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MARILYN HAGERTY: Greeks mark 100 years on UND campus

They used to call it "Rush Week." Now, sororities and fraternities talk about fall recruitment, and it is being held Sept. 14-20, after everyone is settled into their classes and fall schedule at UND. That's the word from Cassie Gerhardt, coordin...

They used to call it "Rush Week." Now, sororities and fraternities talk about fall recruitment, and it is being held Sept. 14-20, after everyone is settled into their classes and fall schedule at UND. That's the word from Cassie Gerhardt, coordinator of Greek Life at UND.

She says there now are six sororities and 12 fraternities on campus with a total membership of about 800. That's fewer students than in years gone by. But, it's not so much of a drop, she says, when you consider the total campus population of more than 12,000 now has a different makeup than it did in previous years. The mix of students includes more nontraditional and foreign students, as well as more graduate students.

This is the 100th year of Greek letter fraternities and sororities on UND campus. It started with Sigma Chi in 1909. In two years, both Alpha Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta sororities will mark 100 years on campus.

Over the years, UND Greeks have established a reputation for involvement in student organizations and as student government officers. During the Flood of 1997, they were credited with stepping up and helping out on the campus and all over Grand Forks. For many, the sorority or fraternity becomes a family of friends that lasts for a lifetime.

It's a choice. And it's not for everyone. The Delta Delta Delta sorority house at 2620 University Ave. became the Newman House last year. That was after the national sorority closed down here.

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Happenings

The weekend arrives with folks leaving for one last fling or one last trip home from campus before fall closes in ... The ears of those left in Grand Forks will be close to the radio Saturday during the UND football season opener at Lubbock, Texas, against Texas Tech ... And in East Grand Forks, schoolchildren will load up new backpacks for another year of school, which starts after Labor Day ... Meanwhile, Grand Forks County Veterans Services still is accepting applications from World War II veterans for the second Honor Flight to their memorial in Washington, D.C., this month ... And UND alumni in the Fargo area are invited to the first Fargo Sioux Booster fan luncheon at noon Tuesday in the Kelly Inn off Interstate 29 and Main Avenue in Fargo ... Summer may end, but class reunions carry on into September. Central High School's Class of 1954 has 100 members and spouses signed up for its gathering Sept. 11 and 12 in the Hilton Garden Inn.

Ask Marilyn

Q. What can you do in town on Labor Day weekend?

A. Try sitting on the bench by the Dairy Queen on South Washington Street to watch the cars go by. You may spot some funny license plates. Seen recently on South Columbia Road was WUDUSAY (What do you say?). Others seen around The Forks: LUVDIRT, LUV ELK and BLIEVR. On a white Chevy van, or something like it, I saw 8NTAVAN (ain't a van). Then, there was ND CLAY, PICKER, S JACK, BREEZE 1 and BENSTOY on a pickup truck. Also seen: GETZ2YA (gets to you) and REKNSYL (reconcile).

Trisha and Bill

Cheerful person of the week: Trisha Stromsodt. Day brightener: Bill Gose.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net (701) 772-1055.

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