Texas State Fraternity and Sorority Life share its history


Members of FSL at Greek Week 2019 after raising $1000 for School Fuel San Marcos. Photo credit: Fraternity and Sorority Life

Madyson Sanchez

As part of Diversity Week 2019 at Texas State, Fraternity and Sorority Life hosted “It’s All Greek to Me!” Oct. 28, in LBJ Student Center 3-14.1.

The panel discussion, led by Assistant Dean of Students for FSL Bob Dudolski, served as a general overview and historical lens for Greek life nationwide.

Fraternities and sororities have been on the Texas State San Marcos campus since 1903. Currently, over 2,000 enrolled undergraduate students belong to a recognized fraternity or sorority chapter.

Historically, colleges operated with a strict scientific curriculum—like law, medicine and dead languages—rather than what students often experience on campuses and in classrooms today.

According to Dudolski, the first known Greek chapters in the United States were founded to push back against societal norms.

“Student relationships with faculty back then were a lot different than they are now,” Dudolski said. “Faculty had a much more hands-on approach and discussing political or contemporary studies were not allowed at the time.”

Before chapters were accepted by higher education, secret fraternity and sorority members were said to have snuck to local inns or bars to have “taboo” conversations, leading to the creation of secret societies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Although wealthy and educated men are often credited for these organizations, FSL members said there has been an evolution of diverse backgrounds within modern fraternities and sororities.

With the growth of Greek life nationwide, the language and practices within chapters have changed. For example, FSL—previously known as Greek Affairs—has discouraged using terms like “rush” and “pledge.”

“These are antiquated terms organizations and chapters no longer use,” Dudolski said. “The term ‘rush,’ which has been replaced by ‘recruitment’ or ‘intake,’ actually refers to when fraternities would rush trains of incoming freshmen students for new members.”

Presently, fraternity and sorority members associated with Texas State focus on upholding their status through academic requirements and self-governing.

Chapters are subject to face FSL violations at an individual, university and national level. Dudolski said this is a “triple threat attack” as a result of engaging incorrect practices and not following policies.

According to FSL Programming Board President Jacob Hernandez, chapters at Texas State put great emphasis on local philanthropy and community service projects.

The FSLPB held its annual “Greek Week” Oct. 7-11 to bring the community together and celebrate Greek life through fundraising.

This year, the FSLPB raised $1,000 for School Fuel SMTX, a program running solely on volunteers. Its mission is to “provide the ‘fuel’ for a better learning environment by removing the pangs of hunger among students in the classroom.”

“A lot of what we do aims to get everyone to participate,” Hernandez said. “We can do a lot through philanthropy events when the whole community comes together.”

The FSLPB and various chapters will host additional philanthropy events in the spring to focus on more organizations within the San Marcos area, like the Boys and Girls Club and Southside Community Center. Aside from community service and philanthropy, chapters regularly organize social events, formals and brotherhood/sisterhood activities.

At Texas State, FSL members aim to introduce more opportunities for students to join chapters of all shapes and sizes for experience rather than stereotypes.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about joining a fraternity or sorority is this idea you pay for your friends,” FSL Coordinator Greer Vinall said. “Chapters at Texas State offer so much more than friendship.”

For more information about Fraternity and Sorority Life at Texas State, visit https://fsl.dos.txstate.edu or stop by the office in LBJ Student Center 4-14.1.

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