The University of Maine has been the home to many Greek organizations since 1874. With 16 men’s fraternities and eight women’s sorority organizations, there are over 1,000 UMaine students involved in Greek life.
This time of year is extremely important to the Greek community because fraternities hold recruitment events for those interested, and sororities have their official recruitment week from Sept. 12 to 17.
At the end of recruitment week for sororities, bid day happens. This occurs after meeting all the women within the sororities and finding the chapter that best fits you. This is an extremely exciting day where each potential new member will find out which sorority they will be a part of. This day usually includes lots of eager embraces and elated cheers.
Emily Beyer, a first-year in Alpha Phi, just went through the process of recruitment and bid day. Like many other girls going through recruitment, Beyer had hoped to find a sorority that she could find lifelong connections in. She found just that.
“As me and my pledge class ran home to Alpha Phi, we were welcomed right away with so many hugs and smiles from our new sisters!” Beyer said.
She further talks about how many girls she has already gotten to meet through her sorority and how excited she is to be involved in the chapter.
Sorority recruitment has created an environment where everyone can find a chapter they relate to and one where they can form meaningful connections with their sisters. In addition to sorority recruitment being a way to form connections, it is also a great way to support a charity through your sorority. Each chapter has their own philanthropy that they support and raise high sums of money for every year.
For example, the Pi Beta Phi chapter supports Read > Lead > Achieve, an organization that supports the love of reading with children and promoting a more literate society. Another example would be Tri Delta who raises money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For the fraternities, they plan their recruitment events on their own times. The men participating in recruitment for fraternities learn about the values of each chapter and talk to active brothers in each of the chapters as well. Fraternities also strive to create close connections between members and create the types of connections that will last even after graduation.
While the fraternities don’t do recruitment exactly the same way as the sororities do, some do still have bid days or similar events where a new member is invited into the chapter in a special way. Ryan Perry is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He holds his fraternity and fellow brothers in extremely high regard.
“I’ve been able to relate back every single friendship or moment I’ve had in my life to TKE in some shape or form It’s been an absolutely unbelievable thing for me in my life, the friendships I’ve made, the memories I’ve forged, it’s stuff that’s going to last a very long time, probably a lifetime for me,” Perry said.
Fraternities are involved in philanthropic activities as well. For example, Lambda Chi Alpha supports Feeding America, which provides meals to people in need in the United States. Lambda, as well as other fraternities, will team up with sorority chapters to hold events that raise money for their specific philanthropic organization together.
During recruitment, all participants learn about the various opportunities,involvement and overall supportive community that going Greek can provide. They also got to know active members in each chapter better through face-to-face conversation and ice-breaker activities.
In the end, Greek life welcomed hundreds of new members who will be held to high standards in community leadership and participation as well as academics. Every year it is an exciting time for many students looking to be involved in recruitment and it is also a rewarding time as they find their new home in Greek life.