2016 Greek Showcase held to attract new members
Jene Thomas – News Editor
Music and applause filled the third level of the Adanti Student Center on Jan. 26 as Southern’s sororities and fraternities congregated for the Greek showcase.
The room was split in half. Upon entrance to the ballroom, the 11 organizations set up tables with their Greek letters to intrigue prospective members. The event began at 8 p.m. with inquiring students had the first 30 minutes of the event to meet with the different Greeks before heading over to the second half of the room to watch recruitment videos and performances.
“Members are always coming and going,” said Erik Gran, a freshman brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon. “We lose members every winter and summer. Seniors graduate so when we bring in new members, we try to make up for the members who leave.
The Greek showcase occurs at the beginning of each semester in order for the Greek organizations to potentially gain new members to help replace the ones who graduate. The event precedes the rush and pledge process where prospective students visit the groups individually across campus throughout a month.
Despite the showcase occurring in previous semester, this year had a different set up. In previous semesters, students would enter the ballroom to watch videos and performances before splitting into smaller groups lead by Greek member temporarily unaffiliated with their organization called Rho Gammas. The groups would then lead the smaller groups to tour the different organizations: men exploring each fraternity and women with sororities.
This year, however, students briefly met with all organizations in the initial half hour. If a particular organization peaked their interest, the student would pick up that organization’s time card. The time card signified a meeting time and location after the performances where the organization would meet with prospective students. A student could have a maximum of three cards.
Eric LaCharity, Interim Associate Director of student life, said this process was instituted to minimize chaos.
“We changed it because in the fall, we had a big crowd so the interest in Greek life has been growing pretty rapidly,” he said. “When we did the split to get people to meet their organizations further, it was a little chaotic. The rooms couldn’t accommodate the amount of people we had going to them so to try to combat that, we created a system of tickets so we knew a maximum of 30 people would be going to each room.”
He said this gave the students the chance to go where they wanted, rather than forcing them to meet with everyone. Students got to know the organizations not only in the introductions but also through the performances. Some organizations created recruitment videos, between two to five minutes, showing their organization bonding together. Others took the stage to explain their organization’s mission. Many of the multi-cultural organizations like Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Iota Alpha “strolled” and performed steps while reciting their Greek greetings.
Despite saying she was interested in Greek life, sophomore business student Liz Novoa said she was excited for one thing in particular.
“I came for the strolling,” she said.
Others like James MacGovern, sophomore education major, weren’t interested in Greek life but rather came to support friends who were interested.
No matter the motive, the Greek organizations took time to educate students on what Southern fraternities and sororities are all about.
“Well I joined [my sorority] because in high school, I didn’t have a good high school experience. I didn’t have really good friends so when I got here and went to the Greek showcase, I kind of saw the unity I was never really used to,” said Carly Brooks, a junior nursing student in Omega Zeta Pi.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor