Sororities, fraternities meet interested students
February 11, 2017
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The FMU chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) held its biannual open house, inviting interested students to learn about each of the different fraternities and sororities at FMU.
The open house was held on Jan. 22 in Chapman Auditorium. It began with a welcome from Assistant Dean of Students LaTasha Brand. She then gave an overview of the NPHC Open House program to the attendees so that they would know what to expect.
According to Brand, for anyone interested in joining an NPHC organization, attendance at this event is mandatory. Interested students do not have to attend the event during the semester they decide to join, but they must have attended at least one of the open houses during their time at FMU prior to joining any NPHC organization.
“You have to attend the open house because it gives you the opportunity to understand these organizations, what they do and how they will help you,” Brand said.
Following this introduction, members of FMU’s NPHC organizations participated in a “Greek unity stroll and chant” in which they came together to dance and cheer. The purpose of this was to show that, even though they are members of different organizations, they are all united under the NPHC umbrella.
FMU has multiple NPHC organizations, including fraternities Iota Phi Theta and Omega Phi Psi and sororities Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta. Although each of these organizations is separate, they all come together for different events throughout the academic year.
After the unity stroll, interested students were ushered to Leatherman Science Facility (LSF) where they were separated into groups. Each fraternity and sorority occupied a room in LSF, and the groups visited each room where they were informed of what values the different groups stand for and the activities they are involved in.
Brand said the reason each interested student has to listen to the information about each NPHC organization is so that he or she is fully informed of his or her options before making a big decision.
The event came to a close with a discussion about the FMU NPHC policy on hazing. Brand informed attendees of the open house that all FMU organizations are strictly non-hazing organizations.
Hazing, which Brand described as embarrassing or ridiculing to excess or physically harming someone, will be punished by the office of student affairs and/or FMU’s president. Brand said that this will apply whether the hazing occurs on FMU’s campus or not and that any instances of hazing should be reported.
For Justin Gaskins, senior general business major and Polaris of Iota Phi Theta fraternity at FMU, joining an NPHC organization was key to his college experience. He said that he participated in every other organization and extracurricular activity that interested him, and he knew he had to join a fraternity to make his college years feel complete.
Gaskins said that the purpose of the open house is to give students the opportunity to speak to all NPHC groups on campus to better understand the groups.
“People should know that we are both active and inclusive,” Gaskins said. “What students see on campus—events, probates, strolling, chanting, stepping— is just a small bit of what these organizations do.”
According to Gaskins, the NPHC organizations are active in both the FMU community and the entire Pee Dee region.
“Our presence on campus is to illustrate that students can work really hard and have fun while doing it,” Gaskins said.
Gaskins said that interested students should know that NPHC members range greatly in their interests and academic areas, with members in the honors program, student government and FMU Diplomats, as well as a variety of majors. He said there is a place for everyone in Greek life.
NPHC members are required to remain full-time FMU students and maintain GPA requirements. This, Gaskins said, is why people often recognize their full potential after joining NPHC organizations.