Trick-or-treat with the Greeks
One of the most important aspects of being in a sorority comes in dispelling any negative perceptions about Greek Life, Knight said. Zeta Tau Alpha chose breast cancer awareness as its charity, and through a Crown Classic golf charity that raised more than $50,000 last year, became the top Greek fundraiser on campus. Zeta Tau Alpha ranks first among its chapters statewide in fund raising, and third nationally.
“The reason I joined a sorority and Greek life was to be part of the exemplary work that Greeks do through our passion to serve the world around us,” Knight said.
While some might perceive Carolina’s Greek community as insular, the truth is that more than three-quarters of all fraternity and sorority members are involved in other organizations on campus, Binder said. They also rate their undergraduate experiences very high, and some of the most-involved alumni the University graduates are Greeks.
“Being a member of Tri Delta shaped my college experience, provided my first job, and supplied me with invaluable resources and skills,” said Kinsey Cooper, who received two degrees from Carolina including a master’s of education in 2005. She is now a director of alumni programs with the Carolina Alumni Association.
The Greek Village opened in 2002 and is now home to 11 fraternities and nine sororities. Greek membership has grown so much that plans to identify land for new Greek housing are in the works, Binder said. The Greek Village has been a magnet with its close proximity to the Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center and Colonial Life Arena.
Chapters have adopted policies that require members to eat their meals at their house, which builds a sense of unity attracting many new members. In addition to the Greek Village, three chapters are housed in McBryde Quad: Phi Sigma Kappa, Delta Upsilon, and Alpha Phi Alpha.
For the future, new groups are being added to the campus to accommodate the growth in membership. Phi Mu sorority was recently formed with 250 new members, with Alpha Gamma Delta sorority coming to Carolina in 2013. For the fraternities, Beta Theta Pi will be returning during spring 2010, with more fraternities likely being added over the next few years. “It’s a nice problem to have,” Binder said.