community

Should I Go Greek at URI?

July 11, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges

Greek Life at the University of Rhode Island

Greek Life at the University of Rhode Island

Sixteen fraternities and ten sororities make up the Greek community at the University of Rhode Island. Aiming to represent fellowship, leadership, scholarship, and community service, students involved in Greek life have chosen to become a part of it for a reason. Whether it’s because they wanted to meet new people as a freshmen or because they wanted to become more involved on campus, the Greek community is bound together by one thing – their love for all things Greek!

The men’s chapters at URI include: Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE), Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), Sigma Chi, Sigma Pi, Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), Theta Chi, and Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT).

The women’s chapters at URI include: Alpha Delta Pi (ADPI), Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega (CHI O), Delta Zeta (DZ), Kappa Delta (KD), Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau (SDT), Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA). Don’t worry, most of the fraternities and sororities have nicknames, which are included in parenthesis next to their chapter.

Members from SDT & ZBT Participate in Greek Week Event

Members from SDT & ZBT Participate in Greek Week Event

It’s important to know why you want to become part of Greek life at URI before you even decide to begin pledging. Whether it’s because you want to become involved in community service projects or become the next chapter president or maybe it’s because the 15,000 undergrads at URI are overwhelming you and you want to meet new people. Whatever the reason may be, there’s always a place for young men and women in the Greek community as long as they are involved for the right reasons.

You’ll hear this all the time and I’m sure all of you ladies will think it’s a lie, but when someone tells you that everyone fits in a house and you’ll feel it when you’re inside, it’s true! The urge to feel accepted by a certain chapter may come and go, but the comfort you feel when you step foot inside your soon-to-be home, is undeniable. Don’t be nervous and just have fun!

Once you’ve decided Greek life is for you, there’s a few things you need to know. Ladies, fall recruitment is a formal process in which you must visit all the houses on campus. It’s a very long week and you’ll be answering the same questions over and over again, but smile, look excited, and it will all be over soon. If you choose not to rush in the fall, there is spring recruitment, which is less formal. Not all sorority houses take girls in the spring so you run the risk of not getting a house you may have wanted. Guys, your process is more casual and less stressful. You will meet the brothers at rush events (these could be barbecues, football games, or parties) and you get the opportunity to hang out with them. This will help them figure out if they would like to offer you a place in their organization and if you’d even like to be a part of theres.

Now that you’ve been offered a bid (invitation to join an organization), you’ll want to get to know the executive board members of your chapter. They’re the ones that run the show. From the recruitment chair to the social chair and even your risk manager, these brothers and sisters are what make the chapter stand strong. You’ll want to know them and may even realize that one day you’d like to take over their position. You’ll also participate in community service events for your philanthropy, according to what sorority or fraternity you are in. This is a great resume builder and will help you get started on becoming involved on and off-campus at the University of Rhode Island.

Greek Life Event: Beach Day

Greek Life Event: Beach Day

What about the parties? You’ll be socializing with other organizations throughout the year in order to strengthen the bonds of Greek life. Themes are also a huge part of this environment so you better get creative because you’ll be using things all around your dorm room to create costumes. Have fun with it because we all know after college wearing a toga just isn’t acceptable anymore. There’s also a little thing called Greek Week during the spring semester. During this time, chapters battle against each other to raise the most money for a good cause in Mr. and Mrs. Greek Week pageants, track races, belly flop contests, among others. All Greeks are also bound together by their love for Greek Week.

When you first get to the University of Rhode Island it will be overwhelming and you may feel like you can’t find your place. Once you make the decision to get involved, it will get a lot easier. Greek life aims to create an environment worth having for the next four years of your life. Why go greek? Because at URI, there really is nothing better.

My Big Fat Greek College Life

October 17, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

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.

Greek Life at Emerson focuses on student leadership and community involvement.

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.

Controversy and Community at Providence College

February 14, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Providence College has provided with me with so much over these past four years.  I have learned a great deal about the world as well as myself and have met some incredible people along the way.  I have grown so much as a person here and wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world.

However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.  As a matter of fact, one of the most controversial issues PC currently faces is its treatment and attitude towards the LGBT community.

Do all students at PC feel welcome?

Do all students at PC feel welcome?

