Greek Life recruitment underway, giving students a new place to call home.

Twenty-eight different fraternities and sororities are recruiting in the upcoming week, looking to add to a community that has grown more than 30 percent in the last six years.

CSU Greek Life is the largest student organization on campus, right after the Associated Students of CSU. Currently, there are 1,600 students involved with Greek Life, which makes up eight percent of the student body population.

“Greek Life has gotten bigger, but because CSU is growing, the percentage hasn’t changed,” said Patty Casullo, Panhellenic Recruitment Chair.

But unlike ASCSU, where affiliation ends after graduation, being a part of a CSU fraternity or sorority means “joining a lifetime membership,” said Hayden Genth, the vice president of administration for the Interfraternity Council.

“People don’t join organizations, people join people,” Genth said.

A typical recruitment process for a fraternity involves students attending Greek Life informational meetings, organized events, visiting chapter tables out on the Lory Student Center Plaza and simply speaking to a member of a chapter house.

Fraternity events include attending football games, bowling, barbeques and other outdoor activities.

“I’m very happy to have three weeks to meet guys who are interested, because these are the people who I’m going to have their backs for life,” Genth said.

Nick Patenaude, Alpha Sigma Phi’s recruitment director, believes that it is important for his brothers to get to know potential new members and make them feel a part of the brotherhood from the beginning.

While fraternities can initiate new members at any time, six sororities participate in formal recruitment from Sept. 14 through Sept. 17.

This year is a big year for sorority recruitment, according to Patty Casullo, the Panhellenic recruitment chair.

Formal recruitment lasts three days, with an additional day where bids are placed. This year, there was also an optional open house Sunday, Sept. 9.

“Of the days, there are different rounds and each has a conversation theme,” Casullo said.

On day one, the women visit six PHC sororities, discussing Panhellenic and sisterhood. The next day, they visit up to four PHC sororities to learn about the philanthropy and membership options. The final round is preference night, where the women visit two chapters where the members showcase why the house means so much to them.

After touring Panhellenic (PHC) sororities each day, young women rank each house according to which they prefer the most. Those same sororities, however, will also determine which individuals they think fit best in their group, this is called a mutual selection process.

Many incoming students tend to get intimidated by these four days, but Casullo advises recruits to keep an open mind and stay positive.

“It’s important to know all your options,” she said.

Both Casullo and Patenaude have similar advice to students going through recruitment. They believe it is important to make sure students fit in the chapter and that they remain true to who they are as individuals.

Each CSU chapter also participates with and donates to a specific philanthropy. For example, the Chi Omega chapter donates to the Make-A-Wish Foundation while Zeta Tau participates with their national philanthropy, Breast Cancer and Education. For the Interfraternity Council, examples include Sigma Chi’s involvement with the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Sigma Pi Epsilon’s support of the Youth AIDs organization.

Greek students gave additional reasons to make a lifelong commitment to their chapters.

“The amount of involvement and the opportunities it opens sets you apart,” Patenaude said. “Not only that, but it gives students an outlet for internal growth and reflection upon themselves.”

“Greek Life holds its members accountable to a higher standard,” Genth said. “Not just in Greek Life, but in every part of life.”

Collegian writers Sean Meeds and Megan Timlin can be reached at news@collegian.com.