Recruitment for Greek life is upon us here at UWM. It marks a time of year rife with Greek-letter clad poster boards and friendly bake sales. Members of Greek organizations, also known as brothers and sisters, can be seen around the Union and Spaights Plaza encouraging students to listen to the opportunities their organization provides as well as its role in the UWM community.
During recruitment, fraternities and sororities hold events around campus to interact and inform prospective members or pledges. Organizations like Alpha Kappa Psi, a coed business fraternity, hold nightly events during recruitment; which include a bowling night at the U-Rec center and a free dinner at the Gasthaus.
Stephanie Sorenson of Alpha Kappa Psi describes the goal of the recruitment process as reaching out to “similar people who want similar things.”
Annabelle Arney, the UWM sorority president and UWM Greek Council representative says, “Recruitment is really important,” adding, “It keeps our chapters thriving.”
Arney says recruitment is very important to the expansion of their system, especially for new organizations like Alpha Omicron Pi, the newest addition to UWM’s Greek community.
In order to become a sorority at UWM, Alpha Omicron Pi was required to go through an extension process. During this process, various organizations were given the chance to give a presentation to a committee of staff and students from various organizations. The committee then voted on which organizations they were in favor of joining the UWM community.
This year is also the first official year for Kappa Sigma; a national fraternity that came to UWM last year as a colony. In the Greek system, a colony is a probationary body awaiting official recognition from the national chapter headquarters. Sophomore Fredo Bernal, a member of the fraternity, says he is “very excited about the frat’s new status,” and that he’s “looking forward to bonding with the new pledges.”
Greek organizations here at UWM are very involved in community and charity work.
The sisters of Gamma Phi Beta work with the non-profit organization, Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run is an organization that trains young girls to run a 5k, simultaneously teaching them about maintaining a healthy body image, and what it means to be truly healthy.
Kappa Tau participates in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk each year at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Juvenile Diabetes became an issue that hit close to home for the Kappa Tau’s after they lost a sister to the disease. The members of the organization are involved in raising and donating money to the JDRF. Last year they raised $3,000 dollars for the walk.
Many Greek students believe it is unfortunate this year’s recruitment was punctuated with allegations that Tau Kappa Epsilon, or TKE, was involved in drugging UWM students at a party with date rape drugs. The party, and aforementioned allegations which took place on Saturday, September 13, resulted in the arrest of TKE president Thomas Kreinbring. Kreinbring is currently facing charges of possession of 200 grams of marijuana with the intent to sell, possession of illegally obtained prescription pills, and maintaining a drug house.
The pending allegations score a dark time for not only the public image of the Greek organizations here at UWM, but also the UWM community abroad.
Greek communities on campus have since strove to make it clear; they do not support the actions of TKE and find the news concerning and troubling. They wish to convey this incident does not reflect the Greek community as a whole, and will continue to try to make a positive impact on campus and abroad.