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Friday, March 24, 2017

International students under-represented in Otterbein Greek life

Under 10 international students go through Greek recruitment on average

As important as Greek life is to Otterbein, international students are unfamiliar with an institution that’s uniquely American and particular to Otterbein.

According to Ben Schwarz, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement and Greek life, only a few international students are involved with Otterbein Greek life. Out of the 71 international students currently enrolled at Otterbein, only five to eight go through the recruitment process on average, said Schwarz.

Schwarz said international students are unfamiliar with this aspect of American culture, especially after only living in America for six to 12 months.

“Understanding American fraternity and sorority life is a different concept,” said Schwarz. “It’s not something you’re familiar with internationally.”

Harry Lin, sophomore theater and philosophy double major, student government senator and international student, said he was invited to join Greek life but had no prior knowledge of Greek culture. He said he enhanced his college experience and gained friends through being involved in Greek life. 

“I strongly believe that being a part of a Greek organization did enhance [my] life quality and [gave me] more chance to make friends,” said Lin.

Schwarz said that international students in Greek life are a benefit to traditional Otterbein students. 

“The international experience helps our Greeks just have a little different perspective and just to hear a little bit more. It just helps us to be more well-rounded people,” said Schwarz.

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