Is Greek life right for you?

Caitlin Restelli

During the first week back at Kent State, ‘Go Greek’ is seen chalked along the sidewalks.

The decision to get involved with Greek Life is one most students face. Some people know from the time they step onto campus Greek Life is for them, whereas others know they would rather be involved in something else. However, there are always those students in the middle that ask the question: “Is Greek Life for me?”

Sorority and fraternity life isn’t for everyone, said Brittany Barnes, Panhellenic Council President.

“It’s a personal choice; it’s a big commitment,” she said. “There’s a time commitment involved, and there’s financial commitment. You have to give a lot of yourself, but you get a lot back in return.”


Barnes, senior theatre studies major, said the media often determine how students perceive the Greek community. She said the ABC Family TV show “Greek” added a lot to the stereotypes.

“While that had a lot of truth to it, some of the stereotypes about the partying and that it’s four years of partying — that’s not what it’s about,” Barnes said. “It’s about helping women become better women and men becoming better men.”

Another stereotype Barnes said she hears is that sorority girls are all about brand names and boys.

“For some members, that may be true but not everyone,” Barnes said. “When I went through sorority recruitment, it was a completely different community than it is now,” Barnes said. “Back then, we were very stereotypical, and now we’re very value-oriented.”

John Meine, Interfraternity Council president, said when he first came to Kent State, he did not plan on joining a fraternity, until he met someone in one of his classes who convinced him otherwise.

Meine, junior finance major, said he hears the stereotypes, such as hazing and brothers being party animals.

Meine said some things can never be prevented.

“You can’t be 100 percent sure it’s never going to happen, but we’re very against (hazing),” he said. “We have tons of policies that prevent it, and we kicked off a fraternity last semester for doing it.”


“It’s a way to learn leadership, get more involved and just figure out who you are.”

­—John Meine, junior

finance major

“It gives you skills that you’re definitely not going to learn in the classroom. Social interactions are just as important as academic skills because you’re going to go out into the real world, and you’re going to need to know how to talk to people and interact as well.”

Nick Catalano, sophomore deaf education major

“I’ve really grown into who I am because of what I’ve been able to do.”

Brittany Barnes, senior

theater major

“The close-knit community makes Kent feel smaller and a lot more like home, the service opportunities, the leadership opportunities, the sisterhood.”

Lauren Zakelj, senior integrated science major

“It makes you a better person as far as a student, as a young man, as a student representative as a whole.”

Anthony Gould, senior

political science major


“It costs money. From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty expensive.”

Anthony Gravino, junior zoology major

“It’s a big time requirement because you have to go to a lot of meetings and events.”

Kara Daugherty, junior communication studies major

“I didn’t enjoy (Kent’s Greek Life) as much. It wasn’t the same, it felt more like the Greeks are all competing here.”

Zach Kanter, senior music education major

“From what I have heard, it sounds like a party scene, so I’m not really that interested anyway. I’m just more interested in staying serious about getting through college. I don’t drink, and the party scene there seems to be a lot of alcohol involved.”

Philip Shackelford, sophomore music and history major

“A lot of people say it’s less about friends but more about the whole charity thing… I can go and do charity work for free, and I don’t have to pay $700 to wear a T-shirt with Greek letters on it.”

Emma Fagen, sophomore visual communication design major


Interfraternity Council

Each fraternity at Kent State has its own form of recruitment.

Meine, member of Sigma Nu, said his fraternity has a wing night every Tuesday at Eldorado’s. Brothers can invite people to come, and if any students are interested in joining, he said they are welcome to attend.

Recruitment takes place during both Fall and Spring semesters; however, Meine said the Fall rush is bigger.

During September, Meine said fraternities will start to look for potential new members and if people are interested, they should speak with the fraternities.

If students want to learn more about a certain fraternity, they can visit the Greek Life website at and email a fraternity’s president or walk up to the houses and ask for information.

Fraternities will also hold events in the next month to make introductions and assist students in determining if a fraternity is the right fit for them.

The chapters will start to give students bids, or offers to join, in about a month or less, Meine said.

Panhellenic Council (Sororities)

The first step to learning more about sorority life is to attend informational nights held by the Panhellenic Council. Dates and times for informational nights are listed in the calendar.

Members from the six chapters of the council attend the meetings. Barnes said it “gives (women) the opportunity for them to meet sororities before going through recruitment.”

The next step is to attend orientation. Orientation allows women to learn what to expect during recruitment — what to wear and how long each recruitment day will be.

“It’s a final question night,” Barnes said.

Then starts the four-day recruitment process, also known as rush. Every student must pay a $30 fee that covers food, drinks, bus transportation and a computer recruitment program.

The computer program helps match the potential new members with the sorority of their choice and the chapters’ choices to keep it mutual. This saves the council from doing everything by hand, said Brenda McKenzie, associate director of the Center for Student Involvement.

“There’s no pressure for you to join a sorority at any time during the recruitment process,” Barnes said.

During the first two days of recruitment, potential members meet with the six chapters and rank their choices in preference order, “so you can base your first ranking on the women,” Barnes said.

On the third day, the potential new members take tours of up to four houses they are invited to.

After the visits are finished, the girls rank the chapters they toured in preference order.

The fourth and final day of recruitment is called preference day. Girls can visit up to two chapters and then they rank their first and second choice.

Bid Night begins at 7 p.m., and the potential new members are told what sorority they belong to.

“It’s more of an emotional night,” Barnes said.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (Historically African-American Fraternities and Sororities)

The NPHC works a little differently than the other two social councils.

NPHC president Anthony Gould said students have to be a sophomore to be a part of the NPHC fraternities and sororities.

“We prefer that you show us that you can handle the simple stuff which is just is going to class, and getting up and doing your homework,” said Gould, senior political science major.

The NPHC holds information meetings for students to meet all of the chapters.

Gould said there are currently three chapters on campus, and they are looking to have two more by the end of this fall semester.

“As far as my fraternity, you get a lot of camaraderie, a lot of brotherhood, a lot of love and understanding from people who have the same interests or different interests than you,” Gould said, “but you all come together with the same interest in being in the same fraternity, and you learn and grow with each other.”

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].