My Big Fat Greek College Life
Remember the scene in “Neighbors” when Zac Efron and Dave Franco threw a neon-colored party in their frat house? Or the scene in “Project X” when nearly 2,000 people danced wildly, popped ecstasy pills, and set fire (literally) on Thomas Mann’s home? If you assumed that college parties were as intense in reality as portrayed on the big screen, think again. There are no drugs found in a gnome, there are no teenagers dancing in slow motion, and FOX News isn’t sky-circling the party… at least not at Emerson College.
Because it’s my first year of college, and having attended just one party, I cannot speak for the entire student body in saying that Emerson lacks the typical “party scene” or Greek Life system. Though according to Emerson’s Greek Life page, it’s clear that social and community-based activities replace the usual fraternity/sorority traditions: “Our Greek system represents more than 100 years of student leadership, campus involvement, community service, academic achievement, and social development.”
What differentiates Emerson’s Greek Life from other colleges is that opportunities are available for all students, regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Instead of providing frat or sorority houses, clubs or meetings for the eight Greek organizations are held. This is because of Emerson’s downtown Boston location, as it would be strange placing a frat house in the midst of zooming cars, tall buildings, and a crowded intersection.
If interested in joining Greek Life or becoming a star in the Emerson community, allow me to debrief on each of the chapters.
Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEΦ)
This social organization promotes esteem and sorority fidelity for a diverse group of women. The members organize sister and Emerson events, and devote time to philanthropic causes. What distinguishes this sorority from the others is that they focus on fighting breast cancer and help to raise thousands of dollars.
Alpha Phi Omega (APO)
Gathered together in an organization whose aim is to “further the freedom that is our national, educational and intellectual heritage,” this fraternity develops leadership and provides service to humanity.
Alpha Phi Theta
This was the fraternity portrayed in “Neighbors,” devoted to brotherhood and trust, and of course, partying! Members are concerned with the well-being of Emerson College and help to sponsor social events on campus.
Kappa Gamma Chi
This sisterhood is committed to serving the local community and strengthening the power of women. They are most recognized for their dedication and valuable responsibility on campus.
Phi Alpha Tau
This fraternity is the nation’s oldest and most professional in the communicative arts. The organization gives the Joseph E. Connor Award to outstanding leaders in the communicative arts and hosts the Public Conversation annually.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
This fraternity brings a 143-year tradition of serving its member schools and communities through “social and charitable endeavors.” The organization is a new edition to the community, though it’s already strengthening Emerson’s colorful Greek life on campus.
Sigma Pi Theta
This support group for women is determined to further unity, growth, and awareness for women on campus. They value the growth of the individual, the sorority, and the Emerson community, and each year, the group holds workshops and activities.
Zeta Phi Theta
This is a national co-ed fraternity in the communication arts and sciences at Emerson. They provide opportunities for sharing professional interests through group-held activities, and focus on careers in the communication arts and sciences. They are strongly involved on and off campus, and create a true sense of community.
Although about 5% of the Emerson population take part in Greek Life, according to The College Board official website, it can be a worthwhile experience for those interested in strengthening the community, building lifelong relationships, and making an impactful difference outside the classroom. Greek Life isn’t the only option, though, for staying involved and contributing to the school. Keep in mind that Emerson is like an ocean, full of activities, opportunities, and rewards, and the water is yours to explore!
To learn more about Emerson activities and organizations, go to: http://www.emerson.edu/student-life/activities-organizations.