She had spent her summer hunting down letters of recommendation from people she barely knew in preparation for recruitment. After an emotional bid day, freshman Lillian Abraham officially became a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, a group of people who would later become her family.
Students may join four different types of Greek Life on campus: Panhellenic, Interfraternity, National Pan-Hellenic and United Greek Councils.
Abraham, who was homeschooled before coming to the UofA, thinks the community aspect is one of the most important parts of Greek Life, she said. She did not know many other people on campus, but through her sorority, she was easily able to find people to hang out with whenever she needed.
“For anyone in Greek life, finding a group to sit with at lunch or to go out with is easy because you can just ask your sisters,” Abraham said.
Mary Christine Childress, a Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna, thinks going through Panhellenic recruitment and joining a sorority is a way for students to make friends and get out of their comfort zones, she said.
Panhellenic recruitment begins Aug. 16 and ends Aug. 24 with Bid Day at the Chi Omega Greek Theater at 10 a.m.
Students who want to go through Panhellenic recruitment may move into dorms early on Aug. 15-16. Students who move in Aug. 15 will have to pay a $60 fee and students who move in Aug. 16 will have to pay a $30 fee, according to the university Greek Life website.
To register for Panhellenic recruitment, students should have a resume, headshot, high school transcript or grade report card, T-shirt size and credit card or check to pay the recruitment fee, according to the Division of Student Affairs.
Students who register between June 1-30 must pay a non-refundable fee of $230. On July 1, the fee increases to $240. The last day to register is July 15.
The sororities encourage students going through Panhellenic recruitment to have recommendation letters and to have resumes that stand out, Childress said.
Childress thinks that students looking to join a sorority should have activities on their resume to stand out, she said. Activities that help potential members stand out include volunteer work, clubs, sports or even musical groups.
There are 11 sororities on campus, and prospective members visit each house during recruitment and meet the members of each sorority, Childress said.
Childress thinks that students going through recruitment should focus less on what to wear during the process, she said.
“People make the mistake thinking that's the most important thing,” Childress said. “People care about who you are as a person.”
Interfraternity recruitment is Sept. 6-8, and Sept. 13. It ends Sept. 14 on Bid Day at the Chi Omega Greek Theater at 10 a.m.
Ben Peterson, a Phi Gamma Delta alumnus, thinks that going through recruitment and joining a fraternity helps to make friends, connections and life skills, he said.
“The number one benefit is the friendships,” Peterson said. “(The fraternity members) were good friends with a lot of my pledge brothers. Another benefit is how to manage a schedule and how to stay accountable and on top of things.”
There are 14 fraternities on campus, and students who go through recruitment will meet all of the chapters on the first day.
The recruitment process can be overwhelming at first, Peterson said.
“There is a lot of energy,” Peterson said. “Rushing is a lot of fun. Keep an open mind about everything because you don’t know what’s gonna happen. Have a good attitude about it all.”
To register for Interfraternity recruitment, students need a resume, headshot, high school transcript or grade report card, T-shirt size and credit card or check for payment.
Interfraternity recruitment has a non-refundable fee of $125 if students register before Sept. 2 then the fee increases to $135. The last day to register is Sept. 4.
To register for the 2019 recruitment, log onto uagreeks.uark.edu and click on the desired Greek Life group and follow the instructions.
There are seven National Pan-Hellenic Council groups on campus, which are historically African-American, and two United Greek Councils on campus, which are for members of the Latino community.
Junior Giovani Desgottes, who is majoring in journalism, is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a Pan-Hellenic fraternity.
The rush process for Pan-Hellenic fraternities and sororities is very discrete and concluded with a reveal of members on campus, Desgottes said.
“After the intake process we have a probate, which is like a show on campus,” Desgottes said. “We’ll wear masks and do dances and reveal ourselves. That’s probably the most exciting part, especially for me.”
Desgottes became really close with his pledge class, and his fraternity places a great emphasis on respect for older members, he said.
After pledging, members of Alpha Phi Alpha focus on helping the community and doing service projects, like working with the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Desgottes said.
“After you join we do a lot of community service,” Desgottes said. “We do a lot to help inside and out of our community.”
To register for National Pan-Hellenic and United Greek Council recruitment, prospective members must attend an intake seminar that is held each semester. The seminar’s speakers educate potential members about the intake process, application and more.
For more information on how to join a United Greek Council, students can visit uagreeks.uark.edu.