Going Greek

Pacific students rally for the annual bonfire, sponsored by Greek Senate, at Homecoming 2011.

Sept. 25, 2012

Students pledge Greek organizations with long Pacific history.

Share this

A princess tea party, a free Zumba class and a mocktail party (wear your favorite cocktail attire).

These activities and more are part of the annual fall rush for the four sororities and three fraternities that comprise Greek Life on the Pacific University campus.

Taking place this week and last, the rush concludes with new students pledging to their respective groups: Alpha Kappa Delta, Theta Nu Alpha, Delta Chi Delta, Phi Lambda Omicron, Alpha Zeta, Pi Kappa Rho and Gamma Sigma.

It may not be the Greek life you pictured—or see in the movies. Greek organizations at Pacific don’t have their own houses, crazy initiation rites or raucous parties, ala Animal House (that we know of).

What they do have is a tight community and a deep history at Pacific.

“Being part of a sorority is…a support system for many of us,” says Kate Schiewe ’13, president of the Phi Lambda Omicron sorority, or the “Philos.”

“Growing up, I had always had a really tight knit group of friends. Getting to college I had made friends, people in my classes and hall, but I wanted to [meet] a wider variety of people,” she says. “By pledging Philo, I was able to make friends with all sorts of women, freshman to senior. Even the girls who I may not be as close to, I know that I can always count on them for anything that I need.”

Pacific’s Greeks aren’t part of national Greek systems; they each are independent and rooted to Pacific. At any given time, about 100 undergraduates are actively pledged to a group.

But the organizations also offer a brother- and sisterhood that spans miles and years. The Philos, founded in 1871, is the oldest sorority west of the Mississippi. The Gamma Sigma fraternity, meanwhile, is the oldest fraternity in the West, founded eight years earlier in 1863.

Today, the Greek organizations get together for movie nights, trips to the beach and other entertainment, along with a host of service work, such as highway cleanups, blood drives, canned food drives and other charity work.

On Friday, they get together for one of their most visible events of the year: the annual Homecoming noise parade, bonfire and rally