Here come the Greeks! That’s right, next week begins the annual tradition of recruitment amongst the 17 International Greek Organizations. The Greek Community has been a tradition at Mercer since 1869 and currently comprises 26 percent of the student population. The Greeks consist of three governing councils, the National Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Recruitment is a process that happens all year for all councils to bring in new members to the organization. Formal recruitment is a period during the year where IFC and Pan chapters conduct a formal process to recruit new members. IFC has a schedule of events for potential new members and chapters also schedule informal events. NPHC has a new member informational week (Sept 10-15) and an Intake Process.
The National Panhellenic Council consists of four sororities at Mercer, Chi Omega, Phi Mu, Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Gamma Delta. The recruitment process is a series of formal events that are run by the Panhellinc Council, a group of representatives comprised from the four sororities. These events allow potential new members (PNMs) to learn more about the Greek community, sorority life and individual sorority members. “It is a week long, with three main evening events during which you will be entertained, laugh, meet new people and have fun,” said Cindy Drury, advisor for the Panhellenic Council.
During recruitment there a quite a few rules that sorority members have to adhere to. “We have a document called the Formal Recruitment Guidelines that outlines all of these rules and guidelines. These rules are in place to make sure that every chapter displays and encourages virtuous behavior, thorough cooperation, honesty, and fairness,” said Drury. Those going through recruitment most also adhere to a few technical rules, which are explained during Information Night on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
To help assist with the decision making process the Panhellenic Council trains a group of women, known as Pi Chis, for the purpose of providing a more enjoyable and less stressful atmosphere during membership recruitment week. All Pi Chis remain disaffiliated during recruitment week. Disaffiliation enables Pi Chis to answer questions and guide potential members without bias or preference to a particular chapter. “Your Pi Chi will provide information about the week, accompany you to recruitment week functions, and provide a listening ear as you make decisions concerning sorority membership,” explains Drury.
Anyone interested in recruitment should attend a dessert social in the MEP refractory at 8pm Monday, Aug. 20. Formal Recruitment begins on Tuesday, Aug. 21 and concludes with Bid Day on Saturday, August 25th. The last day to register for Panhellenic Recruitment is Tuesday, August 21st at 7pm. Panhellenic costs $35 to start the recruitment process. This money goes toward a t-shirt cost and other fees Panhellenic has to pay to ensure a successful and smooth recruitment.
IFC consists of eight fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lamda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Nu. Formal Recruitment begins Monday, August 20 with Bear Fair. All chapters will have tables there and IFC will be there to help register men. The first informal event is Monday night, August 20 when the IFC executive members will be available to talk to any interested men in Plunkett basement and Roberts foyer at 7pm. Computers will be on hand so that men can register for recruitment. All men will need to be registered for recruitment to go through the process. Registration for IFC recruitment is free.
Freshmen can expect a great opportunity to make connections with not just current Greek men but also alumni and other first year students. “Even if guys are not sure, I would encourage them to sign up and go through formal recruitment because of everything offered the first two weeks. They will be invited to a ton of social events and get to know a lot of people. Also, every chapter is very different so finding a chapter that fits you is pretty easy once you get to know each chapter. That is why formal recruitment is so important at Mercer. It allows both new and current men to experience all of the chapters and really get to know some of the members to make sure it is a good fit,” said Carrie Ingoldsby, IFC Advisor and Director of Campus Life and Student Involvement. The process is almost two weeks long so there is ample time to get to know people.
IFC Execs run Formal Recruitment. They are not the same as NPC’s Pi Chis but they are still there to work with potential new members.
“It’s a great overall experience that will make college life more meaningful and fun. If you are coming into college with not just a desire to connect socially but also to make career connections from Engineering to Business to Law then I would recommend Greek Life. Greek alums represent a wide variety of career choices. It is also a chance to get academic support for those more challenging majors including pre-med and Engineering. Greeks work hard and are involved across campus in other leadership roles. Greeks also give back to the community through philanthropy projects and events. I would encourage all students to try it out. For example: athletes or those with busy majors will find that Greek chapters have a lot to offer them,” said Ingoldsby.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) is the umbrella organization for the nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Although it is not known exactly when the organization came to Mercer’s campus, it was organized in May 1930 at Howard University, Washington D.C. The stated purpose of the organization as written in 1930 is, “Unanimity of thought and action, as far as possible, in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.”
NPHC is a Greek council composed of nine fraternities and sororities: Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Iota Phi Theta. This coalition is frequently coined as “The Divine Nine.” The Divine Nine members can also be classified as either Collegiate Chapters, or Alumni Chapters. The Alumni Chapter members serve as a guide or mentor to the Collegiate chapter members during their entire collegiate experience which includes support during the membership intake.
As NPHC fraternities and sororities do not recruit but instead host formal informationals, interested students should attend NPHC 2012 Information Week held Aug. 20-24th. During this week each organization selects a specific day to represent their organization by wearing paraphernalia and conducting a university-wide program in which educational material including the organization’s mission, membership criteria, and social calendar are provided for interested candidates.
Interested males and females will have several opportunities to meet and ask questions of current NPHC members by attending any of the university-wide programs that are held during the academic year.
While membership into NPHC is restricted to students who possess at least 30 credit hours and meet the GPA requirement specified by each organization, all students are invited to attend the NPHC 2012 Information Week activities. Attendees can expect to meet new faces, learn more about NPHC Greek organizations and have tons of fun.
NPHC membership costs vary due to several factors including, but not limited to, the administrative fees required by Mercer and each organization’s national association. The amount collected may also vary based on the number of trainings, conferences, and community programs that are planned for an academic year.
“As NPHC organizations do not recruit, the University and Macon community alike can expect to see the spirit of Greek unity, motivation for academic excellence and commitment to public service demonstrated during the Information Week held August 20-24th and in the days that follow,” said Melinda Robison-Moffett, Co-Advisor of NPHC.