East Carolina University’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association (PA) chapters have expectations to strive during the fall 2019 semester with plans set in place to meet specified goals while additionally hoping to surpass the fall 2018 recruitment numbers.
Jessie Ashton, ECU’s assistant director of Greek life, oversees organizational misconduct and risk management and reduction. She additionally advises IFC and PA organizations on campus.
Primarily, Ashton said she would like to see the Greek life community continue the trend of working together and collaborating between the four councils. At ECU, students are able to become part of an IFC, PA, Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) or National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organization.
Ashton said Alpha Psi Alpha, a NPHC fraternity is expected to return to ECU in the spring semester, and Lambda Chi Alpha, an IFC fraternity, is projected to return this semester. She said she is excited to see groups return and to see the Greek community begin to rebuild.
According to Ashton, Greek life organizations are student-run and she appreciates the hard work those involved put toward ensuring the community operates. She said self-governance is an important, powerful quality of the organizations.
Ashton said, in the past few years, involvement in Greek life has declined following several chapter suspensions from fraternity and sorority headquarters. However, she said it is projected for there to be more people signed up for PA and IFC recruitment this year.
“It’s (ECU Greek life) a positive presence,” Ashton said. “We have a lot of really awesome leaders all over the community who are involved in so much more than just their fraternity or sorority and I think they’re really working to make a difference in not just the ECU community but the Greenville community (as well).”
Tyler Parker, ECU’s PA president, said the organization is currently prepping for recruitment, however following Bid Day, which will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 27, the plan is to focus on scholarship programs, making sure women feel supported academically through Panhellenic and the risk management program.
Parker said PA expects to hold more risk management and reduction education events on the topics of hazing and additional problems Greek life is “attached” to.
“Our goal is to bring awareness, that’s kind of the biggest thing with hazing. It’s hard to prevent something if people don’t really know what it is,” Parker said. “We want to really focus on the education behind it and learning different strategies on prevention.”
Parker said she wants to see Panhellenic chapters “think outside the box” in terms of events this year whether it be types of events, who the events are thrown with or locations. She said she hopes to see move collaborative events between the four councils.
Parker said she believes ECU’s Greek Life presence has grown over the past few years as a community, but not necessarily the councils on their own.
“We’re definitely collaborating more and doing more things together, which just makes our presence stronger because it can go to so many more people. More people are seeing Greek life and seeing that it's not just this exclusive club that only a few people can get into,” Parker said. “It really can be for everyone.”
Parker said the change in location for PA recruitment this fall has made the process more convenient to potential members. Since its opening last January, this will be the first time PA recruitment events will be held in the Main Campus Student Center rather than the Greenville Convention Center.
PA recruitment has been open for sign-up throughout the summer months, and Parker said the numbers are projected to increase from previous years. As of August 6, the PA registration numbers were around 500 signees, which is higher than the same date in 2018.
“We’re really trying to figure out the best way to conduct recruitment in a whole new way that we’ve never done before,” Parker said. “It would be nice to get to 650 (registered). I think that’s what we were at last year, that would be great.”
PA registration is open until Tuesday and the cost to sign up will be $100, According to Parker. All 10 PA chapters are open during the fall 2019 recruitment process.
Anthony Fraraccio, ECU’s IFC president, said a goal of his during his term is to see Greek life become more involved in athletics. He said he wants to bring close to 12 to 15% of ECU’s population together to support university athletic events.
“The possibility of more Greek nights, being able for us (IFC) to promote it, to tell our chapters. We have the possibility to have the coaches come out and speak to our chapters about coming to the games, things like that,” Fraraccio said.
Fraraccio said he thinks ECU’s Greek life “took a little bit of a hit” at the beginning of last fall following events of previous years, but he said this year IFC has a solid group of 14 chapters and can expect the addition of a 15th this fall.
Fraraccio said IFC registration has been open since early May and the deadline to sign up is Sept. 5. An incoming freshman needs a 2.75 unweighted high school grade point average to participate in recruitment.
“We’re looking at more (recruitment) numbers than we had at this time last year,” Fraraccio said.