The Greek chapters at UF work to maintain their community as declining interest starts to take its toll
By Kate Dhuy, DhuyK@Findlay.edu
A staple of any college community is Greek life, but that fact is changing for the University of Findlay as new students show less interest in joining.
Findlay is home to two sorority chapters, Phi Sigma Sigma and Sigma Kappa, along with a fraternity, Theta Chi. This past spring, all three lost their on-campus housing. Phi Sigma Sigma Recruitment Chair Holly McCoy says that the last Greek house is now used exclusively for storage.
“We each have our own room that is dedicated to our chapter’s storage space,” McCoy said. “Since it is just a house, we can use the common space and the kitchen, but there is no residential availability for any of us there.”
Phi Sigma Sigma Philanthropy Chair Kayla Kennedy says that UF’s housing department gave them an opportunity to argue for keeping the houses prior to closing them down.
“They pulled us all together and showed us this big spreadsheet that showed the decline in numbers and overall interest in Greek life,” Kennedy said. “They gave us the option to try to give them a valid argument as to why we should keep the houses anyway. We did go through with that, but the ultimate decision was to move forward with removing the houses.”
McCoy says that weekly meetings the chapters hold are in lecture halls on campus, as well as other ceremonies and rituals. She believes that the loss of private space may affect interest.
“In the past few years there’s been a decline in interest in joining Greek life in general,” McCoy said. “Since guaranteed housing with other members was such a big part of the interest in joining, and that’s gone now, I think it will continue to decline.”
President of UF’s Sigma Kappa chapter Sienna Garcia says that for her chapter, despite the loss of housing, the sisterhood continues to grow.
“We have had the pleasure of eight new women joining us this semester,” Garcia said. “Many sisters live together on and off campus, helping keep our value of friendship alive.”
Garcia also laid out the different types of benefits that come with joining Greek life, including new found sisterhood, developing leadership skills, connection with philanthropic organizations and learning the value of service.
Kennedy encourages interested students to come to Phi Sigma Sigma’s upcoming events and to speak to representatives about continuous open bidding, a less formal recruitment that the sororities are almost always in.
“Even with everything going on, we still have fun,” Kennedy said. “We’ve watched movies, gone bowling, done sisterhood events to build bonds between members, and this week is power point night!”
As of October 2023, Findlay’s Theta Chi chapter is still considered “asleep” due to an insufficient level of interest, according to McCoy; but should that change, it is still possible for the fraternity to become active again.