Lantern file photo
Ohio State isn’t exactly known as a Greek life school, but with a record number of women registered for formal recruitment, that could change in the coming years.
With more than 63,000 students enrolled in the university, some students join Greek life to make a large community a little smaller, a trend that has been on the incline in the past few years with a stamp of approval from OSU President E. Gordon Gee.
During a Feb. 6 meeting with The Lantern Gee has expressed a desire for Greek life at OSU to continue to grow.
“Our Greek system right now is about 8 percent, too small. It should be 15 percent,” Gee said.
The recruitment process is integral in growing the Greek life community.
A record 1,100 women have paid the $35 fee to go through recruitment, said Grace Debbeler, Delta Delta Delta sorority president. The formal two-week process in which potential new members interact with women in the various chapters on campus, in order to find which Panhallenic Association social sorority would fit them best is scheduled to begin on Friday.
OSU is home to more than 65 different Greek letter organizations, 16 of which are PHA sororities with more than 2,000 total members, according to the Ohio Union website.
The number of potential new members has been estimated to be about 900 to 1,000 in previous years, Debbeler said.
One of the women included within this record-high group is Kaitlyn Cappel, a first-year in finance who plans to begin the recruitment process on Friday. Cappel said joining a sorority is an opportunity for her to meet new people at the university as well as an effective way to get involved on campus.
“OSU has such a big campus, so to have a small group of people that you share interests with but allow you to meet different people from all over, it’s really cool,” Cappel said. “And I’ve had a hard time getting involved in community service since I’ve been here, so joining a sorority will help me out with that.”
Another potential new member, Katie Williamson, a first-year in food science and technology, said her mother was involved in a sorority at Michigan State University and her family influences motivated her to rush.
“I’ve always grown up hearing about the sorority life since my mom was in one,” Williamson said. “Her best friend to this day was one of her sorority sisters. You make lifelong friends, and I think that’s the most beneficial thing you gain from joining a sorority.”
However, those gains don’t come without a price: according to Lantern archives, the average cost of being in a PHA chapter was $500 a quarter, which translates to about $750 per semester.
While rushing hopefuls like Cappel and Williamson gear up to meet the 16 chapters this weekend, women who are already chapter members are preparing for recruitment too.
Debbeler and Miranda Hritz, incoming president of Alpha Chi Omega, have been making preparations of their own in anticipation of the recruitment process.
“Recruitment takes place in rounds, and the first week is absolutely crazy,” Hritz said. “The girls will see all the houses on Friday and Saturday and then learn about the philanthropy of each chapter on Sunday.”
Each sorority must also prepare its own ceremony and ritual to be shown to women going through the recruitment process, something that each chapter takes pride in, Debbeler said.
Women will not know which sorority they will be in until Bid Day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and both presidents agreed that the recruitment process can be overwhelming for everyone involved. However, Debbeler encourages women to “stick it out.”
“OSU is so diverse and there’s a place for everyone here. I think joining a sorority has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said.