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Could Greek Life be for you?

Kyle Myers has spent his last two years at USF organizing fundraisers and community service activities, while pursing a degree in engineering. He is the president of the interfraternity council, a USF ambassador and a member of Beta Theta Pi.

He attributes his long list of positive achievements to his involvement in Greek Life.

And for incoming freshmen, according to Dyonne Butler, the coordinator for Greek Life, becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority is a great way to make lasting friendships and help the community, while building an impressive resume.

Some of the benefits associated with participating in an organization like Beta Theta Pi, Butler said, are strengthened interpersonal relationships, leadership, social interaction and program organization.

“The members define the organization, so if you want to have a good organization, you’re going to have to work at it to make it the kind of organization that you want to be involved in,” Butler said.

But Myers represents just one out of 37 other USF organizations, which have their own individual philosophies and objectives.

“A lot of freshmen come in with stereotypes of what a fraternity should be like and then they find out that they are absolutely nothing like what our frats are actually like,” Myers said.

To prevent these misconceptions, which sometimes cause students not to get involved, those interested in Greek Life are encouraged to research USF’s organizations before they join.

One good way to do this is to attend an “Info Night” session. This year’s male recruitment week, traditionally known as “Rush Week,” kicks off with “Info Night” on Sept. 12. Females have already had their week of recruitment, which took place Aug. 23-27.

When Myers attended “Info Night” in 2003, he looked at seven different fraternities, their philanthropic achievements, community service and their relationships with other fraternities and sororities.

After this, several days of planned socials were held to help students like Myers decide which fraternity to join. And after Myers attended two fraternities’ functions and dinners, he made his decision.

On Friday, he received an envelope with two “bids” from each fraternity, made his selection and returned the envelope to the interfraternity council.

That evening, a Bid House Ceremony was held for all the new pledges.

“This is where each fraternity gets to see who the potential new members are,” Myers said.

This year’s ceremony will be held at Greek Village, where seven fraternities and seven sororities are housed.

Following Recruitment Week, there is an eight- to 10-week pledge period in which new members must complete several goals and tasks.

“You’re supposed to learn your fraternities history, who your founding fathers are and what your organizations philosophies are,” Myers said. “Then you also have do some community service and keep a certain GPA. Those who don’t complete all the tasks may not be recommended to stay in as a member.”

New members have to pay $500- $600 a semester, a fee some non-Greek students think pays for friendships.

According to Butler, this isn’t true.

“Your dues could pay for anything from expenses for a community event to cancer research,” Butler said.