Greek life

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.

Should You Go Greek?

March 2, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

A common question both prospective and current FSU students may ask themselves is whether or not they want to become a member of Greek life. While I am personally not involved in a sorority, I know several people that are associates of both sororities and fraternities, and are exceptionally passionate about it. However, it is certainly not for everyone, so it’s necessary to know exactly how Greek life works before deciding if this is something that will be beneficial to your college experience.

Greek life at every school differs. At FSU, approximately 18 percent of the student population is involved in Greek life, which equals about 7,000 students. There is a combined total of 55 sororities and fraternities to choose from, most of which have their own houses. While this may not seem like a significant amount, it is actually a key component of FSU. A common question you will always be asked when meeting someone is, “Are you in a sorority/ fraternity?” You will often find several students on campus proudly representing their Greek apparel, no matter which corner you turn. But the students who join these organizations are fully committed to them by choice, as it definitely requires both time and a vast amount of dedication.

One of the positive aspects of joining a sorority is having your meals prepared for you throughout the week. Any sorority member is entitled to eat at the house for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, which can save both time and money from buying groceries and cooking every night. Sororities are also known for hosting a variety of social events, whether it’s simply for fun or a philanthropic cause. They are the perfect organization for those who are eager to develop a close group of set friends in such an overwhelmingly large university. Generally, the girls will share the same interests and ideals, since they are chosen for their particular sorority based on mutual personalities. They will be alongside you at most occasions- date functions, 21st birthday waltzes, philanthropies such as Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, tailgates, parties, etc. Essentially, they will become your family away from home.

Another aspect, which can be considered both good and bad, is living in the sorority house. Members are by no means required to live in the house, but it’s definitely an effective way to save money and conveniently live across the street from campus. Also, it saves the commute of going to the house for each meal. The downside, however, is that you are unable to have the privacy of your own room; you usually have to room with 2 or 3 other girls, considering about 40 girls live in each house. You are also not allowed to have any male visitors, unless they remain on the first floor, where the kitchen and general living rooms are located.

FSU Kappa Delta House

FSU Kappa Delta House

Fraternities are similar to sororities in a number of ways. They are essentially for college males interested in nightlife, parties, and tailgates. It is, as I stated earlier, definitely the best way to meet a variety of people, gain connections, and hold a sturdy social life. Fraternities and sororities will often get paired up for different types of social events; you will generally see sororities paired with a particular fraternity for tailgates and date functions. While it is possible and quite common to live in the fraternity houses, it can also be a wreck. The houses are exceptionally filthy from all of the parties and pregames. Plus, it’s a bunch of college guys living under roof, so it’s certainly expected to lack anything along the lines of shiny cabinets and polished floors.

It’s important to keep in mind that being part of Greek life requires money, time, and commitment. If you have a stressful, busy schedule, or nightlife isn’t your go-to on the weekends, then Greek life is probably not the organization for you at FSU. It is also very expensive. While it varies for each organization, the fees range from $2,500-$4,000 per semester. If you decide to go Greek for all four years, this can result in an accumulated total of about $32,000. The costs can be a huge hit to your wallet on top of tuition alone, so it is crucial that you are completely set on your decision. PanHellenic Recruitment is a very difficult process as well, which is held the week before classes for sororities and the first few weeks of classes for fraternities. During sorority rush week, each girl is expected to walk from house to  house in the blazing summer sun, wearing heels, dresses, and makeup. Every day, they are interviewed by members to learn about each sorority and its unique aspects that may or may not fit their personality. This alone can be very stressful for girls; about 30 percent are known to drop during the recruitment process.

