Luther’s Greek life is bouncing back from the last school year

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Sorority Tau Delta Gamma, photo courtesy of Kelsey Hubble (‘22)

Over the past year, Luther College has lost half of its Greek life organizations. Fraternities Tri Omega (OOO) and Zeta Tau Psi (ZTY), and sorority Chi Theta Rho (XOP) were all disbanded last year. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Luther’s Greek affiliated groups are down to only three remaining organizations––sororities Tau Delta Gamma (TDG) and Alpha Beta Psi (ABY), and fraternity Sigma Chi Theta (EXO). TDG president Kelsey Hubble (‘22) offered her perspective on the situation.

“It’s difficult because we’re just a smaller school trying to have multiple Greek groups on campus,” Hubble said. “A lot of the time, there is one [Greek organization] that has a lot of members, and others aren’t able to get as many. It’s hard to tell why that’s happening, and it’s sad.”

Not only are Greek organizations on campus worrying about their survival, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must also worry about keeping current members connected. Hubble explained that the pandemic caused serious challenges with keeping members invested in the organization.

“Normally, we’d meet every Wednesday, and we couldn’t do that in person,” Hubble said. “Especially because our group is larger––there were 50 members last year––so we had to move on to Zoom. We didn’t really require [attendance at] meetings, so we really just felt disconnected throughout the year.”

EXO president Canon Reece (‘22) said they had the same issue, but also had to survive a change in leadership, and were forced to revive their organization.

“During the spring, we [had] to change leadership,” Reece said. “After, we sat down together as a group, I believe there were twelve of us back then. We were like, ‘Okay, what are we going to do to save this fraternity?’ We really needed to band together and pool our resources to think of a way we can get back on campus and show off our organization.”

Despite all the difficulties from last year, Luther’s Greek life organizations are trying their best to stay active on campus and in the surrounding community. To this end, Hubble has come up with a plan for her sorority, TDG.

“As of right now, we’re trying to come up with some new events,” Hubble said. “I know for our fall formal, we invited [EXO] so we could get to know them a little more. Also, we’d really like to try and host a fundraising event. In the spring semester we always have a bowling night where we raise money for breast cancer awareness, and we invite everyone from the college. We’re trying to figure out what’s best to include the whole campus.”

It is a challenge right now for all Greek life, but members say their organizations are essential to the Luther community. President of Inter-Greek Council Hope Gilbertson (‘22) expressed that Greek life is a great way to stay engaged with the Luther community and make new.

“Greek life is important,” Gilbertson said. “It offers a really fun outlet to pursue activities, to be involved in service––it’s really about giving back to Luther, as well as the surrounding community. It’s also just a wonderful way to meet new people. I’ve met sixty plus people in my years in Greek life and I really wouldn’t have connected [with them] otherwise.”

Because of this connection, Gilbertson also feels that it is her responsibility to support the three Greek affiliated groups remaining on campus. Although there are challenges, Gilbertson is optimistic about the direction of Luther’s Greek life.

“With COVID-19, things just got lost in last year’s craziness,” Gilbertson said. “But I think we’re still going strong with the three [groups] that are left. Having new members really keeps us growing, but while there’s less of us, I still think we’re a really powerful group.”

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