Kent State Fraternity and Sorority Life Reaches Record Numbers
The total number of students involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations has reached more than 2,000 for the first time in Kent State University history. Fraternity and Sorority Life oversees opportunities for involvement in these student groups and works closely with the Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council and the Integrated Greek Council.
A total of 2,228 students are involved with Fraternity and Sorority Life at Kent State, which is up from last spring’s total of 1,950 members.
This year, 453 new members joined through recruitment from the Panhellenic Council, the governing body for the seven organizations of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), which led to an overall increase in chapter size from 195 to 205.
“When I first got here four years ago, the Panhellenic chapters were only at 105 members total, so the fact that four years later they’re now at 205 shows significant growth in our community,” said Meredith Bielaska, Kent State’s assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “We have also added a sorority, so the fact that the chapter total is now at 205 is a big jump for the community.”
The Interfraternity Council gained 229 new members during recruitment, which increased the total number of members to 763.
Bielaska said she credits the increase in numbers to students being better informed about the Greek community.
“I think students are coming to campus with a better general knowledge of what fraternity and sorority life has to offer them,” Bielaska said. “More students are coming to Destination Kent State specifically asking questions about fraternity and sorority life, which is much different than what I have seen in the past. Kent State as a whole is building university enrollment, so the Greek community has benefitted from this growth.”
Another reason for the increase in numbers is the addition of more chapters to the Greek community. Since 2012, Kent State has added seven chapters to the community, which included the recolonization of Delta Upsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Kappa Psi fraternities, as well as the addition of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc., Lambda Theta Nu Sorority Inc., Phi Mu Women’s Fraternity and Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. The addition of these organizations to the community expanded opportunities for students to join organizations across all of its Greek-lettered governing councils, which include Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council and the Integrated Greek Council.
The Integrated Greek Council was formed in fall 2015 and is made up of seven chapters. These chapters are recognized under the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc., which is made up of historically African-American fraternities and sororities and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. Prior to the formation of this council, these groups did not have an inclusive-recognized council at Kent State.
“When the university welcomed our first Latin-focused organizations between 2013 and 2015, it was determined that a more inclusive council would be best to support all of the cultural groups as they continue to find ways to grow their membership here at Kent State,” Bielaska said.
“We have added a lot of additional options for our students to make the decision to have a culturally based experience for our students, who may have a background in a particular culture and want to hold onto that while they’re here, or if they want a more traditional Greek experience in our Panhellenic and Interfraternity groups,” Bielaska said. “It’s more of what I like to refer to as a ‘choose your own experience.’ We have a little bit of everything for everyone, so we really encourage them to pick the organization that best fits who they are and where they see themselves going.”