Greek life expands on campus, talks possibility of housing

Oct. 12, 2015

Rachel Librach
rlibrach@uccs.edu

This semester, Greek Life had one of the largest number of applicants to show interest in the past 10 years.

This is due in part to steps the organizations have taken to increase awareness about Greek Life.

For example, every Wednesday, the sororities try to wear Greek letters, according to Joanna Rak, president of Panhellenic, the governing association for all UCCS sororities.

“We have been trying to do events like OSA and I feel we have done a really good job with PR and recruiting,” she said.

Events that Greek life hoped to reach out to students at included Greek Week, Clyde’s Kickoff, and the Club Fair.

“Greek Week was open to the community and I think that drew a lot of attention and was a nice way of introducing the Greeks,” said Mischa Smith, president of Pi Beta Phi.

“We did a lot of events before school started to help freshmen just coming in recognize some of the Greek societies available to them,” she said.

Travis Tafoya, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said Greek life at UCCS is different than Greek life at other universities.

“A lot of the students we did get are more interested in the networking and the brotherhood, so there’s a lot more interest in the actual meaning of Greek life,” he said.

Sororities, fraternities and the Office of Student Activities have worked together to expand Greek life on campus, said Smith.

“Stephen Cucchiara and Lisa Cohe (of OSA) have been extremely helpful in our success because they really got involved with us and planned more events centered around Greeks, encouraged us to join events and let us know of any upcoming events scheduled.”

While many of the applicants to the sororities and fraternities were incoming freshmen, there was also a significant amount of upperclassmen.

“I suppose that it has just been a matter for us Greeks to continually push ourselves to find new ways to get involved in the community and host events all students can join and enjoy,” Rak said.

The organizations are also introducing new programs in hopes of fostering more participation in the local community.

On Oct. 24, Pi Beta Phi is hosting a carnival with a local elementary school, James Madison Charter Academy.

“We will have events set up ranging from Halloween safety, Cookie Walk, Monster Mash Dance Room, Pumpkin Painting and a Mat Maze,” Smith said.

With the increase in Greek population, there might be more of a need for Greek housing.

“I want Greek housing to happen, but I know that’s really difficult because we are transforming our community and really just getting started as far as Greek society recognition and participation,” Smith said. “The first step is that we need to establish most of the Greek members as on-campus residents.”

Tafoya said he has spoken to the chancellor about the possibility of Greek housing on campus.

“But behind that comes funding and support from the university itself. Ideally it would be a partnership between our organizations and the university so that it is run correctly and so that it’s a healthy environment for our students,” he said.

“I think the larger the university is going to get, the more students are going to want to associate and be part of our organizations and clubs.”

For more information about Greek Life on campus, students can visit sll.uccs.edu/org/greeklife.