, in spring 2013, membership increased to 605 and by spring 2014 membership had risen to 630. By spring 2015 there was a total of 701 members part of the fraternity Greek life community. 

There is a growing interest in both fraternity and sorority life, which affects the future of Greek life as a whole.

The future of

fraternity life

As numbers in the Greek community increase, the fraternity life at Kent State still show excellence in all they do.

“The thing that I’m most excited about to see is, how big … we get,” Cofojohn said. “How much further can our community continue to push the envelope and still be efficient, relevant, and most importantly, effective?”

Displaying positivity and hard work will help Greek life expand membership in the future.

“We have broken many stereotypes about fraternities by living out the principles upon which we were founded, excelling in academics and outwardly taking steps to benefit the greater community,” Baglia said.

With these achievements, the hope is for there to be more reason for students to see the Greek community in a positive light.

Kayla Sturm is the greek life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]