Lastly, these organizations will always come with specific stereotypes. Sorority girls at FSU are named as partyers and known to wear leggings, tank tops with their Greek letters, and Nike sneakers to class. At the bars, you will find them in high waisted denim shorts, crop tops, and wedges, and always traveling in packs. Guys in fraternities are stereotyped to wear short shorts, paired with a polo shirt and Sperry’s; and again, they are heavy drinkers. But remember, this is just a common judgment and misconception. Members of Greek life are constantly volunteering and partaking in multiple philanthropies for the community. Additionally, they are required to have a minimum GPA, usually around 2.8, in order to remain a member of their organization. So while some stereotypes may be true, such as girls throwing up their sorority sign in every other picture on social media, it is also important to recognize the positives of Greek life members.

Becoming involved in Greek life will demonstrate strong leadership skills, commitment, and time management, which is always a plus for building a solid resume. It is also beneficial for having multiple connections when searching for a job. Joining is not something that you need to decide on your freshman year either; Greek life can be joined anytime throughout your four years of college, usually in the fall semester. But when making this decision, it is crucial to recognize if the pros outweigh the cons, and vice versa. There are countless ways to become involved at FSU, so do not assume that Greek life is the only way to make friends and enhance your resume. FSU offers over 600 student organizations. So explore your options to see what fit is best for you, whether it’s Greek life or simply writing for the on-campus magazine (as do I). The choice is yours.

FSU Pike House

FSU Pike House

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.

To Greek or not to Greek: That is the question

October 9, 2014 in Campus Life, Events, Reviews

To set the scene for you, here is “Annie”. Annie is a freshman in college who wants to be in a sorority her mom and grandmothers were both in. At the afternoon mixer she feels like she has a good chance after making her rounds and networking to some alumni and other members. She goes to bed that night with a smile on her face. Suddenly a room full of masked kidnappers that get her down the hall blindfolded wakes her up and soon she is thrown into an unidentifiable house with candles everywhere…

 

Okay, so maybe sororities are only like that in the movies. Things don’t really go down like that these days (although that wasn’t so farfetched in the past) but that doesn’t take away the fact that both the recruiters and the recruited take their Frat or Sorority very seriously. This is viewed as a brother/sisterhood and a bond that cannot be broken. I feel that Greek Life is often stereotyped as all preppy rich college kids who just want to throw bangers and well, get banged. At some colleges this may be true, but it is not the end all be all for Bridgewater State University.

 

Preppy would definitely not be my word of choice for those involved in Greek Life for BSU. There truly are Frats/Sororities from all walks of life, and from my knowledge not all of them are very strict in terms of exclusivity. So here we have a more “open door” policy for those with the same beliefs as what they want to join. The money situation however still stands. No you don’t have to be filthy rich or anything, but I have been told there are many dues that need to be paid and their gear is not cheap. Oh, and by “gear” I mean the clothing for their Frat/Sorority. These things are freaking nice! Thick and comfy for the winter, stylish, and 100% custom made. That can’t be cheap, it just can’t.

 

Fortunately for them, BSU allows them to raise money right here on campus. They usually find some creative ways too. From car washes to selling hot chocolate in the prime area when walking to classes, I feel like I am always seeing a Frat trying to raise money for one thing or another. But hey, they don’t always try to raise money for them and them alone. Greek Life is extremely involved in community service and giving back. Quite a few of our Frats have held fundraisers at our local dive bar Bogart’s, which have raised a pretty good amount of cash. They do everything from painting homes of a disabled family all the way to conducting food drives for the poor.

 

One thing I have always admired about Greek Life was the Sisterhood/Brotherhood factor. When things are rough socially, academically, hell even spiritually you have over 20 people not only looking out for you, but also guiding you to succeed every step of the way. Unity is any Frat/Sororities biggest thing, and it cannot be broken. So if you are interested in being involved in something bigger and better than yourself, this might be the right direction for you.

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of being affiliated with Greek Life before you make a decision on something that requires a lot of dedication and commitment that you might not be able to follow through with. Be educated and open to all options. The saying is right, Greek Life is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you! Feel it out, and check it out.

 

Too Cool for School? Don’t Miss Out as a Freshman!

