Sorority recruitment fights stigmas, builds relationships

Analicia Haynes, Hannah Shillo

When some people think of Greek Life, they imagine the stereotypical parties and paid-for friendships.

Nathan Wehr, the director of Greek Life at Eastern, said students should know that those stereotypes are not true.

Fighting the Stigma 

Victoria Cox, the vice president of recruitment, said in a Sept. 4 interview that she was recruited in the fall of her freshman year. 

Now a senior, she said she loves being involved, which is part of the reason she joined.   

She said her sister attended a different university and she was able to see the opportunities that were presented to her sister. That experience that her sister had inspired Cox.   

“(Sorority life) has provided me with so much more,” Cox said. “I got to travel to Florida with my sorority, I was the president of my sorority and now even moving onto the Panhellenic Council you get to not only better your sorority, you get to better the community you’re a part of.” 

Cox said she is also a part of something she hopes potential members feel and witness when they join.   

Cox said there is a sense of community among the sororities that comes from constant support.   

“Supporting each other’s philanthropies is how we have that community feel because we rely on each other to support each other’s philanthropies,” Cox said. “We need each other as a support because we also face a lot of criticism from the outside because people don’t really know what we’re about. They just think we’re weird people that are paying for our friends.” 

And that is where the stigma begins, Cox said.   

“That’s a big stigma but you’re paying for so much more and the friends are just one of the benefits you receive,” Cox said. 

PHC adviser Nora Kollar said the best way recruiters can combat the stigma created by so many is to stop it as soon as it is brought up.   

“You combat it right there,” Kollar said. “You hear (stereotypes) a lot during orientation … (and you) immediately respond with, ‘No, it’s not like that,’” Kollar said.   

She said one of the other stigmas or stereotypes that is brought up during recruitment is talk of hazing, something she said does not happen.   

In addition to putting a stop to stigmas or stereotypes, Kollar said recruiters also mention the things that sororities do to build up the Eastern community such as participating in a philanthropy. 

Celine Crow, president of PHC, said she knows that sometimes people look at Greek Life and they think they are paying for their friends. 

But she said the chapters have fees to cover the cost of certain activities like events, so they make sure they can have those events and that people can enjoy them. 

“It’s not like you’re joining one (house); you’re joining a whole community,” she said.

Creating lasting relationships 

Wehr, along with Cox and Kollar, said one of the benefits of joining a sorority is the bonds that are created.   

When someone joins a sorority, Cox said they become a part of a sort of family tree structure. They become a “Little” and are assigned a “Big,” and when that happens the new member becomes a part of their “Big’s” family tree.   

Cox and Wehr also said this family-like system helps keep members in any sorority or fraternity connected for years to come. For example, Wehr said over the summer he went on vacation with some of his brothers from his member class. He said even though they all have different personalities and are at different stages in their lives, they still connected because they were in the same fraternity.     

When asked what Greek Life meant to her, Kollar said it was difficult to find just one sentence to describe the feeling.   

“There’s so much, and to encompass it into one sentence is a weird thought for me,” Kollar said.   

But after some thought, Kollar said being in a sorority, among many things, is about sisterhood; it is about being in a family and about always having someone to talk to.   

Cox agreed and said it is about having a group of women who empower each other to not only make their sisterhood better but make the world a better place through philanthropy. 

And Wehr said for him, being in a fraternity has been a life-changing experience.   

“I think without my involvement and being in a fraternity, I wouldn’t be in the profession I am today or have the bonds that I do with the students and my fraternity brothers,” Wehr said. 


Analicia Haynes and Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]