Students interested in getting involved in Greek life will now have one more council to choose from.
Eight business, law and other professional fraternities are uniting to form the Professional Fraternity Council in an effort to collaborate on a more regular basis.
The councils that represent social fraternities and sororities on campus currently act as governing bodies above the individuals houses. But officials from professional fraternities said it’s unclear if the new council would fulfill a similar oversight role or whether the body would simply be an organization to unite the groups.
The idea of forming the council has been floating around since December 2008 when a few professional fraternity members contacted each other and suggested they work together on a more regular basis, said Samantha Greenberg, an LSA junior and the rush advisor for Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity.
“At that point we were really decentralized and only met together for one week a year,” she said. “Why not just continue it?”
Danielle Wong, an LSA senior and former secretary of Phi Chi Theta, a business and economics fraternity, said all the professional fraternity members had always thought a council was a good idea because the fraternities have had limited interaction with one another in the past.
“We thought a council will give every fraternity an equal say,” she said. “It’s the next step in helping all the fraternities grow and it allows all members to unite under one roof.”
Business senior and former president of Phi Chi Theta Cory Rosenfield, who has been heading up the effort to create the council, said forming the organization will indicate the importance of professional fraternities to the campus community.
“We feel that we could put the flagpole down and show the University that this is a worthwhile community and that all the professional fraternities are worthwhile to join since they give members opportunities they might not have anywhere else,” he said.
Jeremy Gove, an LSA senior and president of Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, said the council will help each organization and the community as a whole to grow.
“Basically, it was formed because many of us have very separate interests that often times coincide,” he said. “We thought that we could strengthen our individual groups and the whole entity of the professional organization by working together on campus.”
Because some of the professional fraternities are larger, Gove said they have a greater network and will be able to help out some of the smaller organizations.
“(The council) has a lot of potential to do a lot of good because individually our groups vary in size,” he said. “We’ll be able to pool all our resources together.”
Wong said she would have liked to see the council formed earlier, but it took a while to get all of the executive members of the fraternities on the same page.
“All the fraternities are in the right place and we have some really great people on the committee committed to making this happen,” she said. “This is the first time that it is really starting to get going and everyone is really invested in it.”
The Professional Fraternity Council will be a separate entity from the four existing Greek Councils, Wong said, since the current four are social fraternities, not academic ones.
Rosenfield said if the Professional Fraternity Council were to join under the same umbrella organization as the four existing Greek councils, it would be “a very small fish in a big pond” because they wouldn’t feel their unique goals were represented.
“We really feel that if eight of us are coming together, our goals are going to be a little more aligned and we’d be able to be more responsive to each other,” he said.
Rosenfield said the Professional Fraternity Council will aim to become an organization where students can get involved and work together to meet their goals.
“We all happen to be professional fraternities,” he said. “But we also could be considered organizations. We are just working together to form a professional community on campus where everyone can benefit.”