Greek-life culture at UNF: What is it and how does it function?

Jessica May

This article was originally published in the Fall 2018 “Culture of UNF Issue”. 

Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to make lifelong friends in college. Greek life at UNF strives to empower students to reach their full potential and become contributing citizens through developmental and intentional experiences. It engages them in collaboration, leadership and commitment to personal values.

The first fraternal organization at UNF was chartered in 1977. Now, UNF has 28 recognized fraternities and sororities and iaccounts for 11 percent of the undergraduate population, according to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Within UNF, the Greek-affiliated students have created this culture for themselves with a large emphasis on community. They have build a bond like no other, and students can make lifelong friends within the group.

“Greek Culture is community. Whether it’s in your individual organization, or all chapters as a whole, there is always a sense of community,” Megan Lawson, a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha said. “By going Greek, I have met my lifelong friends and have been given chances I wouldn’t have if I wouldn’t have joined my organization.”

UNF Greek-affiliated students are held to a high academic standard. Students’ highest priority should be their education, which is why students who are involved in UNF Greek life are more likely to graduate within four years than non-Greek affiliated students.

Fraternities and sororities at UNF are said to conduct themselves with the utmost respect for their membership, as well as other chapters and UNF students, faculty and staff. Greek students are encouraged to operate and host events in good taste and respect to all while maintaining proper relationships with fellow members.

The purpose of Greek-life is reportedly to give back. According to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life, UNF fraternity and sorority members continue to raise over $147,000 for the community and perform more than 37,000 hours of service.

Chi Phi Senior Andrew Steck, who serves on the Chi Phi Executive Board, Greek Ambassadors Executive Board and Inter-Fraternal Council Executive Board, touches on the importance of community involvement.

“[Hosting] impactful events like the Hubbard House and DONNA Walk, philanthropy [fundraisers], serving as a volunteer for refugees, troubled-home children and preschoolers have all been possible through Greek life,” Steck said. “It is a unique and encouraging community that aligns you with brothers and sisters you inherently feel close with whilst impacting your campus and community.”

Greek organizational missions and histories are dedicated to making people better so they can lead others in ethical and moral ways. UNF chapters create connections through involvement in other on-campus organizations and encourage leaders to take positions within chapters and councils.

Character-building is also one of the main priorities of the many chapters on campus.

“Greek life has helped me grow into a better person. It has taught me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Caitlin Lawrence, a sister of Delta Gamma said. “I have become more confident, more responsible and more understanding.”

UNF fraternities and sororities exist to perpetuate the highest forms of man and womanhood, according to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life website. Chapters regularly host educational programs for its members, ranging from diversity to risk management.

Joining a fraternity or sorority can be one of the most rewarding experiences for some students at UNF.  Fraternities and sororities, based on chapter or council, will organize a process for meeting UNF students. This process can be referred to as recruitment, rush, or membership intake.

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life dictates that, in order to join any Greek organization, a student must be a student at UNF, be a full-time student and meet the academic grade point average minimum of 2.65.

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