This controversy escalated last semester when the school decided to cancel a lecture featuring a gay speaker, John Corvino, entitled “The Gay Moralist”.  An email was sent out to the faculty, which was later leaked out to the students which read: “While academic freedom is at the heart of teaching in a Catholic university, the United States bishops maintain that in accord with Ex corde ecclesiae: “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” The school had even scheduled for a Theology professor to speak in response to the lecture, but felt that the professor did not have enough time to appropriately prepare. The school has announced they will be rescheduling the event for a later date, although it is said this was not their original intent.

While this event was unfortunate and led to negative press of the college, what followed represented one of the major reasons why I love PC.  After receiving the news about the canceled lecture, the student body was outraged, along with many members of the faculty.  A large group of faculty, students, and other members of the PC community quickly joined together to protest the school’s actions against academic freedom.  This also gained the school a lot of press and got the people talking.  Seeing the PC community step up to have their voices heard is very inspiring and heart warming.  This action really shows the great characters and minds that come out of PC. It is important to remember that while every student identifies themselves with PC, they do not always agree with everything the school says or does.

When a student chooses a college, they are choosing their new home for the next four years.  This is a place where they should feel comfortable and welcome. It can be hard to feel at home when your school disagrees with who you are as a person.  At the same time, it is comforting and reassuring to know there will always be someone within the community who has your back.

HEALTH is LIFE

October 6, 2013 in Alive Campus, Health, Love, Top 10 Lists

 

The Bright Light

Good Health is Light!

Ten Ways to Increase Your Overall Health

You can improve your overall health by improving your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional planes through a few practices, methods and better habits.

1.       Choose Better Eating Options

Yes- you can make a decision! Three plates of ribs are deniable. Corn dogs are fried trough food. Green symbolizes poison when Poison Ivy is wearing it. If you’re not Batman, stop acting, and put some vegetables on your plate. It will help prevent blood clots unless you want to be a Bloodclot and not practice a simple health task.

2.       Exercise

If you’re eating right then walking a few minutes a day can be very beneficial. Now, if you’re not eating right then why aren’t you touching a few weights? Hold on, are you even doing half-backward sit ups? Nooo? I’m sure those will benefit more than sitting on those Gluteus all day. Chips will always have more curve than your body if you’re not making time to do push-ups or sit ups at the least.

 3.       Choose Healthier Friends

“You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” Don’t feel tied down by friends that are “like” family. Chop them off like your old bad habit. Friends that cannot agree with the lifestyle you want are not necessarily your friends. You are probably relating on a comfort scale. Well, break out of your comfort zone. Your friend likes to drink a few more times a week than is necessary, eat multiple ten dollar boxes from Pizza Hut in a week than is necessary, eats more than six whole meals in a day than is necessary and doesn’t work out? Chop-off!

4.       Rest & Nap

Now, you have time to yourself to recuperate from the stressful habits of your old life. Napping is the short version of resting. Resting is recovery and sleeping is for the deep but an ultimately deeper state of rest necessary for growth. Honestly, you can feel the true benefits of a whole life through respecting yourself enough to rest. Pull away from the world calling you all the time. Sit back and respect yourself enough to rest.

5.       Pray

Prayer is a deep form of meditation. Do it before you rest. Don’t wait until you are in a dire situation that may lead to an eternal rest. Noooooo! Clasp your hands, bow your head and acknowledge a higher being than yourself. You don’t have to be a believer to pray and find faith with God. Ultimately, you’ll realize from the Good occurring in your life that you are a child of His. Don’t be alarmed or scared. Prayer is a deep form of waking meditation.

6.       Participate In Positive Communal Events

Get up and about in your community. Don’t sit around waiting for the world to come to you. The world revolves around working energy- NOT stagnant energy. Volunteer your efforts to a charity, soup kitchen, rape home, abuse home, foster care, your old elementary school, your old high school, and watch the effect you have on their lives that teachers, parents and other adults simply CANNOT!

7.       Honestly Assist Children

Oh, someone never came to your assistance as a child? Oh, older kids bullied you as a child while you worked to get where you are? Oh, you’re still making excuses as though you cannot change the ways you know so that a child can enjoy the better ways you intend for them to know; the ways that you want or wanted for yourself? Exactly, share it with the rising world so they may know and have better options to work with. Your spirit will live with those kids. You’ll become stronger for fighting against the voice thwarting you away from them to assist them in some positive way for a day. Smiles and hugs go a long way.

