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Multicultural greek groups recruit to different tune

Every spring, Duke students are audience to the very public rush processes of organizations within the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Association.

Less visible is the recruitment of new members to the multicultural sororities and fraternities of the Inter-Greek Council.

"It's a lot of word-of-mouth and personal contact," said senior Yiting Yang, president of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., of her organization's rush process.

The three sororities and two fraternities that make up IGC are geared specifically toward students with cultural interests, including Asian-American and Latino issues.

The rush processes of these organizations vary, but many members said they are all similarly affected by the small size of the minority population at Duke.

"We're much smaller chapters," said junior Nick Pardo, president of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. "It's a much smaller pool."

Multicultural greek organizations may rely on their strong ties to other multicultural student organizations, such as Mi Gente and the Asian Student Association, when seeking new members.

"We meet a lot of our freshmen through ASA events," said junior Katie Liu, president and co-rush chair of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority, Inc.

Although much of the interest for these organizations is stirred by word-of-mouth, IGC sororities and fraternities also advertise rush events through flyering and Facebook announcements.

Despite their commitment to multicultural interests, many elements of the rush and pledging processes of IGC organizations are similar to those of the IFC and Panhellenic Associations.

"[Rush] is about a week to two weeks long and runs concurrent to the IFC rush schedule," junior Cristian Liu, president of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. wrote in an e-mail. "Events may include, but are not limited to philanthropy/service events, dinners, mixers with other greek organizations and just hanging out and getting to know each other."

Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. follows a fairly informal rush process and generally takes in new members through personal recruitment in the fall, Pardo said. Once bids are made, however, the fraternity follows a pledge process similar to those of organizations within the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

"The actual process is pretty organized, but it's not publicized," Pardo said. "There are GPA requirements, interviews, application processes and our national board has to approve every member."

Despite their differences, all chapters of the IGC agree on one thing: they are not exclusive.

Although there is a popular misconception that only minority students may become members of these organizations, group leaders said they are open to anyone interested in promoting cultural issues and education.

"We are not limited to our own culture, but that's typically who we end up with," Pardo said.


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