Greek Life: A Work in Progress

A common misconception at Youngstown State University is that Greek life isn’t very active.

“The status of Greek Life at this time, I feel, is on a steady increase,” said Carrie Anderson, assistant director of student activities. “It’s going well; our chapters are growing. It may not be at the rate that others perceive it, as we should be growing by leaps and bounds, by any means.”

Greek Life chapters are growing in the form of baby steps.

“A rough number [of students] for this semester would be 320,” Anderson said.

This number works out to be 2.39 percent of students at YSU who are involved in Greek life.

Since YSU is a commuter school, there is the notion that it can be a challenge to get students involved in on-campus organizations and activities that require a decent amount of time — such as Greek Life.

“Getting information out to the commuter students is a little more difficult,” said Vaughn Gobel, co-chair of Greek Campus Life.

However, according to Anderson, a number of recent members of Greek Life are commuters. She said the barrier to overcome is finding the students that meet the minimum criteria and who can make the commitment to Greek Life.

Although each chapter has  its own values, bylaws and set of rules that members must follow, there is also a minimum 2.5 GPA required to join a fraternity and a 2.7 GPA for sororities.

“I think GPA is what gets you in the door, just to be eligible to do it,” said Jessica Maslach, also a co-chair for Greek Campus Life.

Each sorority and fraternity also has its own philanthropy in which brothers and sisters fundraise for a specific cause. Some examples of this are: fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon whose philanthropy is the Children’s Miracle Network, and they have raised money for the Akron’s Children’s Hospital; and sorority Alpha Xi Delta whose philanthropy is Autism Speaks.

The fundraising efforts and interactions of different “families” of Greek Life members can develop leadership and social skills. Gobel said that he has learned how to deal with his own siblings by being in Greek Life.

“It shows you how to be a really good role model, because as you become an older chapter member, sometimes you don’t realize how much the younger chapter members look up to you, and how you really set the standard for them,” Maslach said.

More information on Greek Life and the recruitment process can be found through YSU’s Student Activities Office in Kilcawley Center.