 8.       Honestly Assist an Elder

Not everyone has a parent to take advantage of. I say it in a ruthless manner because a lot of good parents are taken advantage of. They may never see the appreciation of their effort until some Alive Camper visits them in a senior home. I remember sitting with a war veteran senior and chatting with him in his home. He is in eternal rest now but we shared laughs that he could not have had he been alone in that apartment with the various care takers entering in and out. I sat on the couch, he sat in his chair, we watched television, and we talked and shared laughs for a good month or so.

9.       Go To Church

If you can make it every Sunday then fly to it but God works in silent ways. You may be able to make it once that week and BAM. That’s the message you needed. There are messengers searching for God and in seeking provoke you toward the greater aspect of your life whether you are sure or unsure if you need to be there or not. It is great to be in a community of people that agree with the positive directions in your life. You need to find them at times especially because when you leave that service it will be difficult to pinpoint those that agree with your positive directions. You will then need to hold strong with the message God has sent to provoke you onward because you may only find ONE other individual that agrees with your positive directions. That will be all you need along with the message to take you to the FURTHEST part of your journey.

10.   Believe & Think Different

Many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many individuals are shaped to believe and think in a certain way that is toward another person’s agenda. Believing in what you need to do and thinking the way you need to think will get you where you need to be. Don’t let anyone disagreeing with your positive directions guide you an inch away because they want that mile for a reason you may not know. Break away from your old and into your new so long as it leads you to the furthest reaches of your positive progressions in your positive directions.

 

-Kevin Dufresne

 

 

 

The College Experience: Dorm Life Chapter

September 7, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

Dorm Life

College Dorm Life

Dorm life – There’s nothing quite like it. It’s crazy, fun, and irritating all at the same time. In my opinion, dorm life is necessary to having the full college experience. You learn so much about yourself like how you relate to others and how you come across. You also learn about others and what habits you don’t like. It’s very likely that you’ll discover every one of your pet peeves in life through the dorm experience. But, it definitely makes you grow and mature as a person and learn how to deal with all people.

From my personal experience of living in a dorm my freshman year, there were definitely some things that I liked:

Dorm life allows you to get to know a group of people quickly and allows you to feel a part of a community. From living in a suite style dorm (where eight girls shared a common area), I got to know everyone I lived with on a personal basis real fast. Almost immediately, we began sharing stories, telling each other about our home lives, and what we planned to do in the future. So, these people, along some others I met from my building, became the people I ate dinner with, went to games with, and experience a lot of my freshman year with.

You’ll hear about many things that are going on on-campus. By having other friends that were involved in various things on campus, I was able to come home, hear about there day, and learn about other things to get involved in. Also, by being with people who have different backgrounds and interests, it gave me opportunities to join many clubs and orgs that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

You’ll meet some of your closest friends. Chances are some of your closest friends will come from your dorm room. When I came home from classes or from events we would just sit and talk, which made us really develop a close bond. And to this day, while I have lost some friends from my first year, those that I still have are some of my best friends.

You’ll learn news things about people/gain new experiences. Since people come from all across the world, you learn so many traditions you may think as different and vice versa. Such situations caused me to realize how differently people thought, but also encouraged me to try different things. At my college, there are people all the way from Hong Kong to those who were born and raised in Nebraska and these stark differences somehow seem to show how all people can find commonality.

So while, I definitely did enjoy and relish the dorm experience, there were DEFINITELY some things I didn’t like (but I’ll keep it short and sweet):

People have bad habits – or at least habits that appear bad to you. Since I lived in a suite style dorm, instead of having one roommate, I had like seven. That being said, that meant there were seven clashing habits. This person doesn’t like to take their stuff out of the bathroom when they finish, this person always leaves there stuff everywhere but their room, this person is OCD… you get the point. Subconsciously, people can/will annoy you.

You may not get along with everyone. No matter how hard you try, your personality just may not mesh with someone your living with. Although, I always try to find a commonality with people, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be friends with them. I found that because of everyone’s different up bringing, there are some things you just won’t agree upon. PERIOD. So, move on and learn that there are things you just won’t bring up in conversation. Awkward situation averted.

So, as you can see, I found way more good than bad and I believe that you will too. So, what do you have to lose?