Don’t believe the hype: Greek community says don’t knock it until you’ve tried it

Marisa Dalessandro

Kent State is known as a suitcase campus. Because a lot of residence hall students commute home on the weekends, some find it hard to socialize. If making a core group of friends who will be there on the weekends is important, a social fraternity or sorority may be a good choice.

The Kent State Greek community consists of 29 social fraternities and sororities. There are about 1,000 students involved. Greek life is one of many ways to get involved on campus and meet new people.

“Everyone should at least check it out,” said Beth Gittons, assistant director for the Office of Campus Life for Greek Affairs. “Greek life is for someone who wants more out of college than just going to class every day.”

There are 16 fraternities under the Interfraternity Council. Fraternities have informal recruitment that will last for the next few months. There are various events for new students to learn more about each fraternity.

Under the PanHellenic Council there are six chapters for women to choose from. Recruitment is held at the beginning of fall semester each year. This year’s recruitment begins on Sept. 24 and 25 and finishes on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2.

There are also two fraternities, three sororities and one co-ed fraternity under the Black and Latino Greek Council.

Jenna Wager is a junior fashion merchandising major and a member of Alpha Phi.

“The best parts about being in a sorority are being able to meet a lot of new people, having a great experience in college and a ton of sisters to rely on all the time,” she said. “The worst part is finding time to manage the sorority, work and school.”

Greek life is a microcosm of society and a variety of people get involved, Gittons said.

“Don’t believe what you see on TV, read in books or the story you heard from your best friend’s prom date’s older sister’s roommate’s cousin,” Gittons said.

Greek organizations provide many opportunities for leadership, scholarship and career development, community service, social interaction and friendship.

All of the chapters on campus also host programs such as risk management sessions, career counseling and educational programs, philanthropic events and social events.

“Check it out, and see if Greek life is for you. If it’s not then at least you know,” Gittons said. “I don’t respect people who don’t check it out and make decisions based on third- or fourth-hand information.”

For those who want to have the community aspects of a social fraternity or sorority, but want a more academic or service-oriented group, the university features organizations like Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity. There are also academic organizations that correspond to and supplement several majors.      

Additional information about Greek life can be obtained by calling The Office of Campus Life at (330) 672-2480.

Contact general assignment reporter Marisa Dalessandro at [email protected].