• Lillie Burke

IFC, Panhellenic want Belmont to ‘Rethink Greek’

Belmont’s fraternities and sororities want people to “ReThink Greek” as part of a new plan to rebrand the school’s chapters based on fostering communities and values.

Representatives from Belmont’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic, the two governing bodies of Belmont’s fraternities and sororities, have joined forces to ask the student body to redefine what its means to be “Greek”.

“We want to get not only incoming students thinking about Greek life at Belmont in a new way, but to also cause our current Greek community to think about our community differently,” said Hannah Hendricks, Panhellenic president.

With a new special emphasis on fostering community, “ReThink Greek” aims to enrich the lives of both students on campus and individuals in the surrounding area through the community created in Greek Life.

“Our bottom line is focused around people and purpose,” said Clark Buckner, IFC vice-president. “We strive to create a community of lasting friendships and provide opportunities for our members to give back to those in Nashville and beyond.”

Both Buckner and Hendricks said Greek organizations will implement a new values-based strategy when approaching new students during recruitment,.

“This means we are aiming to recruit women and men through values and the basics of our organization — we are seeking men and women who place importance on those values as well,” Hendricks said.

That values-based system includes Belmont Greek Life’s four core principles: “scholarship, leadership, brotherhood/sisterhood, and community service/philanthropy.”

Hendricks said these principles played a role in this past weekend’s sorority recruitment numbers. 292 students rushed for sororities in its largest recruitment class ever, and 250 joined one by the end of the week. This week, fraternity begins.

The idea to “ReThink Greek” first stemmed from Buckner, who said both the IFC and Panhellenic were inspired in conference experiences from the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values and the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

“There really hadn’t been any kind of intentional effort to this scale between IFC and Panhellenic before,” Buckner said.

By combining forces, Buckner believes this will improve both the Greek life community and the Nashville community. This campaign is different from those Greek organizations have done in the past, Hendricks said.

“It’s different because we aren’t saying we are this perfect community that never makes mistakes or has it all together,” she said. “We know we make mistakes. We are simply asking our community to be different, to be better.”

Buckner agreed.

“We realize anytime people come together, nothing will ever be perfect—but we want to create environments that empower men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world,” Buckner said.

Both Buckner and Hendricks have high expectations for the outcome of the new “ReThink Greek” campaign.

“Hopefully what we’ve started here will inspire other schools and Greek communities around the country to start a “ReThink Greek” campaign of their own,” Buckner said.

-Kate Tully

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