While we’re all taught that a potential new member can be any student on campus, freshmen students are especially coveted by most Greek chapters. As the competition to meet freshmen and spark their interest is dog-eat-dog, here are our 10 best ways to meet a freshman on campus.
10) University Orientation & Welcome Events
For the very social and outgoing Greeks, campus-wide events are great places to meet freshmen students. Many universities have a welcome event or orientation in which new students can get to know the campus, learn about the various activities, and, hopefully, meet other students. Encourage your chapter members to attend these events in small groups (no more than four), wear their letters, and socialize with as many people as possible. Remember: as these events are usually held to help orient students to the campus, being helpful to a new student is a great conversation starter.
9) Campus Jobs
Working on campus is a great way to meet new people and earn some extra money. If your members have jobs on campus, remind them to not only socialize with their co-workers but with their customers as well. For example, if your fraternity brother works in the campus computer store, encourage him to talk up the freshman student who comes in looking for hard drive help. Also, stress the importance of remembering the name and face of every person they meet. That way, even if they only speak for 30 seconds, your member can recognize the freshman later and strike up a conversation.
8) Lower Division Courses
As freshman students usually won’t be in any upper division courses, encourage your members to keep a look out in any of their lower division classes. While we’re not encouraging you to put off taking Chemistry 1A or Writing 99 until your junior year, we do encourage being aware of who else is in your class. Especially if that someone else is a freshman who knows her microbiology… not just a good study partner but a good addition to your sorority!
No, we do not mean Facebook stalking! Please don’t do stalk students on Facebook as it’s creepy and will probably do more harm than good. Rather, join Facebook groups that may attract freshmen students like cultural clubs, sport clubs, or campus issues. Be sure to join groups that you have some interest in or knowledge of; that way, when you speak with a group member you won’t be lying your way through the ideas of Ayn Rand or the offensive strategies of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Additionally, remember to be proactive within the Facebook group by hosting meetups for people in the group, sharing related news articles or websites, and prompting conversations.
6) Intramural Teams (Co-Ed or Same Sex)
If you have a love for a sport, or even just a slight inkling to learn the game, join an intramural team on campus (or start your own!). Intramural sports are a great way to meet freshmen and bond over a shared interest. You also don’t need to be alone in your athletic endeavors. Ask around the chapter to see if there are other members who’d like to join the team. And as intramural teams are usually just for fun, you don’t need to worry about overly competitive players or bad sportsmanship (but you may want to remind your members just in case).
5) Non-Greek Campus Clubs
Not surprisingly, many Greek students are also members of other non-Greek campus clubs. These clubs range from purely social to pre-professional and cultural heritage. While there may be other Greeks in these clubs as well, campus clubs are a great opportunity to meet freshmen students. Whether you’re just a member of the club, or have a prominent leadership position, meeting freshmen students in a non-Greek setting can ease the situation and take the pressures of recruitment off your shoulders.
4) Student Government
Working in student government can be a wonderful way to learn more about the university and meet new students. Additionally, leaders within student government, such as student body president or vice president, usually have the opportunity to hire interns and volunteers. If your chapter has a member in student government, encourage them to meet the new students, socialize, and introduce them to other members of the chapter as the opportunity arises. Good places for easy introductions include university athletic games, before or after classes, or even at a Saturday afternoon barbecue.
3) Club Sports
Club sports are different from intramural sports as they are highly competitive. Club sport players are usually people who played the sport competitively in high school but didn’t end up playing on the NCAAteam for some reason or another. If you play a club sport, look to see who the new freshmen talent is. Not only is the sport team an ideal setting for getting to know the freshmen and bonding, but it’s also a great opportunity to find some fresh athletic talent for your chapter.
2) Food Court
During the first few weeks of the new school year, encourage your members to peruse the food court, sit down, and meet new people. Although the food may not be the best, campus dining facilities always have new students looking to meet new people and find their niche. Additionally, as this can sometimes be awkward or difficult, encourage your members to go in pairs or small groups (again, four at most). That way, your members can carry the conversation together, and talk to multiple freshmen at once so no one feels left out or ignored.
1) Freshman Move In
One of the best ways to meet freshmen is to help out at dorm move in. There’s no better way to give mom and dad a good impression of Greeks and Greek life than by unloading their car, guiding them around the dorm, and answering any questions they might have. Plus, your chapter will get additional exposure as the resident advisers* and dorm staff will see your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters helping out on campus. Just be sure to meet with your chapter first and go over appropriate manners and conversation topics. Telling a parent about the annual Greek pantie run during finals week is probably not the impression you want to make.
*While we considered putting “be a resident adviser” on this list, we feel it may not be the best choice for some students. While we completely support Greeks being resident advisers or dorm staff members, we encourage them to do so because they want to be advisers not because they want to recruit freshmen. There are many other responsibilities that come with being an adviser and a bad Greek resident adviser reflects poorly on both their respective chapter and the entire Greek community.