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Sunday, December 03, 2023

Greek life can offer a home away from home

For freshmen separated from high school pals and living away from home for the first time, it's hard to turn down the chance to make about 100 or so friends almost instantly.

That's one of the reasons more than 5,000 UF students are members of one of UF's social sororities or fraternities, according to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs.

Options include 16 Panhellenic Council sororities, 25 Interfraternity Council fraternities, nine traditionally black National Pan-Hellenic sororities and 10 Multicultural Greek Council chapters.

Maryam Laguna, president of UF's Multicultural Greek Council, said Greek organizations provide students who aredaunted by their choices of clubs with a way of finding a group of students with similar interests to their own.

"It makes our big campus a little smaller," Laguna said.

Craig Thompson, president of UF's Interfraternity Council, said the Greek lifestyle encourages students to take advantage of their college years.

The council governs 25 of UF's fraternities.

Thompson said networking with alumni often gives students in Greek organizations an upper hand for careers after graduation.

"It's a common bond you have with hundreds of thousands of people around the country," he said.

Many members of fraternities and sororities are involved with prominent organizations such as Florida Blue Key, Florida Cicerones and Student Government.

In fact, most SG leaders are members of sororities or fraternities, including Student Body President Kevin Reilly (Theta Chi Fraternity), Student Body Vice President Yooni Yi (Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority) and Student Body Treasurer Paul Drayton (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity).

Jessica Layne, president of the Panhellenic Council, said the mutual selection process of Panhellenic sorority recruitment ensures that students will find the group that fits them best.

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During recruitment week, potential new members visit each chapter and select which ones they like, while chapter leaders select the students they feel would best fit in their group.

"You'll have a close-knit group of friends that will be there for you," Layne said. "It's like having a home away from home."

Between socials with fellow chapters and philanthropies, there's rarely a dull moment.

In fact, according to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs Web site, these organizations are huge time commitments -- ones that are equivalent to taking a three-credit class.

Members often must complete required activities, such as risk management courses and weekly chapter meetings.

The cost of membership can also burn a considerable hole in students' wallets.

The average price for room and board at a Panhellenic sorority is $2,481 each semester, and the average price for room and board for an IFC fraternity is $1,655 a semester, according to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs Web site.

For more information on joining a sorority or fraternity, visit the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs' Web site at

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