Few Grizzlies went Greek


According to the U.S. News and World Report, OU had only 300 students involved in Greek life, which was about 1.6 percent of the student body. 

Many college students have either heard of or considered joining a fraternity or sorority. However, few Oakland University students have actually joined those organizations compared to other Michigan universities.

At the beginning of this academic year, OU had about 300 students involved in Greek life, according to U.S. News and World Report, which translates to a measly 1.6 percent of the student body.

Comparatively, four percent of Eastern Michigan University’s students are Greek and eight percent of Central Michigan University’s students identify with a Greek organization. Both schools are fairly close to Oakland in size.

Oakland’s Greek community is growing. The sisterhood welcomed their largest group of new recruits ever this past fall, but it’s still very small compared to other schools. 

Part of that large recruitment was due to Tri Sigma, OU’s newest sorority. The new organization has been welcomed into the Greek community with open arms. Despite the small size of the campus, the greek community was able to welcome the new sorority in record time following their initial interest to coming to campus. 

“I would say Oakland is unique in the fact that we are a largely commuter campus,” Allison Webster, the assistant director of student organization programs for the Center of Student Activities, said. “A lot of students work and don’t live on campus, so it’s hard to get students to buy into Greek life. Student involvement on a commuter campus is lower with any organization.”

According to U.S. News and World Report, Oakland has much less housing than EMU and CMU, which could be a reason why student involvement isn’t as prevalent.

Oakland is also much younger than both of the universities similar to our size. Central is 65 years older than OU and Eastern is even older than that. So Oakland hasn’t had as much time to build a Greek community and therefore probably isn’t the first place high school students come looking if they know they want to join a Greek organization in college.

Webster added that the Greek students Oakland does have are very involved on campus and maintain a close knit community, which she feels is part of the reason they’ve seen growth in the past year.

Part of the reason they have that close community is because they are such a small population.

“I definitely think there are benefits to having a smaller Greek community, because you become familiar with many different people and make connections through people,” Anna Fooy, the public relations chair for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, said.

Even though they like the smallness at times, Fooy said that her sorority sisters are always enthusiastic about new members.

“I think that the main idea that the Greek community wants is that everyone can be involved,” Fooy said.“I’m speaking from a sorority stand point, but the girls are always super excited about new members and they love to portray their sorority in a non-stereotypical way.”

Stereotypes are often something that is associated with the Greek community, but both Fooy and Webster said that the OU community tries to distance itself from that.

Fooy added that her sorority and Greek community want Greek life to be something that’s friendly to all members of the student body, whether they are involved in it or not.

“We want to involve everyone in the Greek community and try to do different fundraisers that not just the sororities and fraternities do, but that are also available to the entire student body,” Fooy said.