Even though it’s been a few years since I sent my sons off to college, I remember clearly the fears that accompanied my enthusiasm. I would be making a transition from knowing their friends, attending their school events, and knowing where they were, to wondering whether they were studying, making friends, and finding their place on a large campus. I wanted them to be successful, safe, and happy.
As someone who has worked with University of Michigan students for the past thirty-three years, I can reassure you that there are many people who are committed to making your students’ college experience the best possible. While no one can take the place of family, you should know that there is genuine concern for your students’ well-being.
Among the opportunities at the University of Michigan are hundreds of student organizations, all contributing to the quality of campus life. No matter where your students’ interests lie, they will certainly find one or more organizations that can meet their needs.
As Director of Greek Life, I have the pleasure of working with Michigan’s fraternities and sororities. I’m proud to say that Michigan has one of the oldest, largest, and strongest Greek communities in the nation. Opportunities for friendship, scholastic support, leadership, and service are numerous and significant. Much of your students’ education will occur outside of the classroom, and Greek membership can be a positive force that makes college life not only more enjoyable but more enriching.
The only way for your students to decide if Greek life is something they want to pursue is to participate in Recruitment, often referred to as “Rush” or “Intake.” There is no obligation to join, so there’s nothing to lose by checking it out. The key is to ask questions that will provide the information to choose wisely.
Once students have chosen their fraternity or sorority, a period of new member education follows. This usually lasts about six weeks and is a time for students to further contemplate their choices. Hopefully, their experience will have been positive, and “initiation” will begin lifelong membership. If, however, students feel membership has not met their expectations, they may choose not to be initiated.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the knowledge that Greek membership has positively impacted students’ lives. I love hearing that their Greek experience helped them develop skills that have proven valuable in their careers or graduate school. I love hearing that their best friends were made in their fraternities and sororities, and that memories of their Greek experience are among the best they have of Michigan.
To help the Student Life continue making a difference in students’ lives, please consider making a gift.