September 3, 2014 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

Okay, I get it. You just got out of high school and now it’s your year to do things your way this time around. All summer leading up to your first year at University you’ve been hearing adults, siblings and friends telling you how your college experience is what you make of it. So if you want to spend your first year watching Netflix in your dorm with flashcards and Sharpies virtually everywhere, take a step back.

College is a place like no other, full of social and academic opportunities all accessible at your fingertips. Don’t let your freshman year pass you by with out getting involved. Some of my best memories are from my freshman year were not at parties, not in my dorm and definitely not with Netflix. Here are the 10 things you just can’t miss:

 1. Sports

If you thought sports were huge in high school, then just know that they are vital in college. That team name/logo is everywhere. Literally. Every t-shirt, poster and car magnet in the school store has your college’s logo on it, and it is a big deal. Maybe you love sports and were planning on going to every game anyways. If so, that’s awesome…and so are the games. Or perhaps sports are not your thing and you can’t see yourself in the bleachers. The fact of the matter is that whether or not you like sports you will find yourself having a good time at these college games. The reason behind that is the vibes you feel once you walk in. Everyone else there is ready to cheer on your team, and you are a part of that lean mean fighting machine.

 2. Freshman orientation

This is a must-do on the list, simply because even as an educated student about to enter college, you don’t know it all. When you walk onto your campus it is quite common to feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many buildings; people and classes that you might even feel like you don’t know where to start. The orientation leaders are here to help! Let them assist you in order to make your freshman year run as smoothly as possible!

3. Intramural Sports

You don’t want to just sit in the bleachers all season, but don’t have the time to commit to a sport? No problem. Take the opportunity to play with your classmates in a more relaxed environment.

Or maybe you like to play sports but you aren’t the most athletic person? The intramural sports are extremely laid back, and no one is judging. So get involved, and get your head in the game!

 4. Clubs

As a freshman this is your time to start meeting people. What better way to start that journey than to meet people with similar interests as you? The great thing about college is you make friends that are all walks of life. By joining a club (and believe me there are plenty to chose from) you can connect with those who care about what you care about, and you still have plenty of time outside of this club to make even more friends. That’s the beauty of University; people are everywhere so reach out.

 5. Tutoring

High school to college can be a big transaction for some of us. For some people it might be social, others academically. If you do in fact find the classes challenging there are tutoring programs available all over campus. Sometimes you need a student on your level to help you understand a concept you are having trouble with. For example, my friend is involved in a tutoring program called PAL. She tutors students in psych. 101, and a lot of them voice to her that their grades have improved since she has assisted them. If you need the help take it! It is there for a reason.

 6. School dances

Yes, I said it. Some colleges do indeed have dances. If you give them a chance, they are actually very fun. As a freshman you are too young to go to the local pub, and might not know where to dance and let loose a little bit. These dances are great because they are all grades, and against what you might think, they aren’t lame. Get out there and meet new people!

 7. Greek Life

I personally have never been involved with Greek Life but my friends that are, love it. They literally live by it; these people are their brothers/sisters. One of the biggest upsides of Greek Life is you have a network of people standing behind you and always supporting you. So go ahead and be apart of something bigger than you are. Remember though guys; your sorority or fraternity does not define who you are.

 8. Student Activities Board

Hey, it’s your dormitory and you should have a say in what it looks like, right? As a freshman your voice matters- so use it! Plan out some cool activities everyone else in your dorm can participate in, and decorate your floor.

 9. Activities in dorms

I know it might sound sort of lame, but I can promise you it’s not. My freshman year they planned a lot of cool things for us in the dorms. No, it’s not stupid stuff that as an 18/19 year old you wouldn’t want to do, it is things planned by kids your age, for kids your age. Sometimes you can even win dining dollars (which is practically gold in college).

 

10. Fundraisers

This is a big one you will see your freshman year. Slowly but surely when people enter college, they realize the platform that is provided to them. There are so many halls or rooms, even local bars that are willing to hold a fundraiser for this, that or the other thing. This is your chance to get out there and meet new people, and even help out a good cause.