New community standards take shape as WVU sororities and fraternities enter new member recruitment

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WVU
President Gordon Gee, center, and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Matthew Richardson, left, dropped by the Mountainlair Saturday during Panhellenic recruitment.

The first significant number of West Virginia University students to go through sorority and fraternity recruitment under new community standards known as Reaching the Summit has begun on the Morgantown campus.

Reaching the Summit was adopted in 2018 to serve as a strategic plan to better align each Greek organization with the University’s values. This, along with deferred recruitment of first-year students which was adopted in 2015, are part of the culture change taking place in the fraternity and sorority life communities.

Additional new standards include increased grade point averages for new members, a four-week new member educational period and each chapter engaging in membership review prior to entering the recruitment process.

“I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I am with our students and alumni who recognized an opportunity for change, and simply went for it,” said Matthew Richardson, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Our chapters have also taken their individual statuses seriously and utilized the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff as resources as they bring their chapters up to higher expectations, and chapter leadership has committed to annual internal audits of performance and member behavior.”

Panhellenic sorority member recruitment has already begun, welcoming more than 400 women to the process.

“We want women to find a sisterhood that will encourage them be the best version of themselves: academically, professionally, and socially,” Panhellenic Association President Erin Bradley said.

Between 300-400 men are expected to participate in new member recruitment for Interfraternity Council fraternities later this month.

“The opportunities for leadership, networking, community service, and friends will make you feel as if you are at your home away from home,” Interfraternity Council President Calvin Komiske said.

Last fall marked the opportunity to test some of the new standards during a conditional pilot program for first-semester freshmen interested in joining the Interfraternity Council fraternities.

Thirty-three students, 27 of whom were first semester freshmen accepted bids to join four fraternities on the WVU campus. New members went through a series of new member recruitment steps including two formal education sessions on hazing prevention, alcohol education as well as informational sessions on Title IX and bystander intervention.