Dec. 2022 Department Debrief: Sorority and Fraternity Life
December 14, 2022
Sorority and Fraternity Life
To contact Sorority and Fraternity Life: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Contact form
Like any other college university in the nation, navigating the various existing offices can sometimes be a stressful and confusing experience. Department Debrief is a new monthly article from the Parent and Family Relations office dedicated to helping family members and supporters better understand the services, opportunities, and support offered by particular offices for students.
This month, our office met with staff from Sorority and Fraternity Life, an office that is dedicated to maintaining a healthy, inclusive atmosphere while promoting social responsibility with Greek Life at The Ohio State University. Learn how Sorority and Fraternity Life is there for you and your student while navigating Greek Life.
1. You are running late to see the holiday light showing in your hometown because your family has asked you to describe your office in 30 seconds or less. What would you say to make sure you make it on time?
The Sorority and Fraternity Life is located within the Student Life office. Using their Standards of Excellence, the Sorority and Fraternity Life at The Ohio State University ventures to maintain a safe, inclusive, and healthy atmosphere within Greek Life while promoting an environment that encourages growth and social responsibility. As stated by Hunter Hartwig, the Associate Director of Council Leadership within Sorority and Fraternity life, “We are the department within the office of Student Life that supports all Greek lettered organizations that identify as social fraternities.” With over 60 chapters, the Sorority and Fraternity Life thrives to provide guidance and assistance to Greek Life at The Ohio State University while simultaneously being a center of support to parents, students, and staff with concerns.
A common concern for both parents and students regarding Greek Life at college universities is hazing (dangerous initiation rituals). As concern regarding these initiation rituals has increased in recent years, the Sorority and Fraternity Life is dedicated to ensuring safety for all students seeking membership within Greek Life. As stated by Hunter, “We, as a staff, work together to support our chapters through educational programming, safety and risk management, harm reduction practices, leadership development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives…all of which align with the University’s mission and values.” In addition to Collins Law (Ohio’s Anti-hazing Act) that requires all staff and students to report suspected hazing activities while being educated on possible preventive strategies, The Ohio State University has an anti-hazing education committee that requires all students to complete educational anti-hazing modules. Hunter further supported the benefits of these modules by stating the required trainings have resulted in tremendous impacts on students’ understandings of what is and what is not considered hazing.
Greek Life at The Ohio State University is colossal in the number of opportunities it provides to your student. Providing another way to connect with student, leadership, and service organizations while gaining new relationships and meeting campus staff and faculty, Greek Life is a way for your student to elevate their experience. As Hunter stated, “While I think there are plenty of other ways to make those kinds of connections at Ohio State, Fraternity life is just one way students can find those pathways.” Greek Life is a lifelong membership that also provides opportunities beyond college.
2. What is one word of advice you would offer to families and students for success at The Ohio State University?
The Ohio State University is a campus vast in its experiences, opportunities, clubs, and services. During our interview with Hunter, he stated he encourages students to be open to new experiences but to also be aware of their ability to say no: “Understand when you are in a place where you are feeling overcommitted or overwhelmed because it is okay to take a step back and focus on the things that are important to you and that are a priority.” The Ohio State University can be overwhelming with its mass number of opportunities and resources like any other college campus but understanding what will advance your student as an individual and what will improve their experience is important.
Despite its size, The Ohio State University provides various services that help students navigate it (such as Student Advocacy). Taking advantage of these resources and utilizing what The Ohio State University provides your student is a step in the right direction towards improving their experience while attending school. Prioritizing your students experience while encouraging them to feel comfortable with saying no when they are overwhelmed or peer pressured is essential. As Hunter stated, “It can be overwhelming to come to a school where there are so many opportunities and so many resources available to you, which is wonderful. But you (as a student) know what is really going to elevate your experience and what matters the most to you.” Elevating your student's experience is important and partially a reason for our monthly Department Debriefs article but discussing with your student the significance of saying no in uncomfortable situations is just as important.
3. What is one service you offer students that you wish they took advantage of more?
A new addition that recently started this year at the Office of Student Life is affinity spaces. Affinity groups are supportive spaces and communities for individuals of a particular race, faith, or even those who identify with a similar sexuality and/or gender. Groups for the LGBTQ+, for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, female-or-male-identified individuals, international students and more, all exist to provide a comfortable and safe atmosphere for individuals with similar experiences to further develop relationships, acquire skills to manage their mental health, and meet with students who may have experienced or be experiencing similar challenges. Affinity groups provide an opportunity to various student populations at The Ohio State University to meet with other individuals that share a common interest, experience, or attribute, further
providing an inclusive and welcoming environment to all students. As Hunter stated, “I just hope to see a lot of our students attending those and getting to know students who share some of those same social identities and knowing there is a community within their own community.” Although they are not specifically part of Sorority and Fraternity Life, affinity groups can be found on the Counseling and Consultation Services website. With affinity groups, The Ohio State University is going a step further to make sure any and all students obtain the best experience possible while attending school.
4. What upcoming events/deadlines do you have for students and parents that you would like them to know about?
At the Ohio State University, spring semester is typically the largest recruitment period for Greek Life. With the Panhellenic Associations primary recruitment process beginning in January, Hunter would like to remind your student to register for primary recruitment by Monday, January 9th. With a short application and registration fee, your student can apply for recruitment in just a few minutes. Besides primary recruitment, Hunter also stated your student should be aware of the required registration grade release that must be completed for three of the Greek Life councils: the Fraternity Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. If your student is interested in joining one of these three councils, it is recommended they submit their grade release soon (though there is no particular deadline) so they can receive information about upcoming events. As stated by Hunter, “The other fraternity council in particular, will host an orientation for anyone looking to join a fraternity in the IFC. On Wednesday, January 11th, we will be hosting a tabling fair on the 12th, and we will offer Chapter House Tours on the 13th.” With a busy schedule that begins next semester, Hunter recommends your that student check all Chapter Instagram’s for recruitment schedules and to contact Sorority and Fraternity life with any concerns or questions.
Parent and Family Relations