By Megan Schimpf " Daily Staff Reporter x
A T A QUICK GLANCE, the fraternities and sorori-
ties at the University may seem unlike any
ther group on campus.
And while similarities abound between Greek orga-
nizations and the other 550 clubs on campus, the
system still remains distinct.
"When I think about fraternities and co-
ops, there are a lot of things that are simi-
lar," said Kinesiology junior Russ Ordonia.
"However, what makes fraternities differ-
ent from co-ops is that the members of the
chapter have all gone through the same
ritual that you have. Members across the
nation have gone through the same rituals
you have. Members all through history have
all gone through the same rituals you have."
Traditions, while common to Greek
houses across campus, define each one,
separating house from house and fraternity
"Of all the things we do that make us
distinct from other groups, it's the ritual
that makes us who we are," said Ordonia, a
Pi Kappa Psi.
Rituals, including traditions like a hand-
shake, are usually kept secret and sacred to
the house members.
But while a ritual may
define the house a
we do that make us Greek belongs to,
each person who be-
distinct froM Other longs to any house on
campus says the
groups it's the house does not define
ritual that makes us "The people in my
sorority really pride
who we are." themselves on not be-
ing limited," said
- Russ Ordonia Rachel Bendit, an Engineering first-year stu
Pi Kappa Psi LSA junior. "We're fraternity, sit atop scaffol
such a diverse group common experiences, Ii
of people that whatever random thing you snow football and late-ni
want to do, there's always someone con- In addition to being mor
nected and informed. There's always some- dorm living, house life ha
one to go to for information." Most sororities have
i food. Lareau's house has
p g Loaders served buffet-style, and t]
Greek members can be found in almost eat together. Other hous
any organization on campus, from student meals or a combination.
government to engineering honor societies Fraternities vary from
to varsity and club sports. to not having a meal play
"It's opened up a lot of doors for me," Ordonia's house, whi
said Karen Lareau, a Panhellenic Associa- prepared food, has a kitch
tion representative. "I'vemetpeople Inever use. Brothers can also
would have met, had opportunities I never and eat there.
would have had before." Each sorority has a ho
Sorority members are bound by a quiet older woman who overst
rule during rush and are not supposed to forces rules and helps
reveal the name of their house. problems. Most houses h
Within a house, executive boards, com- ing alcohol and other it
mittees and chairmanships can lead to lead- there are also usually o
ership roles for everyone. that men are allowed ups
"I think to rush in the first place, you have Fraternities, with fewe
to be a little outgoing. Pledging and being have a house mother or f
the house makes you more outgoing. A lot E iling Acad
of people change over the years," said Phi Exc
Gamma Delta (Fiji) President Vince Academics remain a
Manzella. organizations, contrary to
n . According to the Office of
point averages for Greek
Most Greek members are required to live those for non-Greek me
in their house for at least one year. Lareau winter term.
said most members of her house want to The Greek system has
live in, because of the living rooms with ies for its members - G
couches, a kitchen, a TV room, completely pha is based purely on GP
furnished and wallpapered bedrooms and a ship in Order of Omega
24-hour study room in the basement. arship, leadership and se
"It's beautiful," she said. "It feels like "We try to recognize
you could be in your own house at home." Greek system for things
While fraternity houses may not be as recognition they deserve a]
well-decorated, members say the experi- Kit Mastroberto, Order of
ence is better than living out. Order of Omega follo
"I'm living with 50 other guys - there's process and is only op
always someone who will gowithyou, whether seniors. Mastroberto sai
it's to the Grad to study, to the computing members a year, includin
center, to the bar or playing Sega," said of the system.
Manzella, who has also lived in an apartment. Mastroberto, a Theta
Living-in allows members to share more fraternity or sorority do
Other schools handle
By Tim O'Connell Office of Greek Life. a
Daily Staff Reporter Seiler noted that women do not need to be
First-year students at the University are rush during their first semester.
The Michigan Daily - Friday. September 15, 1995 - 3
Rushees walk into the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house.
STEPHANIE GRACE LIM/ Daily
dent George Anderson and Architecture junior D. J. Mroz, members of the Pi Kappa Phi
ding yesterday in the Diag to collect money for PUSH America.
e comfortable than
s other amenities.
a cook to prepare
s 20 meals a week
he women usually
ses have sit-down
a cook to catering
ch does not have
en for members to
work in sororities
iuse mother - an
ees the house, en-
the women with
ave rules prohibit-
nly certain hours
r rules, sometimes
priority for Greek
fGreek Life, grade
men were equal to
n on campus last
two honor societ-
jamma Sigma Al-
PA while member-
is based on schol-
people within the
they don't get the
lot ofthe time," said
ws an application
en to juniors and
d it has about 90
g the top 3 percent
Chi, said joining a
es not deter from
"Within our house, academics come
first," he said. "You're here for school -
the fraternity is something to add to it, not
take away from it."
