Greek life sees 25% increase since 2020


Northern Star File Photo

Greek community around campus actively involved during all home football games through fall 2021.

By Madelaine Vikse, Editor-in-Chief

DeKALB Individual Greek life organizations at NIU have experienced a decrease in incoming members, partly due to COVID-19. NIU President Lisa Freeman has created the Greek Life Task Force, aimed at coming up with ideas and forming a plan to get more students involved.

The task force will have formal meetings once a month and had its most recent meeting this past Wednesday, where the four Greek life councils presented their ideas to members of the task force.

The four Greek life organization councils at NIU include the Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Panhellenic Association (PHA) and the United Greek Council (UGC), according to the NIU fraternity and sorority website.

Formal recruitment did not take place in Fall 2020 because of COVID-19, and did not resume until Spring 2021, said Kelly Olson, assistant dean of Students at NIU and liaison to the task force.

“Pan-Hellenic has about 46 new members that have joined their community which is pretty exciting; every chapter within Pan-Hellenic has been able to add new members,” Olson said. “Our IFC numbers are still coming in, so I would estimate as a total we’ve probably added close to 80 new members to the community as a whole.”

This is the first fall recruitment since 2019, and numbers have been lower than usual, but overall Greek life organizations have seen about a 25% increase compared to last year, Olson said.

“IFC is actually launching a secondary recruitment the week of October 25,” Olson said. “So that’s really exciting too because now that allows students who aren’t members that had a little bit of time to adjust back to college, so they’re going to be able to have an intentional way to join the community too.”

The numbers, in terms of members of Greek life organizations, will grow to be higher next fall because of the larger number of first-year students, meaning that those individuals can be involved in Greek life for a longer period of time, said James Holmes, a senior biochemistry major and vice president of the Sigma Nu fraternity at NIU.

“This current fall, the average intake for IFC was about 14 members per chapter, but I mean you’re going to see a lot of varying sizes,” Holmes said. “For instance, we have chapters that are two people in size, and then we have other chapters that are about 50 people in size.”

Olson said the exact numbers for every Greek life organization will be released in the spring, including the UGC and NPHC councils.

“I think Greek life organizations provide a chance to better yourself in ways that you couldn’t really imagine,” said Alex Bueno, a junior marketing major, chapter president for Delta Chi and IFC representative for the Greek life task force. “For example, they push you outside of your comfort zone; they make you do things that you know are great for the community with philanthropy events, fraternal events or sisterhood events.”