Fraternity and sorority life at CSU

Fraternities and sororities at CSU are among the most academically driven and community-focused groups on campus. Their members keep bedrock traditions like Homecoming thriving and lead the charge in community service initiatives like Cans Around the Oval and Fall Clean Up.

Apart from well-known activities like these, you may wonder what day-to-day life in this community is like. We sat down with current Fraternity and Sorority Life members Joselyn, Alex, and Carrie to learn the ins and outs of Greek life at CSU. Our conversations show just how impactful this community is at Colorado State.

Joselyn Loya, Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority, Inc.

Joselyn Loya
Year

Sophomore

Major

Human Development and Family Studies

Ethnic Studies minor

Joined

Spring of freshman year

Joselyn, 2nd on the right, with her Pi Lambda Chi sisters.
Joselyn, 2nd on the right, with her Pi Lambda Chi sisters.

Why did you join?

Before college I was very skeptical about it and against it. After coming to campus and interacting with the women who are in the different sororities, I could see that they’re very driven people and committed to their education and want to support others in their journey. I just felt welcomed with open arms.

What’s life like as part of the Greek community at CSU?

It’s like a family to me, within my own sorority and also within the Multicultural Greek Council. It’s a big campus here at CSU, so it’s cool to see other people [on campus] who are wearing their letters and you just know that they’re part of Greek life — it gives you a place for belonging.

Being a Latina and a first generation student myself, it can be hard coming to college if you’re the first in your family. So having people who have the same aspirations, dreams, and goals helps you feel connected to somebody. It gives you a lot of hope. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my sisters  I probably wouldn’t have stayed in college.

There are a lot of professional development and community service opportunities too. In each organization you can choose to take on a specific role, like fundraising or philanthropy chair, VP, President, or treasurer, so there’s so many opportunities for growth — both personally and professionally.

What’s the recruitment process like?

Ten sororities and fraternities are under the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and we do pledging. For us, pledging is a little bit more intensive because each organization requires you to do something different that is special and unique. That’s what’s valuable — each one has their own process and reasons for doing what they do. Each also has its own timeline on how long it takes to become a member.

All MGC organizations hold information sessions the first couple weeks of the semester so that students can get to know the different fraternities and sororities, so the best way to learn about them is to attend the information sessions.

What’s your advice if someone is on the fence?

Meeting the people is one of the important things. Looking for sororities and fraternities online is a great resource, but it’s very good to get in contact with the people that are in the sororities so you can get to know them as people. Ask questions to get rid of your doubts and fears and be open-minded. Let those stereotypes go and see what they’re willing to offer you.

It’s a life-changing experience and will provide a lot of good friendships. If it wasn’t for my sorority I wouldn’t still have been at college.

Alex Parker, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity

Alex Parker, pictured second on the left.
Year

Senior

Major

Economics

Business minor

Joined

Fall of freshman year

Alex, 4th on the left, pictured with his fellow 2016-2017 executive board members.
Alex, 4th on the left, pictured with his fellow 2016-2017 executive board members.

Why did you join?

I didn’t think I was going to join a fraternity – my Dad was in one and it just didn’t sound like me. [After move-in] my roommate and I were sitting around wondering what we were going to do. My Ram Welcome leader, who’s actually an alum of the fraternity, said to just come out and look into events. After meeting the people in my fraternity, I found that it’s not your typical portrayal.

What’s life like as part of the Greek community at CSU?

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my fraternity brothers. I’ve had awesome opportunities and experiences, be it philanthropic or just getting to know people.

We have community service events like Fall Clean Up, and most fraternities and sororities will participate or pair up. Sometimes we go down to the Humane Society — we come in and just kind of help them out for the day. You get to meet a lot of new people and pet all the nice dogs.

What’s the recruitment process like?

Recruiting for fraternities feels very different than for sororities — it’s informal. You have events that you go to and it’s about making connections with people that you otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to meet.

To check out the events, you can go to the Fraternity and Sorority Life office and ask about them — we publish all rush events. If you’re interested in any organization you’re more than welcome to check them out. We also table in the [Lory Student Center] plaza or simply try to sit next to someone new in class and make connections.

What’s your advice if someone is on the fence?

If you’re not sure if it’s for you or don’t know if you want to do it, just try it. The worst thing you can do is [say to yourself] ‘this isn’t for me’. I always try something new when I’m in a new situation — it allows you to expand.

We would rather you come out and meet/get to know people than not come at all and miss the opportunity to try it out. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. I’m still friends with some guys who have opted out of my fraternity.

Carrie Monroe, Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Carrie Monroe
Year

Junior

Major

Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing

Spanish minor

Joined

Fall of freshman year

Carrie, 3rd row up on the right, poses with her sisters.
Carrie, 3rd row up on the right, poses with her sisters.

Why did you join?

My Dad was in a fraternity, and growing up he’d share stories of living in the fraternity house and the people he got to meet. This upcoming March, he’s going to be doing a golf tournament with a lot of the guys that were in his fraternity. So for me, it’s the life-long connection — getting such good opportunities to meet new people and form those connections.

What’s life like as part of the Greek community at CSU?

It’s true that what you put in is what you get out of it. My freshman year I joined and didn’t know much about it, but as you get to know more people the more it just feels like a home. My sophomore year I actually lived in the Pi Beta Phi house, and it was one of the greatest experiences of college. You live with 50 other people that you can come home to and talk to. There’s always someone to hang out with.

We also put on philanthropy events, or other chapters will have events going on, so you get to meet people not only from your own chapter but also people in the Greek community that you normally wouldn’t.

What’s the recruitment process like?

Rushing is kind of a whirlwind weekend, but it’s cool that it happens so quickly and then you can just get to know the girls that are part of your chapter. You go to all eight of the houses on the first day. Then you narrow it down and the next day can go back to up to five houses. Prep night is Monday – when you go to one or two houses. That Tuesday is bid day – when you actually say which chapter you want to be a part of.

After the first day you rank the houses, so if your first choice isn’t the right fit you still have your 2nd and 3rd choices. As long as you give yourself options, there’s a 99% chance that you’ll have a mutual match. We also have recruitment coaches who walk you through the process and help — I was a coach this past fall.

What’s your advice if someone is on the fence?

Give it a shot. I remember I signed up for recruitment the night before, because I wasn’t sure it was what I was looking for. Three years later here I am, and I’m so fortunate that I did this. Go through even if you’re not sure, because you’re going to have a great experience of being able to talk with different types of people. Formal recruitment also hones your interviewing skills, so it’s worth it — even if only for that professional experience.