Greek Life looks to spring recruitment

Derek Stumo

Registration for spring recruitment for fraternities and sororities is now open. The University is experiencing a push by Greek organizations and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to increase awareness and participation in Greek Life.”There was a slight drop in spring recruitment for sororities last year, but interest in fall recruitment for women and men’s recruitment overall has stayed consistent,” said Phil O’Neill, assistant director of Student Development. “We’re conducting what I call a recruitment marketing blitz – whether it’s flyers and banners around campus or Facebook groups about registration,” said Ralph Gigliotti, Fraternity and Sorority Life adviser. “The demand is there among students. It’s a matter of communicating to them that registration is open.”The Inter-Fraternity Council and the Panhellenic Organization also play a large role in recruitment of new members. “They help out and take much of the responsibility in reaching out to potential members,” O’Neill said.Villanova has a deferred recruitment, meaning that students must complete one full semester before joining a sorority or fraternity. “This is so freshmen are established as students first and as members of the larger Villanova community before making a large commitment to a fraternity or sorority,” O’Neill said. O’Neill cited many motivations for students to join sororities and fraternities. Popular reasons for joining a Greek organization include the opportunity to become more involved in the University community, philanthropic events and service work. Other factors include leadership opportunities and alumni connections.”One of the larger reasons students join is the social aspect,” O’Neill said. “By that I don’t just mean parties but developing friendships.”Tim Barnes, a sophomore member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, echoed that sentiment. He joined his fraternity during spring recruitment.”I was introduced to the fraternity by a friend from home,” Barnes said. “He showed me around, and I met a lot of the guys through events. It felt like something I’d want to be a part of because they were a great group of friends.”Gigliotti said he would urge freshmen to explore the sorority or fraternity options available to them. “Each chapter almost has a different personality, so it’s important to find the best fit,” he said.”A lot of people go off of what they hear, word of mouth,” O’Neill said. “The best thing is for students to find out for themselves and check out all the groups.”Twenty-one percent of Villanova students are members of a fraternity or sorority, a large percentage for a small Northeastern Catholic institution. The University has 10 fraternities and nine sororities. Many feel that the values of Greek organizations, such as philanthropic efforts, align well with the values of the University and its students. “My proudest moment since taking this job was seeing the stands at Special Olympics filled with members of the Greek community,” Gigliotti said. O’Neill discussed an upcoming conference at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on recruitment methods and how to introduce new students to Greek Life. There has been an increased effort by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to reach out to freshmen and to spread awareness about the recruitment process.Registration for spring recruitment well remain open until Nov. 17.