In 1988, all Greek organization chapters were kicked off Gustavus campus. Greek organizations were welcomed back after about five years and still exist today.
There are six existing fraternities, and six existing sororities. Fraternities and sororities are both Greek student organizations. The three main values for Greek organizations are leadership, Service and Scholarship. To be a part of the Greek life here at Gustavus, you must be at least a sophomore in order to bid. After bidding, pledging is the processes of joining Greek organizations, usually lasting two weeks, depending if the organization is national or local. Pledging activities held by each chapters are approved by the Campus Activities Office before Pledge Week actually starts. Bid-matching usually occurs before pledging. What happens is, students submit bids cards with their name and information. The Assistant Director of Campus Activities Scott Broady receives the bids, which are then sent out to the chapters in order of their preference selection. After receiving the bids, the fraternities and sororities then choose whether to accept or deny the pledge.
Hazing is a topic that has long been paired with the Greek life.
“Some things have been brought to our attention that are kind of on the behavior concerns, but not anything that would be a major violation of the policy, but I must say, hazing is something that’s not just all Greek,” Broady said.
Broady is also the Greek advisor, responsible for meeting with each chapters’ presidents. Hazing is brought to the attention of Greek Life as a violation of the college policy.
“Certainly there has been hazing in the 100+ years history of fraternities and sororities at Gustavus, although I am pleased to say that we seem to have made meaningful progress when compared to the hazing incidents from many years ago,” Dean of Students JoNes Van Hecke said.
There has been little reported hazing this year, an improvement compared to previous years. Gustavus has started a number hazing prevention programs to support Greek Life. There are also silent witness programs where anyone can go on and report any incidents. This program is anonymous. Hazingprevention.org is a great resource for reporting any hazing activities. Consequences for hazing usually ranges from a conversation to suspending the Greek chapter, and/or student(s) being removed from Gustavus. The consequences are based on how severe the incidents were.
Sophomore Economics Major Thao Le was recently pledging for Sigma Sigma Sigma. Le shared her experience of pledging.
“Pledging is definitely a new experience for me, since I am an international student coming from Vietnam, where Greek Life is a completely strange concept. But deciding to pledge for Sigma Sigma Sigma has been one of my best decisions by far. At first, everything was so overwhelming since I did not know anyone or have any idea how pledging was, as well as how long pledging would be,” Le said.
“ I am pleased to say that we seem to have made meaningful progress when compared to the hazing incidents from many years ago.”—JoNes Van Hecke
The main goal of pledge week is for new member recruitment for Greek organizations utilizing a series of events that are both rewarding and responsible for all participants.
The Greek community is all about fostering leadership, making new friends that are will last beyond college, supporting academics, and making a positive impact onto the community. “
After spending two weeks with the Sigmas, I feel as though I’ve gained confidence in conversing with people. Most importantly, I can be myself and have a lot of fun with both actives and pledges,” Le said.