There’s more to Greek life than you think

Students+gather+for+the+Alpha+Kappa+Psi+business+fraternity+information+night+at+the+Illini+Union+Ballroom+on+Jan.+18%2C+2018.+Greek+life+is+a+great+way+to+acquaint+yourself+with+new+people+and+get+involved+on+campus.+

Students gather for the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity information night at the Illini Union Ballroom on Jan. 18, 2018. Greek life is a great way to acquaint yourself with new people and get involved on campus.

By Kayla Brown, Assistant buzz editor

Even as a domestic student who has grown up watching and hearing stories about Greek life, it was still one of the most overwhelming parts of coming to the University of Illinois. With nearly 90 organizations to choose from and over 7,000 students already involved, I had no idea how to differentiate between any of them or how to get involved. It’s truly a multifaceted program with so many different routes you can take, so let me help break it down for you.

Social fraternities and sororities

Definitely the most common form of Greek life, these organizations are typically divided up by gender. While they focus mostly on social aspects of campus life, they also share values that align with philanthropy, academics and sisterhood/brotherhood. Social fraternities and sororities are a great way to meet new people with similar interests as you and find fun things to do around campus. Fraternities usually partake in informal recruitment at the beginning of each semester where current and prospective members can interact with each other in a very casual setting. Sororities partake in formal recruitment in the fall which is a two-weekend long process to meet girls in every single house. You need to sign up for this process online through Panhellenic Council. Many houses do informal recruitment throughout the fall and spring if you keep your eyes open for it.

Professional fraternities

If you’re looking to connect with more people who are in your major or on a similar career path as you, a professional fraternity might be a great option for you. These organizations focus on giving you resources to succeed. You might encounter things like seminars, workshops and networking opportunities. This is a great way to continue learning outside of the classroom as well as meet some really great friends. These organizations are typically co-ed and participate in informal recruitment.

Cultural fraternities and sororities

If you’re starting to miss things from home, a cultural Greek organization could be a great way to reconnect with your roots. There are seven organizations in the Black Greek Council, six Asian organizations, seven South Asian organizations, 11 Latino/a organizations and two organizations multicultural in their nature. These Greek houses help people with similar backgrounds connect with each other, learn more about their culture and practice their shared values. Every organization has a different recruitment process, so do your research and look out for new opportunities.

Academic fraternities

The University has several academically affiliated organizations. These, similar to professional organizations, revolve around your major, work path and extending education. Most commonly known are the organizations for agriculture, engineering, science and technology. These organizations are great resume builders and can help to extend your knowledge on topics related to your major and allow you to network with people of similar interests.

The list of Greek opportunities go on and on. In addition to the options displayed here, there are religious, service and honors organizations as well, all worth looking into and joining. You can learn more about all of these from the Fraternity & Sorority Affairs website at fsaffairs.illinois.edu or by stopping by their office at 610 E. John St. in Champaign.

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