Freshman art major Alex Todaro has met a lot of people in the short time he’s been at CSU.
“I know a lot of names and I shake plenty of hands,” Todaro said as he sits alone in a coffee shop studying for an art history test. “But it’s hard getting past the small talk and the real surface-level relationships and finding people you can actually talk to.”
This is why Todaro plans to participate in the fraternity and sorority recruitment week aimed to give students a better look at Greek Life on CSU’s campus.
The recruitment event, known as “Rush Week,” kicks off with an orientation meeting at 6 p.m. in the Main Ballroom in the Lory Student Center.
The week will include several social events in which students have the opportunity to hang out with chapters they are considering and ask any questions.
Rush Week ends Wednesday with Bid Day-the point at which chapters select the individuals they want to pledge.
“This week is really about finding the group that you have a connection with,” said Mark Koepsell, director of Greek Life. “It’s really important for students not to just run out and join the first chapter they meet.”
Koepsell said it’s about exploring your options and asking questions to find what group best matches your interests.
In the past, recruitment took place the first week of school. This year, the Office of Greek Life worked with Residence Life to give students the opportunity to develop communities within their floors and halls.
Despite the delay, fraternities and sororities are making every effort to attract new members.
Rush Week features 37 Greek chapters with varying focuses ranging from academics, community service and socialization to developing leadership.
This number does not include the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE), which had its recognition as a student organization withdrawn for their participation in “Rise and Ralph,” held Sept. 1, 2005. As a result, the PIKE fraternity lost all privileges to recruit through CSU.
Still, the organization has high hopes for large growth this semester and sees the situation as a great opportunity to better define itself, said Ben Thunderberg, recruitment chair for the PIKEs.
“Now our chapter can focus on what we want to be and what our organization deems as worthy of our goals rather than have to listen to the university decisions on what a fraternity should be,” Thunderberg said.
Although many chapters are expecting large turnouts, not every student is interested in Greek life.
“My roommate is in a sorority and she always seems to be complaining about the money and time commitment,” said Harris Teeter, a freshman technical journalism major. “I plan on getting involved and meeting new people in a different way.”
As far as Todaro goes, he’s willing to give Greek life a chance.
“I don’t want to totally shoot fraternities down just because of stereotypes,” Todaro said. “People get labeled all the time and I think I’m going to give them a chance-hey, and if I don’t find what I’m looking for, well at least I got some free food.”
Staff writer Ben Aaker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.