Chi Omega, Kappa Sigma options expand Greek life

This fall will be an exciting time for UM’s Greek life as two new organizations begin to take shape. Joining the university’s Panhellenic and Interfraternity councils are Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma, respectively.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) is the umbrella organization for the 14 fraternities at UM. Likewise, the Panhellenic Council is the governing body of the 8 sororities on campus. Their main purpose is to strengthen relationships between chapters and keep open communication between the administration and Greek organizations.

The recruitment process for the new organizations will differ slightly from the traditional deferred recruitment process for existing fraternities and sororities. The deferred recruitment process means that freshmen are not allowed to rush until their second semester at the university. However, unlike sororities, fraternities participate in fall rush for upperclassmen.

The Kappa Sigma brothers have been working with their founding class since last spring and will advance to the rush process both in the fall and spring semesters of the upcoming school year.

The Chi Omega hopefuls will go through a similar process in September, when representatives from the national Chi Omega offices select a founding class of sisters to participate in a formal rush for the upcoming spring semester.

“Going through standard recruitment and starting an organization are very different.  Regular recruitment … is a fairly structured and scheduled process,” said Steve Priepke, assistant dean of students and director of Greek life. “When you are starting an organization, you are seeking out a very specific type of person … one who is truly looking to start something from the ground up.”

The addition of these new organizations is an indication of the growing Greek culture at the university.

“I think students are hungry for real friendships that cannot be gained through living inside social media or a video game,” Priepke said. “They see the opportunities to improve themselves, to be a part of something bigger, to lead, to serve and to have fun at the same time.”

In the recent years Greek life has been growing in popularity. 497 women registered to rush this past spring.

For students like IFC president and Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother Emil Thyssen, Greek like has provided skills in time management and a sense of family.

“I can only speak for myself, but I know that many people in all Greek organizations would agree, when I say that my best friends on the entire planet are in my fraternity,” he said. “I can almost guarantee that joining a Greek Organization will make you a stronger person and help you realize your potential more than you would ever know.”

Panhellenic president and Kappa Kappa Gamma sister Michaela Hennessy shares similar sentiments.

“Being a member of a fraternity or sorority teaches you how to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and how to grow as a person and become the best version of yourself that you can be,” she said. “Together, we make up one of the highest achieving and largest groups on campus, and we continue to grow and succeed as the years go by.”