September 9, 2020
20-172

Robbyn DeSpain, Director of Strategic Communications

Greek Life Thriving Despite Pandemic Challenges

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VALDOSTA — Social organizations and being socially distant may not seem like they go together.

But on the Valdosta State University campus, the Greek Life organizations are enjoying a very successful fall recruitment despite the pandemic. Madison Beaumarchais is the assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and she says a combination of virtual and in-person recruitment is making a big difference.

“The virtual options really gave our chapters the chance to share their personality and character,” Beaumarchais says.

The College Panhellenic Council retention and completion rate at VSU is up this fall to 91 percent. That is 12 percent above the national average, and it’s the continuation of a positive trend for VSU. In the past three years VSU has seen its CPC retention and completion rate increase from 77 percent to 89 percent to 91 percent for Fall 2020.

“I believe the increase is a testament to the dedication and passion our students have for our campus community, as well as the benefits of joining a Greek organization at Valdosta State University,” Beaumarchais says.

This year’s partial virtual recruitment went so well that VSU is being asked to share its recruitment plan.

“We have been asked to provide our experience as an example for other schools,” Beaumarchais says.

All Greek Life organizations at VSU are following CDC guidelines for wearing masks, and students are social distancing at events on and off campus. Beaumarchais says it’s a challenge, but the organizations are making it work.

“You have to be physically distant, but you don’t have to be emotionally distant. You can still create those bonds even though you may be over the phone or far away from one another.”

Whether you choose to go Greek or take part in another activity, Beaumarchais says being part of an organization on campus can be very rewarding.

“I encourage everyone to get involved and join something. It provides a great sense of belonging and a place for personal development students may not even know they are longing for.”

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