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Talking All Things Recruitment and FSU Sorority Life With FSL Director Freddy Juarez

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Joining a sorority can be a huge financial and time commitment. Not to mention, the process of going through recruitment can be overwhelming. If you’re considering joining, you may want an understanding of what sorority life is really like. Luckily, with recruitment registration opening just around the corner, I got the chance to sit down and speak with Florida State University’s Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Freddy Juarez, who may be the perfect person to answer your questions about the process.  

Her Campus (HC): What’s your job title and what does this position entail? 

Freddy Juarez (FJ): I’m the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, which means I’m responsible for managing all the support for our fraternity and sorority community. Our department is split into three areas: wellness, leadership and learning, and operational excellence. It’s my job to make sure we’re excelling in those three areas. I also get to be the Panhellenic advisor. 

HC: What’s something you wish more people knew about your job? 

FJ: Our goal is to support students and help them thrive and succeed, not to shut them down or ruin the fun. We’re here to hold you accountable and make sure everybody as a community is thriving.  

HC: What differentiates the various Greek organizations at FSU? How do you balance each organization’s individuality with the interactions of the community? 

FJ: We have four groups on campus. The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) is all men’s fraternities, with the experience being mainly social. We also have Panhellenic, which is the women’s sororities that are part of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).  

We also have our Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), which consists of organizations that are supported and founded on the histories and values of specific cultural groups. It includes Latin, Asian-American, and multicultural fraternities and sororities, though you don’t have to be a part of any of those cultures to join those chapters. 

Finally, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) consists of African-American/Black fraternities and sororities. Similarly to the MGC, you don’t have to identify as that race to join, but the history, traditions, and values were founded on the African-American/Black experience.   

My team and I advise and approach each one individually and specifically to them. We hold different conversations because each group has different needs and challenges, so it’s important to speak in a way that makes sense and matters to them. Even further, the way we approach each chapter within each organization is customized to what each needs, and we try to never lose sight of what we want to do: be the best Greek community.  

HC: What words would you use to describe the Panhellenic community? 

FJ: The women in Panhellenic are incredible leaders, strong advocates for FSU, intelligent, and overall, the embodiment of what a Florida State woman can be. They’re very powerful and inspiring. 

HC: What are some of the benefits for women who join a sorority? 

FJ: The sorority experience comes in all different aspects. Whether you’re looking for service, philanthropy, academics, leadership, or sisterhood, one of the best benefits of joining a Panhellenic organization is that you get all these aspects in one spot. That opens you up to a gateway for other things. Joining offers you a connection to others that can make this large campus less overwhelming. 

HC: What’s your biggest goal for the upcoming year? 

FJ: Our biggest goal is to continue to focus on helping people feel like they belong. We want everybody who joins to feel like they belong somewhere, whether that’s their chapter, the greater Panhellenic community, external services, or anywhere else. It may sound cheesy, but that’s what keeps people here.  

HC: What’s your best advice for potential new members? 

FJ: My advice is very cliche, but it’s to always be yourself. For a lot of folks who don’t know who that is, think through what that looks like. Before you recruit, you have to consider who you are, why you’re joining an organization, and what you want out of it.  

Also, “RushTok” can only get you so far, and it doesn’t always paint the right picture of what sorority life is. All 17 of our chapters provide an amazing collegiate experience. So go through with an open mind and give a chance to each of our chapters regardless of the rumors you hear. The Greek experience is different for everybody. We want you to decide for yourself and yourself only. 

HC: What do you think women should know if they’re considering registering for recruitment? 

FJ: Give it a shot — you have nothing to lose! If you’re looking for a community and an organization that will help you become the best version of yourself, then Panhellenic could give you that. I’ll also say, it’s not for everyone. So if you try it and decide it’s not for you, that’s okay! You can always try again another semester, try another council, or we can connect you to the many other student organizations we have on campus that are amazing as well. 

HC: What are the biggest misconceptions about sorority life, and how do you battle them? 

FJ: Some of the biggest misconceptions we get are because of websites like Greekrank, “RushTok,” or YikYak. These websites only post the extreme happy or the extreme bad, but that isn’t life; there are a million moments in between.

Fraternities and sororities aren’t absent from the same challenges you may have in your everyday life. You have choices about the way you handle them. The reality is that sororities do a great job with connection, but that doesn’t make it to the internet. I tell people all the time that you don’t need to join a sorority to enjoy Tallahassee nightlife or to join another club, but sororities are good at helping you feel like you belong. 

HC: What makes Greek life at FSU special? 

FJ: I’ve been very privileged to watch the community grow into what it has become with the goal of being one of the best Greek life communities in the country. I think our students here truly buy into that. Here, you don’t see some of the drama that you see in other places. We understand the bigger community and that we’re all here to help each other, something that’s unique compared to other communities that I hear about from my colleagues. Our students understand what it means to be a healthy and safe community.

Our team is also very approachable and present with every single person. We’ll always work together to solve issues and figure them out together. FSU creates a great environment that focuses on school spirit, athletics, and academics, and we balance that with giving lots of leadership opportunities.  

If you want more information on FSU Panhellenic, you can follow them on Instagram to stay up to date on the upcoming Fall 2024 recruitment. 

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Nola Ulik is a staff writer at the Her Campus FSU chapter. She writes articles biweekly covering culture, lifestyle, and campus news. In addition to being a staff writer, Nola is a student at Florida State University studying media and communications and minoring in spanish, and is a member of the ADPi sorority.