The Fraternity and Sorority Life program has invited a Christian sorority and fraternity to join.
Eta Iota Sigma decided to join, while Beta Upsilon Chi is still considering.
The two organizations will not join Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council or the Multicultural Greek Council, but just the program, said Sarah Williamson, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.
BYX President Kurtis Freeman said he wanted to allow the members to know both the benefits and risks of this new change. Until then, Freeman said, the Fraternity and Sorority Life program coordinators asked BYX to keep them updated.
Freeman said his fraternity already enjoyed many of the perks of being a member of the larger Greek community, such as being a part of Greek Week and homecoming and will need about a month to weigh the pros and cons before an official decision is made.
If this change happened it would solidify BYX’s standing in the Greek community and provide members the opportunity to become involved, Freeman said.
“We have some amazing guys who want to impact this campus and get to know other individuals, and this will help,” Freeman said.
Being a Christian organization that chooses members based on both sex and religion, BYX members may be concerned that the department would regulate this part of their organization, Freeman said. Another concern is that they may lose the men who were first unsure of being a part of a fraternity if they started to advertise more as part of Greek life, he said.
The main benefits of joining the department for both HIS and BYX are advertising and marketing, Williamson said. This change also will make sure that HIS and BYX become more involved in Greek life, because they function similarly to the other Greek organizations, she said.
For example, members of BYX and HIS may not enjoy being put in a Greek Week DVD that will go to incoming freshmen, said Jackie Quisenberry, president of HIS.
BYX and HIS are being recognized more as Greek organizations, as opposed to just student organizations, which led to this change in category for the groups, Freeman said.
Quisenberry said this new change will offer her sorority protection by being better connected to Greek life on campus. The Fraternity and Sorority Life program can make sure they are operating safely and offer a higher authority to go to with any questions, she said.
There have been no problems in the past in terms of protection but they want to take a more preventative approach so that they have a place to turn if problems arise, Quisenberry said.
“We will be scooped under the umbrella of Fraternity and Sorority Life,” Quisenberry said.
Those individuals with membership in HIS or BYX and another Greek organization will still be allowed to have their dual-membership, she said.
“We don’t want to take their uniqueness away from them,” Williamson said. “We want them to still be proud of the values they have as an organization.”
This will be a local change for both HIS and BYX, Freeman and Quisenberry said.
HIS and BYX will have more resources in the form of advertising and marketing but will continue to function the way they always have, Williamson said, which means BYX and HIS will not participate in formal rush activities through the program.