Non-traditional students enjoy benefits of Greek life

Tracy Tucholski

Leah Verbosky, senior applied communications major and Delta Gamma member, was the oldest woman in her pledge class last spring, but it never stopped her from feeling accepted.

Some women hold a misconception that sorority rush only targets first semester, freshman women. This misconception molds some women’s decisions not to rush.

Beth Gittons, assistant director of sorority and fraternity affairs, thinks it’s a shame some women miss out on Greek life because of the misconception that only freshman are accepted.

However, there are some criteria a woman must meet to join a Kent State sorority.

Gittons refers to the National Panhellenic Council for specific guidelines.

According to the National Panhellenic Council, a sorority member “must be a full-time, undergrad, regularly matriculated woman at the school which she wishes to pledge,” Gittons said.

“She can’t be a guest or graduate student and must comply with university policies.”

However, class standing is not a hindrance in wanting to join a sorority.

“Ultimately, it’s about being a good fit,” Gittons said. “They feel good about the organization, and the organization feels good about them.”

Gittons said the upside of a non-incoming freshman woman rushing is that older students have established routines. Older students are settled and everything is not brand new to them. The Panhellenic Council has a good idea of where the women stand academically, too.

Verbosky was interested in rushing since she was in high school. When she came to college, none of her friends were interested in joining sororities, so she put it off.

“I wish I would have done it earlier,” said Verbosky, who pledged her junior year. “It’s a good way to jump into college and meet people.”

The rush process was not tailored any differently because she had a higher class rank. Sororities accept all women who show interest.

“If it’s the right person, then who cares,” Gittons said. “(Older women) are more committed to stay where they are and make a decision for life.”

The Panhellenic Council does not market to only incoming freshmen. Information is sent out to all undergraduate women, Gittons said.

Facebook groups and fliers posted throughout campus are other ways to promote Greek life, Verbosky said.

Aside from formal recruitment, which takes place in the fall, informal recruitment occurs year-round.

“If you show interest, we’ll show interest back and we will want to help you out,” Verbosky said. “Don’t be afraid.”

Gittons said sororities do not discourage pledging older women.

“Class standing is just a number,” Gittons said.

“A woman’s at a different point in her life at the end of her college career,” she said. “Just because she’s a junior doesn’t mean she’s only going to be there for two more years.”

Contact Greek Life Reporter Tracy Tucholski at [email protected].