Demystifying Greek Life

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Demystifying Greek Life

Nina Johnson (‘19) and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) hook elbows and walk around campus with other pledges on pick up night in 2017.

Nina Johnson (‘19) and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) hook elbows and walk around campus with other pledges on pick up night in 2017.

Photo courtesy of Tau Delta Gamma

Nina Johnson (‘19) and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) hook elbows and walk around campus with other pledges on pick up night in 2017.

Photo courtesy of Tau Delta Gamma

Photo courtesy of Tau Delta Gamma

Nina Johnson (‘19) and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) hook elbows and walk around campus with other pledges on pick up night in 2017.

Kyle Brusco, Staff Writer

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   Students are pledging fraternities and sororities on campus, but what does that mean? Will pledges soon be running around with paint on their faces indicating which group they plan to join?

   “That’s not a thing anymore,” says Annika Rotto (‘19), president of Inter-Greek council and member of Tau Delta Gamma, in reference to out-dated pledging tactics.

    Luther has six options for potential Greek life organizations to join: Alpha Beta Psi, Chi Theta Rho, Tau Delta Gamma, Omega Omega Omega, Sigma Chi Theta, and Zeta Tau Psi. At Luther, those who want to join a Greek life organization must pledge. Pledging is a month-long event where the new members of the organization meet each other and the active members and complete different activities.

   Luther does not allow hazing at any point during the pledging process. The Luther policy on hazing states that pledges, or people attempting to join a sorority or fraternity, must be limited to activities that are organization-wide. This means that active members of the organization must also participate in whatever the pledges are doing.

Photo courtesy of luther.edu
Fraternity Sigma Chi Theta is one of six Greek life organizations currently active on campus.

   “Actives don’t really want to write letters on their faces because we already did it,” Rotto said.

   Though the process of pledging has changed from past years, the core meaning has remained the same. 

  “A lot of girls consider [pledge month] to be the best part of joining a sorority because it’s just so much fun”, pledge trainer for Tau Delta Gamma Amanda Nyquist (‘19) said.  “You get to do so many cool things and meet a whole bunch of new people.”

    A pledge is paired with an active member during pledge month to help the pledge become acclimated to the lifestyle of being an active member. Pledges are helped through the process every step of the way, and the organizations attempt to foster a positive environment. 

   Pledge month is initiated at pick up night, which is when actives “pick up” pledges from their dorm rooms to officially begin the recruitment process. President of Omega Omega Omega Xavier Conzet (‘19) describes the first night of member initiation for his fraternity.

   “We pick them up from their rooms on pick up night and we do some bonding activities that are completely optional at every point,” Conzet said. “No hazing is ever involved because we want to be as welcoming as possible to as many people as possible, which is also why we allow anyone of any gender to pledge our fraternity.”

Photo courtesy of luther.edu
Sorority Chi Theta Rho is one of six Greek life organizations currently accepting new members.

During pledge month, pledges will participate in a variety of activities such as dressing up, participating in events put on by Greek organizations, and volunteering for the charities that each organization partners with. Each organization has their own philanthropy that they volunteer for throughout the year.

   “For Chi Theta Rho, our philanthropy is to stand against sex trafficking,” President of Chi Theta Rho Tressa Forrest (‘19) said.  “We work closely with organizations called the Red Thread Movement and the Free the Girls Bra Drive.”

   Despite the fact that hazing is not permitted, some pledges are nervous about the upcoming pledge month. Elayna Kiehne (‘21), who plans to pledge Omega Omega Omega, feels conflicting emotions about the pledge tasks she will have to complete.

   “I’m nervous now because I don’t want to run around on campus naked or something,” Kiehne said. “But I don’t know, I feel like once I join, it’ll be a good community to be part of and just having that extra family to hang out with will be awesome.”

   Pledge month at Luther is intended to be an enjoyable experience for pledges and active members alike, as they meet the new members of their organization.  The bonds between pledges that are gained through Greek Life activities are strong and meant to last a lifetime.

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