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Dylan Newell runs home to his Fraternity, Sigma Nu, at the 2021 Bid Day celebration.

Dylan Newell runs home to his Fraternity, Sigma Nu, at the 2021 Bid Day celebration.

Events | NewsNovember 29, 2021

100+ Students Join Greek Life at UAFS

Written By: Samantha Contreras

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith held its annual fraternity and sorority initiations throughout the month of November, concluding with more than 100 new members officially joining their new collegiate families. Sorority and Fraternities Bid-Days occurred in early September, with 110 new members earning bids, nearly doubling last year’s 69 new members.

“As someone who in high school said they would never join a fraternity, now I’m the president of the governing council over all the fraternities,” said Dyllan Newell, senior Media Communication major. “When I came to this campus, I realized what Greek life was all about: growing in leadership while also giving back to the community.”

Shannon Garcia, fraternity/sorority life and leadership programs coordinator, said UAFS Greek Life enrollment has increased from 2020 to numbers similar to 2019.

UAFS has four fraternities and three sororities with total membership of about 250 students.

New fraternity recruits are up 74 percent; new sorority membership is up 50 percent. Fraternity and sorority members explained membership gives them a sense of belonging and an opportunity for service.

New fraternity member Jonathan Schafer, a sophomore Media Communication major, explains why he is interested in joining a fraternity.

“In the last several months, UAFS has finally started to feel like home for me,” he said. “Last year, it was just classes. But this year, with all the people around me and joining Sigma Nu, it has started to feel like a place I can truly be proud of being.”

First-year student Jordan Geoates is a new Alpha Omicron Pi sorority member who has been active in the Girl’s Scouts of America and the Junior Leadership program of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I am proud to be at UAFS because I am more than just a number, I am a person who can be involved, and people know my name,” Geoates said. “Greek Life was a huge part of who I wanted to become. I wanted sisters for life and to be able to be involved with them instead of by myself.”

Reagan Heppner, a UAFS Campus Activities Board director, is a new Delta Gamma member. She served in many university volunteer opportunities as well as supporting the Salvation Army, Community Rescue Mission, and raising money for St. Jude by hosting the first Cancer Research Walk on campus.

“Throughout my time at UAFS, I have been able to witness individuals I know find a strong sense of leadership, community, and extreme confidence. I believe the Greek community is an empowering environment to be a part of, and I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity,” said Heppner.

She said she felt welcomed into Delta Gamma’s community of friendship and service. Each organization is encouraged to serve others, prioritize academics, and to develop social and leadership skills.

“Greek Life encompasses everything you need to be successful after college,” said Heppner.

To view photos from this year's bid day celebrations visit our Facebook photo albums: Sorority Bid Day 2021, and Fraternity Bid Day 2021