Sept. 6-10, the Greek Life of Weber State University will be holding their Rush Week, an event period at the beginning of the semester in which students are invited to attend activities hosted by the sororities and fraternities and express their interest in possibly becoming members.
The Greek groups on campus are described as local, as opposed to their national counterparts that make up the schema for most universities.
Without an outside and pre-existing organization, the local Greeks have a personalized set of guidelines, and there are no additional fees involved with the dues that are paid every semester to be involved in Greek life. Also, the current local Greeks do not yet have a sponsored sorority or fraternity house, and most live on campus or commute to campus.
There are two current Greek organizations available to join for the fall semester of 2011: the sorority, Delta Chi Nu, and the fraternity, Pi Theta Xi.
“These groups all have the same goal — to try and promote what positive Greek life is,” said Greek Life adviser Aaron Newman. “We’ve all seen images like Animal House, the movie, or Greek, the TV show, and the reality is that’s not the Greeks’ true focus. Each group has its own take on what it means to be a Weber Greek.”
The predominant change in the quality of WSU Greek Life was the creation of the Greek council in 2009. It’s where all current organizations are required to meet to manage events and make sure each group is following the protocol set for the Greeks by WSU and in their own constitutions.
The protocol includes adhering to WSU’s dry campus rule in all Greek-affiliated activities, and maintaining a constant GPA of 2.0 or higher to remain an active member.
The Greeks define themselves as community-service-based organizations with the advantages of a supporting social network.
“One of the biggest disadvantages I’ve seen is the stereotype you get from being a Greek,” said Alex Workman, the current Greek Council president and an active member of the sorority. “People see you as irresponsible, all you want to do is party, no one really takes you seriously.”
Workman’s plans to reform the image of WSU Greeks against the preconceived stereotype is to make the Greek community more involved on campus and in the general community.
The Greeks have participated in community service projects that have benefited organizations inside and outside of campus. As a Greek community, they collaborated with the Housing Department last spring semester for Casino Night, which will be happening again Aug. 31.
The first activity in each group’s Rush Week will be a local community service project. Other significant events include a formal night when students can sit down and learn about the organization and its members, and an ’80s dance hosted by the Greek community on Sept. 9.
For those who are interested in becoming a Greek on campus, it is recommended by the sororities and fraternities to attend at least one of the Rush Week activities to be able to get a feel for the activities and the organization. After Rush Week, students can then be invited to pledge for the sorority or fraternity for a full semester. There is also a mandated GPA of 2.5 or higher to be accepted as a pledge.
“People will get a really great insight on what we do as Greek Life if they just rush,” Workman said. “They’ll get to see we do community service. We do things with the school. We do things as a Greek system together. I think just going through Rush and experiencing that is a big help.”
If there are those who are interested in creating an entirely new Greek organization to join the pre-existing ones, the process is the same as starting any other club or organization on campus. The only additional step is that, after the new organization is formed, it must present itself to the current Greek Council to be voted into the Greek system.
“You can’t understand what a sorority or fraternity is until you get to know the people and what they stand for and everything that they’re involved in,” said Alysha Sutton, the president of Delta Chi Nu.
During Welcome Week, the Greeks will be hosting a dunk tank on Aug. 24, which is their featured Greek Day alongside the campus Clubs and Organizations Day.