By ERIKA PRITCHARD
KEARNEY – Meg Schluns is looking for a way to make new friends when she is a freshman at University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall.
After attending New Student Enrollment Wednesday at UNK, the recent O’Neill High School graduate decided to learn more about sororities at Fraternity and Sorority Life’s (FSL) UNK Hangout Thursday night at Harmon Park.
“I just heard a lot of great things about it. It’s a great way of meeting new people,” she said.
Schluns, who plans to go through sorority recruitment the week before UNK classes start Aug. 23, also met other elementary education majors who will be her roommates in the fall.
One of those new roommates will be Marissa Kalb of Kearney. Kalb said she too wants to meet new people through sorority membership, as well as get involved on campus.
About two dozen incoming students enjoyed the free, casual event, which included barbecue, yard games and Loper merchandise.
The event was the first of three UNK Hangouts slated this summer. Upcoming events will be 5-7 p.m. July 8 at Cody Park in North Platte and July 15 at Stolley Park in Grand Island.
FSL staff, members and admissions counselors are on hand at the events to answer general questions about UNK and the 12 different fraternities and sororities at the university.
This is the second year FSL has hosted summer hangouts. Its inaugural year was in 2019, but events were curbed in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Assistant Director of FSL Kelsey Hassenstab said the hangouts are a way for students interested in Greek Life to meet each other without the pressure of signing up for FSL recruitment.
“We found that students would just get so nervous about the recruitment process and going to different events,” Hassenstab said. “So, we wanted it to be a very casual way to find out more and meet people.”
FSL benefits students in many aspects of their lives. Hassenstab said they gain leadership skills, serve their communities and receive academic support from other members. Most notable, though, are the lasting friendships.
“You find your people. You find your home through these chapters. That’s the main reason why people join and the main reason why you stay,” she said.