Recruitment changes at UCA allow incoming freshmen to join a sorority or fraternity four weeks into their first semester, instead of waiting until the spring semester.
Lindsey Osborne, sorority life director, said she is excited about students getting involved in Greek Life earlier in their collegiate career.
“We know Greek students are successful academically and stay at UCA because of the strong community they build together,” she said.
Fraternity Life Director Scott Isenga said the changes will positively affect the students in recruitment.
“In addition to potentially joining an organization of their choice earlier, our hope is that the new system will improve the academic, leadership, and service involvements of first-year students in similar manners to those of the general UCA fraternity/sorority population,” he said.
In spring 2013, several UCA Greek governing bodies, including the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and All Greek Council took positions against deferred recruitment.
The UCA Greek Life staff submitted a proposal to the Greek Alumni Advisory Board, which was approved unanimously. Under the revised policy, Greek students are required to have a 2.5 GPA as a full-time student and must attend a Greek 101 session.
Greek 101 sessions address what it means to be Greek and teach students policies about academics, hazing, alcohol and other Greek related topics. In the past, Student Life office has hosted Greek 101 sessions for all new IFC, IGC, and Panhellenic members in the spring semester.
“Having the required Greek 101 prior to a student joining a fraternity/sorority will provide individuals with useful knowledge and tips that are beneficial to any incoming student,” Isenga said. “Our hope is that the new recruitment standards and updated educational programming adequately expresses the sentiments that joining a fraternity/sorority is a wonderful opportunity but it also comes with a large amount of responsibility.”
Sessions were held Aug. 28 and Sept. 3. The next Greek 101 event is during x-period Sept. 12 in Student Center 215.
Dean of Students Gary Roberts said UCA hired a consultant group, the Fraternity and Sorority Coalition Assessment Project, to help study the deferred recruitment policy, along with other UCA programs and policies.
The group found that none of the more than 20 peer institutions that UCA compares itself have a deferred recruitment policy, and the North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference do not support deferred recruitment.
In a brief history on Greek recruitment policies at UCA, Roberts said: “The UCA Interfraternity Council began discussions two years ago about the possibility of changing the deferred recruitment policy.”
Roberts said the UCA Greek Life staff will monitor the Greek GPA and graduation rate.
Isenga said students must make responsible, personal decisions and understand that if they join a fraternity or sorority, their actions, academic or social, will affect their organization and UCA Greek Life.
“If Greek organizations experience significant declines in these categories in succeeding years, UCA administration will revisit the delayed recruitment and grade point average policies,” he said.
Isenga said he expects an increase in students who decide to attend recruitment based on registration and attendance at each Greek 101 session.
“Registration numbers for IFC, IGC and Panhellenic recruitment are already greater than those of the spring 2013 semester, so we do expect an overall increase,” he said.
Prior to moving to delayed recruitment this semester, UCA administration and the Greek community implemented the deferred recruitment policy in fall 2000 after behavioral issues and the death of two UCA Greek students.
The students were returning home from a Morrilton fraternity function in September 1999 when they died in a car accident.
Deferred recruitment required incoming freshmen to wait one semester before joining a Greek organization, and students were required to have at least 12 credit hours and a 2.3 cumulative GPA.