The Department of Student Involvement decided to merge professional fraternities with Fraternity and Sorority Life.
The change was put into effect for the spring semester. Many students were surprised and confused about the change due to the lack of a transitional period.
“The change was basically just out of the blue. We weren’t given any heads up about this. I just kind of got the email at the end of last semester ‘Oh, by the way, you are going to be a part of Greek life,’” said Cecelia Tran, finance senior and president of Alpha Kappa Psi, one of the professional fraternities that was recently joined with Greek life.
According to the Loyola Greek life website, professional fraternities are focused on promoting interest in a certain profession, while social fraternities and sororities are more focused in fostering individual character traits. Professional fraternities hold professional events, fundraising events, retreats, service events, social events and much more. Often confused as honor societies, professional fraternities hold rush events, like their social counterparts, in which candidates must go through a pledge process, which includes interviews and sometimes testing.
“It’s not just professionalism, it is a brotherhood,” Tran said.
Because these organizations have a pledge process, the decision was made to join them with Fraternity and Sorority Life, according to Chris McQueen, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and New Student Programs.
“It is a national trend to have such organizations report through FSL (Fraternity and Sorority Life) as they have a recruitment, new member process and host programming. This is a result of incidences of hazing and risky behavior,” McQueen said.
Professional fraternities now have to follow the rules and guidelines that all Greek life organizations must follow. That was not the case prior to this semester. These changes will, among other things, require professional fraternities’ presidents to have monthly meetings with all the Greek life presidents.
The professional fraternities now follow the Standards of Excellence which previously only applied to social Greek life organizations. The Standards of Excellence focus on academics, chapter management, member development and community involvement for these organizations.
“It was just a lot of things that were pushed on us that we didn’t know about before,” Tran said.
McQueen focused on the potential benefits of this change.
“These changes will provide additional support for them (professional fraternities) and their new members with different trainings and professional developments so that they will be able to operate and run their chapters,” McQueen said.
Tran emphasized the lack of a transitional period professional fraternities were given regarding these changes.
“Could we get a little grace period, or transitioning period? Because this is all completely new to us. We have no idea what we are doing whatsoever,” Tran said.
Despite the confusion the changes have caused for student leaders, McQueen is confident that the changes will have positive effects.
“This is a growing community, and as we bring on new organizations they will understand the office is here to develop the holistic student,” McQueen said.