Greek clubs across Australia have celebrated the start of the new academic year by having stalls at Orientation week in a bid to sign up new students.

At the University of Melbourne, MuNGA enticed new members with free frappe coffees and show bags filled with all sorts of goodies including the Easter Sunday Greek CD, and their student publication, Epithemus.

RMIT United Society of Hellenes (RUSH) held a stall at its city campus sporting loud, Greek music and lots of Greek flags.

La Trobe University’s Greek Society (LUGS) put on a two day display during Orientation for their fellow ‘La Trobakides’ with music, dancing, ouzo and plenty of baklava.

LUGS managed to attract100 new members, which is a great start to the year for the club whose membership base last year was approximately 180 students.

A barbeque and a Greek night on Tuesday will give LaTrobe students further opportunities to sign up as members of LUGS.

“It has been a struggle because people are very reluctant today to embrace their culture,” said LUGS secretary, Natole Jasonides.

“A lot of people are shy and don’t see the point in joining but lately we have found that people who have been hiding have come out and become more active which is great to see” Ms Jasonides added.

Ex-national NUGAS and Victoria University Greek Society president, Elinah Ioannides expressed her concerns about their level of membership at Victoria University (VUGS), following a visit to their Orientation week stand last week.

However she was heartened by the fact that 50 new students joined in the first two hours of Victoria University’s Orientation day.

“There are not many Greeks at Victoria University but the club is hoping to generate some interest and form a new committee,” she said.

“VUGS is as active as it can be and this year they will be organising joint events with other small uni clubs.”

RMIT United Society of Hellenes president Regine Karantzas confirmed that her club will be holding more events this year to cater for its growing membership.

The club has over 250 members, which is quadruple what it had three years ago when it was restarted.

“There are quite a few Greeks at RMIT, but some are too hesitant to join, because they don’t realise that RUSH is a member of NUGAS,” she said.

“This year we are going on a massive recruitment drive, both for members and for committee members and holding more events both on and off-campus.

Some of these include cake and souvlaki days, as well as participating in cultural and social events together with NUGAS, such as the Cyprus Rally on the 25th of March.”

Deakin University Greek Society will set up a stall today, tomorrow and Wednesday to coincide with Deakin’s Orientation week, which will also run the following week on the same days.

MuNGA and LUGS are holding a barbeque on Wednesday as a welcome back to students who couldn’t make it to Orientation week.

Tomorrow LUGS is holding its first Greek night to celebrate the beginning of the semester.

Students from all universities are invited to attend the event which will be held at Latrobe University’s Eagle Bar.

There will be cheap drinks, Greek music, house, and an appearance by DJ Kosta Kay.

“I know it’s a Tuesday night but given that its the first week back at uni, every night is a party and it will be a great way to catch up with everyone and have a good time,” said Jasonides.

Upcoming events for Greek university students include the annual NUGAS boat cruise on March 11, and the Annual Easter Sunday at Room 680, Hawthorn on April 4.