Incoming freshmen and returning students came out in record numbers yesterday to meet members of Cornell’s Greek system at the Endless Summer carnival on the Arts Quad.
The carnival allowed students to meet members of different greek houses and see all of the activities and projects that the system offers, according to event organizers. In all, there were 30 fraternities, 13 sororities and two Multi-Cultural Greek Letter Council houses present.
Individual houses, as well as the three councils that comprise Cornell’s Greek system, had booths at the carnival. The booths had activities, such as tie dye t-shirts, body painting and volleyball, as well as pictures of house activities.
Members of each house were present to explain to freshmen all that the Greek system has to offer.
“[The Greek houses] give you an opportunity to get involved in so much. We have philanthropy projects, programs with professors, children’s’ activities. There is something for everyone,” said Jenna Lewis ’03, president of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
According to Jessica Feinstein ’03, vice president for programming of the Panhellenic Council and member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the event was designed to show freshmen that the Greek system creates a smaller community and helps them find their niche on campus.
“Each house and the Greek system as a whole can make the freshmen feel more welcome and less intimidated by the large campus,” Feinstein said.
The purpose of the event, according to Feinstein, was not to recruit new
members, but to portray the Greek system in a positive manner and show all that the system has to offer. Formal member recruitment does not begin until the spring semester.
“The focus is meant to be off recruitment and on the Greek system’s
accomplishments and the fun activities that we have to offer,” added Lindsay Williams ’03, vice president for communications of the Panhellenic Council and member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
According to Williams, the turnout for the event was “exceptional” and much higher than at similar events in previous years. She attributed the high turnout to the weather, publicity and an Orientation Week date which corresponded with more people passing through the Arts Quad.
The event organizers also wanted to show freshmen their goals for the
upcoming academic year. Already on the calendar is a blood drive, crayon carnival and public service weekend. Last year, the Greek system completed 30,000 hours of community service and raised over $10,000 for the Greek Challenge, in cooperation with OnSite Volunteer Services, according to event literature.
Although there is no formal challenge in place for this year, Jason Conn ’03, vice president of University and Community Relations for the Interfraternity Council, expects members to exceed last year’s record.
“Each year, the Greek system has been picking up more and more hours of
community service. We haven’t talked about it yet, but I wouldn’t be
surprised if we beat what we did last year,” said Conn, a member of the Sigma Epsilon fraternity.
According to Adria Nobles, assistant dean of students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, members of the three councils want to increase the number of students involved in the Greek system, which will allow the houses to be a stronger influence on the community and will give them the ability to embark on more large scale projects.
Also on the agenda for this year is an anti-hazing summit for fraternities.
Archived article by Seth Harris