One of the perks of fraternity life: bro hugs!
One of the perks of fraternity life: bro hugs! (Colroado Daily file photo)

CU re-establishes ties with fraternities

After two years of fishing for takers in its bid to re-establish ties with fraternities, the University of Colorado announced in July that it has reeled in two outside chapters, making the launch of its own Interfraternity Council official following a 12-year hiatus.

Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Tau Gamma will be moving onto the Boulder scene in the upcoming academic year, although technically, there will be no fraternity houses to move into. At least, not at first.

"Neither one of them have plans to have an actual facility," said Stephanie Baldwin, Greek Life assistant director for the university. "They would like to focus more on recruitment and setting up the chapters for success."

Fraternities officially broke off from the university in 2004 after the alcohol-poisoning death of Chi Psi pledge Lynn "Gordie" Bailey Jr. In the aftermath, CU asked the groups to sign an agreement to delay rush until the spring and ensure each chapter had a live-in supervisor.

Boulder's fraternities — there are currently 19 — didn't bite and instead formed an independent, off-campus Interfraternity Council.

CU had been trying to start its own Interfraternity Council for the past two years without success. Sororities and multicultural Greek groups are affiliated with the university and have two CU staffers as advisers. CU is believed to be the only university in the country with a Greek program where fraternities aren't affiliated with the school, but other Greek organizations are.


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— By Elizabeth Hernandez, Staff Writer

Want to go Greek, where the bonds of friendship are only a sip away from your first taste of jungle juice and the living quarters resemble something straight out of the "Night's Watch"?

You're not alone.

Roughly 14 percent of University of Colorado undergrads are involved with Greek life on the Boulder campus.

Sometimes sisterhood means dressing up as hotdogs to raise money for Special Olympics programs. Cliff Grassmick/ Staff Photographer
Sometimes sisterhood means dressing up as hotdogs to raise money for Special Olympics programs. Cliff Grassmick/ Staff Photographer

Even the University is starting to come around on those once-eschewed dens of sin, announcing earlier this month that it planned to re-establish ties with fraternities amid two new chapters affiliating with the Boulder campus.

We broke down the different types of sororities and fraternities you can join, what it will cost you and what to expect during recruitment and beyond.

Sororities and fraternities

There are two types of councils in the University of Colorado Greek system: the Panhellenic Executive Council and the Multicultural Greek Council.

The Panhellenic Executive Council consists of nine national chapters and one associate member that is religiously based, according to Greek life officials.

Recruitment for Panhellenic sororities runs Sept. 1-7. Look out for the Greek Life Fair at the University Memorial Center in August, which is an opportunity for new female students to learn about the nine chapters.

The Multicultural Greek Council encompasses seven sororities and fraternities that tend to focus on social justice, diversity and culture.

Since 2005, fraternities have not been connected to the university officially. The Interfraternity Council acts as a private community organization, but still recruits and caters to male students at CU. There are currently 16 fraternities and two interest groups (basically, fraternity chapters that are in the process of forming) in Boulder.

Look out for formal IFC recruitment events for fraternities in late September.

In the fall of 2015, the university announced that it would like to re-affiliate with the fraternities and launched its own fraternity community for new chapters that would like to start in Boulder. So far, the university has not made any announcements about new fraternity chapters joining its Greek life community.

Cost

Some sororities and fraternities have houses for members to live in. There are unofficial, off-campus houses, and there are official chapter houses, which are privately owned and maintained by local or national alumni house corporations.

Some chapters require members to live in these houses, and some do not, but Greek life officials say living in Greek life housing is comparable to other housing options.

It can cost around $1,300 the first year after you join a chapter, which includes some one-time expenses. After that, it's slightly less expensive each year, depending on which chapter you join and whether or not you live in a Greek house. Ask about cost during recruitment.

What to expect

Greek life for you probably isn't going to resemble the "neighbors" movies. You can expect social events, philanthropies and volunteer events, friends and even studying (gasp).

Recruitment varies between the three types of Greek organizations. Pan-hellenic recruitment is extremely formal and structured (to prevent any funny business). You can expect five days of constant talking with active members (women who are already initiated into the sororities), skits, plenty of snacks and maybe even a little bit of heartbreak. The process doesn't guarantee that everyone will end up in a sorority or end up in the sorority of their choice.

Recruitment for Multicultural Greek Council chapters is more informal, starting with a meeting to gauge interest.

Fraternity recruitment is a mix of formal and informal. Interested men can visit different chapters informally during a two-week recruitment period, but they must register.

One popular Greek event is Dance Marathon, an all-day event hosted each year by the Panhellenic Executive Council. In years past, this event has raised more than $40,000 for specific charities and organizations.

If you're looking for some leadership roles to put on that resume, Greek life can help you out. There are numerous leadership positions within each chapter and within CU Greek life as a whole.

Anthony Hahn: twitter.com/_anthonyhahn