Click on the link above to watch an in-depth slideshow of photos compiling the University of Arkansas’ Greek history, featuring the voice of Greek Life Director Parice S. Bowser.
The pictures featured in the slideshow above depict the changes in Greek Life at the University of Arkansas over the past 90 years. The pictures are taken from the years 1929, 1938, 1948, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1985, 1998, 2008 and 2011. The pictures go in the order: the fraternity Kappa Sigma, the sorority Chi Omega, fraternity Sigma Nu and then sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. In 1978, with the addition of the National Pan-Hellenic Councils, the pictures then also include the fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, fraternity Omega Psi Phi and sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Since 2004, Greek life at the University of Arkansas has grown by almost one hundred percent. Parice Bowser, Director of Greek Life, said when she first started working at the university there were twenty-four chapters, now there are thirty-three. There were only three separate Greek councils, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Now the United Greek Council has been added, allowing Multicultural Greek organizations to join. Bowser’s job requires her to advise the four councils and Greek-lettered student organizations, she also works with Greek alumni and housing. Therefore, during her nine years working with the university she has seen three or four houses renovated. She’s also seen the Sigma Nu and Alpha Omicron Pi houses built.
“Greek life has always been popular,” Bowser said, but she admits it has grown a lot. Some of the sororities on campus have more than four hundred members, meaning they are too large, according to Bowser. Nine years ago, there were 2,800 students in Greek organizations, now there are 5,100.
One thing Bowser noted to be a significant change in Greek Life is the greater sense of community the members have now. She said, the people in Greek life care about each other and they stick together. She also believes the organizations are more inclusive and welcoming when it comes to membership. They have good programs that have been noticed not only on campus, but nationally, she said.
Greek Life continues to grow and Bowser believes there will soon be more than 6,000 members. However, she believes the number of members in each sorority will lessen, due to new sororities. The Panhellenic Council has grown from having eight sororities to ten. She said she believes the National Pan-Hellenic Council will have all nine of its fraternities and sororities. There has been talk of an Asian fraternity or sorority coming to campus, so Bowser said the United Greek Council will grow as well.
Bowser said that the 2014 school year will be a lot different than the one in 2013.
“If you want to be involved, now is the time to do it,” Bowser said.