URI has offered Greek Life to students since 1901, when the first fraternity opened on campus, but despite its history, students still wonder why they should join.
Currently in 2014, there are 14 fraternities and 10 sororities, a total of 2,000 active members. Members account for 15 percent of undergraduate students on campus. Greek Life focuses on four core values: fellowship, leadership, scholarship, and community service. In the past week, events such as “Freek Day,” “Meet the Sororities” and “Beach Day,” were held to help freshmen understand what Greek Life is all about.
This coming weekend, the fraternities and sororities will participate in “rush,” which is when each group meets potential new members. Then, the following weekend, these potential new members will receive a bid from the group that would like them to join.
Linda Vescio, current president of the Panhellenic Council, came a long way to get to the where she is now. Starting off unsure about joining Greek Life, she ended up rushing and is now chapter president. She later realized that she wanted to “make a difference on a larger scale.” Instead of just helping out her own sorority, she was interested in making Greek Life better as a whole.
Vescio explained her experience in her sorority where she helped build habitat houses, which she later saw a boy living in one of the houses she participated in. Â The experience was rewarding and helped her build character, she said.
“Leadership is huge in Greek Life,” said Vescio. “It encourages students to fundraise for an event or a cause that you normally wouldn’t have a chance to participate in.”
Most of all, Vescio said, students in Greek Life can walk away years from now with life-long friends. Vescio discussed how she met a wide variety of friends throughout her years here, and although recruitment may seem stressful, it’s worth it in the end.
There is already a record number of potential new members set to rush this weekend, and the Panhellenic Council is ready for each and every one. They have been planning since the summer, and with two new programs to help students with any questions they have, Vescio expects this to be Greek Life’s best year yet.