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Frat/Sorority Rush Credit: Yolanda Chen , Yolanda Chen

This school year, Greek life made headlines for a plethora of reasons. Whether you are considering joining Greek life at Penn or not, it can be useful to know what has happened and how it works. Here is a guide to the recent Greek life happenings.

Greek News to Know:

On March 1, the annual Northeast Greek Leadership Association recognized Penn’s Multicultural Greek Council during this year’s conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. MGC won the Amy Vojta Impact Award for outstanding Multicultural Greek Programming.

After 20 years, Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Scott Reikofski retired. He oversaw the upgrade of over 24 University-managed chapter houses. Earlier that year, Meghan Gaffney took over as Associate Director at OFSL.

Penn Greek life also made some controversial headlines. After Phi Delta Theta posted a controversial Christmas photo on Facebook that involved a dark-skinned blow up doll, minority groups on campus expressed their discontent. Phi Delt was put under investigation and placed on probation. They were also required to complete cultural sensitivity and sexual and relationship misconduct education programs. One group, Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation, protested the fraternity by holding a mock slave auction in front of the fraternity’s house this April.

Alpha Chi Omega made its own spalsh. After being placed on probation in January following a phone call made by a Penn student’s parent to the University after a drinking event, Penn’s chapter of Alpha Chi Omega decided to go off-campus, instead of abstaining from social events for the next two years.

By the Numbers:

Today at Penn there are 53 Greek social fraternity and sorority chapters, 30 chapters in the Interfraternity Council, nine chapters in the Panhellenic Council and 14 chapters in the Multicultural Greek Council.

The Rush Process:

Penn’s main recruitment processes take place in the spring semester as soon as everyone arrives back from winter break at the end of January. This differs slightly from schools with a larger Greek life scene. Currently, the overall number of students actively involved in our Greek system is more than 25 percent of the total undergraduate student population at Penn.

Having recruitment in the spring allows students time to get settled into the college experience, as well as to weigh the Greek life options. Recruitment, also known as rush, can be an exciting, hectic time.

Fraternity v. Sorority Rush:

Recruitment differs greatly for guys and girls on campus. Boys attend date nights and hangouts where they get to know the brothers of the fraternities that they are interested in.

Rushing a sorority, on the other hand, is a different story. Girls visit the nine sorority houses with different rounds on different days, meeting many girls in a complicated but organized selection process. They are guided along houses by a recruitment guide called a Rho Gamma.

Life as a Greek:

Once joining Greek life, weekends are filled with date nights, formals and bonding activities. Philanthropy events also raise money for causes like Alzheimer’s or breast cancer research.

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