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Interview

link to: College ReportThe Interfraternity Council (IFC)
represents seven of the Universityís roughly one-dozen fraternities and serves a three-fold purpose: communicating among the fraternities, regulating pledging and other interfraternity issues, and coordinating joint functions with the Universityís two sororities. Nate Norstrud, í00, the IFCís vice president, gives a glimpse of the Greeks:

Greek events
Each weekend thereís at least one fraternity or sorority party, and at many of the fraternities there are weekly study breaks for the general public. At the end of the year, Greek Week brings all of the fraternities and sororities together to hold events both for the public and the Greeks. Each night, a different fraternity and sorority host a study break--for two or three of them, we charge a can of soup or a pair of socks for admission, which is funneled back to philanthropic organizations. We also have a closed event just for Greeks, but the week culminates in a big party for the general public. On the community service side, all of the fraternities contribute--through tutoring at local high schools or other initiatives, and a yearly fundraiser for a philanthropic cause.

Campus image
Itís not too popular to be Greek here because of the nature of the U of C as an academically vigorous institution, where students donít have time to get involved in many social activities. There are people who look down on the whole life. When I hear people speaking negatively, Iíll mention that Iím in a Greek organization, and itís a real surprise to them. Iíve diminished a few stereotypes.

Benefits
You automatically have people that you can really resonate with, go out with at night and have a good time. But the fraternities and sororities also come together and help each other in their academic pursuits. Then thereís the whole aspect of brotherhood--or sisterhood. The University of Chicago can be a lonely place, and you can go through a lot of struggles. To have a fraternity brother or a sorority sister can give you the kind of aid and support that can definitely help you here.

Want to be Greek?
Weíre looking for the best and the brightest. We look at GPA, at initiative, sense of purpose. We want to know that it will be a mutually beneficial relationship. Involvement in campus life is a requirement for membership in most of the fraternities and sororities.

Role of alumni
There is strong alumni contact. In any given quarter, the fraternities hold receptions and they invite alumni. Alumni are a tremendous source of resources, especially financially. Each fraternity or sorority has a chapter adviser who is an alumnus or an alumna, and they communicate constantly. Thereís an incredible network of connections in terms of getting support professionally.

In terms of social events, we do the IFC Sing spring quarter, where all of the fraternities and sororities get together with their alumni and sing two songs important to their group. The event holds significant meaning for many current and alumni Greek members.

Administration support
Greeks on the U of C campus know their limits and adhere pretty strictly to policy and regulation. It would be nice to have a little more support from the administrative standpoint, but they have some pretty liberal policies that the fraternities and sororities appreciate.
--B.B.

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  FEBRUARY 2000

  > > Volume 92, Number 3


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