Most houses on campus maintain test
files containing tests from years past, and
some have a house library, with textbooks
donated by members. Bendit's house, like
others, has a scholarship dinner to honor
Most members say the pressure to do
well in class often exceeds the pressure to
party. Bendit is also active in Hillel.
"I think I probably spend more time go-
ing to all these things or communicating
them to other people than going to parties,"
she said. "No one should give into that
pressure - sororities are more than that."
But, like most students on campus, Greek
students balance academics with social life.
Beyond open parties, fraternities also
have closed parties - including invitation-
only friends parties, date parties and two-
ways with a sorority. While some of these
are theme parties - like M*A*S*H and
marriage parties - most are not.
Each house -fraternity or sorority -also
holds about two formals a year. Ordonia's
house has a semiformal near Ann Arbor that
most actives attend and a formal later in the
year somewhere else - like Chicago or
Toronto - also attended by alumni.
The Greek system, in response to exter-
nal pressures, has created several internal
measures to ensure social responsibility.
The Greek Activities Review Board is com-
posed of elected members from a range of
houses, and plays a role in policing house
infractions. The Social Responsibilty Com-
mittee, composed of Greek leaders, also
helps to help make parties and other func-
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of
Greek life, members say, is the philan-
thropic work each house does. Most houses
Rush. By the Number
There were 1,034 women register
sorority, rush last year. Here's whE
happened to them after rush ende
12 Did Not
have a charity they help yearly in
to the work the entire system doe
"It's kind of a thankless job,"
said. "We're doing stuff that's
we're also doing stuff that helps
The charity aspect peaks duri
Week, which raised more than $3
year for a handful of charities.
"It's a huge chunk of time, and
sometimes to give up a week an
Ordonia said. "But it's also a ton
and you're also helping the come
Many members of the Greek s}
some stereotypes are untrue.
"'Animal House' and 'Reven
Nerds,' while being entertaining, a
istic," Manzella said. "If you s
surface, you'll find it's more thanI
Like many other college exj
fraternities and sororities prov
members with lasting memories a
"It's not necessarily one of the -
I'll remember - it's a lot of
things," Ordonia said. "I'm going
back as an alum in 20 years and if
of those guys, we'll have that m
people is a
By Sam T. Dudek
Daily Staff Reporter
The overwhelming attraction for rushees
is the chance to meet new people by touring
the campus's fraternities and sororities.
"The main purpose for me to rush is that
it's a great way to meet other freshmen,"
said LSA first-year student Josh Sobol.
Throughout the rush process, hundreds
of prospective rushees meet with fraternity
and sorority representatives to learn more
about Greek life.
Representatives tell theprospective mem-
bers that the Greek system provides aunique
avenue to meet people in a non-threatening
"I was a sophomore and I was worried
that once I got out of the dorm there
s would be a limited number of people I
ed for would see," said Jamie Reynolds, a Kine-
d: siology senior,
Now a member of Theta Chi, Reynolds
said he still meets at least 10 people a week.
Rushees said a main attraction is the
chance to meet people outside of bars and
other establishments that have age restric-
"If you're under 21 you can't go to the
bars to meet people," said LSA first-year
student Kevin Fritz. "Joining a fraternity is
the best way to meet people."
Bars, which offer one-time impersonal
interaction, are not the best way to make
Daily Graphic new friends, said LSA sophomore Paul
Some sorority hopefuls agreed: "Being
n addition in a sorority is a good way to find a niche in
s. the University that is so large," said LSA
Manzella first-year student Sara Avery.
fun, but Meeting people, however, is not the only
people." reason students gave for rushing this year.
ng Greek "Joining a frat makes it easier to get into
0,000 last community service," Quinones said.
Students also looked to the week of rush
lit's hard activities as a opportunity to find out more
d a half," about the Greek system, while still decid-
of fun - ing if they want to pledge a house.
munity." "Rush is a good way to learn about the
sorority system, even if someone decides
not to join," said Mary Hauler, an LSA
ystem say first-year student.
LSA sophomore Nick Garcia said he
ge of the decided to rush this year because he has
ren'treal- friends in the Greek system and wanted a
cratch the more formal introduction to fraternity life.
partying." Some students look to the Greek system
periences, as a chance to have fun.
ide their "Since I've been here (at the University)
ndfriend- all I've done is go to frats" said LSA first-
year student Kevin Studders. "They seem
big things like a good time."
the little Whatever the reason students turn to the
g to come Greek system, it is "one of the best ways to
f I see one make the University smaller," said LSA
emory." first-year student Jeremy Elman.
rush in other ways
Greeks All Over
Rush differs all over. The following is how other Big Ten schools
conduct rush periods and the percentage of students in the
verages of fraternity and sorority mem-
ers as evidence of their academic focus.
Statistics calculated by the Office of the
have any way of checking participation in
the Greek system," he said.
"It is possible and probable that there are