Sean Keohane / Arts Director

Tim Wagner
Student Life Editor

Greek life has been seeing an increase in pledges despite COVID-19.

Keene State College Student Center Programs Director Brandon Carta said, “I know that we have over 200 people in our community right now and I don’t know when the last time we had that was.”

The growth in Greek life could be due to the new processes being rolled out by Carta. Carta said, “People have this fear that they want to join, but maybe they won’t get in, ‘what happens if I don’t get into a group’, and it’s nice now, because we can show people well that’s not common.” Carta also said, “There was a lot of mystery of fraternities and sororities, and there doesn’t necessarily need to be, our groups are doing better about being transparent about their new member education policies, and us as an office are I think we are doing a better job at enforcing a GPA requirement.” Carta explained, “We have had this policy that says, if you want to be a student in a fraternity or sorority, you have to have a 2.5 GPA from Keene State and 12 credits… This year, what we were able to do was have a signup registration form on the front end and that allowed us to check, as soon as someone came in: what are their grades, what are their GPA credits, and we were able to notify people immediately, ‘Hey you’re just not eligible yet; here’s some resources to get your grades up or get more credits’ or whatever. And we were able to give chapters, ‘Here’s just the list of all the eligible people.’ So they weren’t necessarily bringing someone through a whole process, getting to the end and finding out they weren’t even eligible to begin with; and that we did for fraternities and sororities and I think it really helped.”

In regards to COVID-19 adjustments, Carta said, “We did very similar things to what we did in the fall and what we did for Winter Celebration as far as distanced setups we had recruitment counselors for the men and women who are active members of our community who lead a small group of people around the building.”

Carta said the group size was around seven to eight people for the groups of students being given tours.

President of Alpha-Sigma-Phi and Equinox staff writer Cristian Valentin said, “It was definitely very different from how we usually do it. It was a lot more organized… We normally don’t have all four fraternities doing two nights together, but that was a big difference and gave everybody a chance to talk with everyone from recruitment.” Valentin also said, “I think initially people were kind of just like there are no parties so what’s the point of Greek life.”

Valentin said he believes COVID-19 has given Greek life an opportunity to show they are more than just houses to party at. Valentin said, “In a way, COVID has made it hard for students to get involved, and it has forced Greek life to adapt a little and be just like, ‘Hey, we say we are more than partying, but here’s us showing it.’”

 

Tim Wagner can be contacted at:
studentlife@kscequinox.com

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