Greek Organizations

Getting Involved at FSU

October 4, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

There are over 600 student-oriented clubs offered at FSU, which can undoubtedly be overwhelming to incoming freshman looking to get involved. Ranging from the skydiving club to medical and law-based clubs, the question is, where do you even begin? It’s best to look online through all of the clubs offered, and then choose one or two you think will suit your interests. The point of joining a club is to enjoy it; not for it to be another stressful obligation on your plate. Whatever you are studying in school may be a great place to start in regards to finding the right fit. I will narrow it down to just a few clubs that are most recognized here at FSU.

Advertising Club: While it’s one of the more expensive clubs to participate in, it’s very beneficial for those majoring in Advertising, Communications, English, etc. The club works with several big advertising agencies and provides students with real world experience, making it a great investment. The club also takes a trip each year to visit major agencies; this year, the trip was to New York!

Her Campus FSU

Her Campus FSU

Her Campus: While this is generally geared towards a more female staff, males are certainly not excluded if they are interested in writing for this huge global site. FSU has its own Her Campus chapter that is progressing more and more each year. The student-based staff provides the latest on entertainment, career, fashion, and so much more. It’s a great community to get involved in and is recognized by several other schools, which also have accessible links on the Her Campus site. If Her Campus doesn’t interest you, there are plenty of other clubs offered for those passionate about writing and editing. The Kudzu Review and the The Eggplant are two of which, and are more geared towards a gender-neutral staff.

Bowling Club: The bowling club at FSU is popular since we have a bowling alley located on campus, making it convenient for those interested in joining. What many students enjoy about this particular club is that it promotes recreational activity and can be enjoyed any time throughout the year without the worry of weather. Members even have the privilege of participating in tournaments and exhibitions to represent FSU as a team.

Center for Global Engagement: This organization works to increase global awareness and diversity at FSU, participating in several cross-cultural exchanges. This is an important program, and is especially beneficial for those passionate about studying abroad and learning about different cultures around the world.

Healthy Noles: College students are more aware of their health than ever before, which is why this is a growing club at FSU. It facilitates and promotes the understanding of leading a healthier lifestyle through proper diet and exercise while in college, which we know can be a difficult task between drinking and cheap fast food.

Healthy Noles

Healthy Noles

Habitat for Humanity: This nonprofit organization takes part in several community service events to promote housing for those suffering poverty. If you are better at hands-on activities and enjoy being in the outdoors, then this may be the club for you.

Fraternities/ Sororities: While Greek life technically only constitutes 16 percent of the FSU population, it still seems to play a very significant role at the university. If you’re interested in narrowing down your group of friends at such a large school, then a fraternity of sorority may be the best organization for you. Not only does it allow you to meet people that will become practically like family, but it also increases your social life by engaging you in different activities and participating in multiple events throughout the year. In the end, it always seems to be rewarding for those who are really passionate about joining.

With these only being a few of the many beneficial clubs to join at FSU, there is simply no excuse to not get involved during your time at the university. Be sure to attend the first-day meetings to see if you think it’s the right pick for you, and do your research beforehand to pick out what you think suits you best. It’s all about enjoying these extracurriculars as a small break away from school and making friends with students who share the same interests as you. FSU offers a site that allows you do limit your search by simply typing in your interests. Click on the link provided to begin your quest, and get involved! https://nolecentral.dsa.fsu.edu.

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.

Cult Life at UConn

March 14, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

Earlier this week, an article was posted in the Daily Campus, UConn’s campus newspaper, comparing Greek life to a cult. This was in response to a hazing incident that made the news last weekend and has resulted in the suspension of one Fraternity and one Sorority on campus. This news has created a massive stir in the UConn community. There has been a backlash against Greek life, which has led some Greeks to speak out to defend themselves, which only escalates the witch hunt on campus right now. This recent article has only added fuel to the fire.

The Daily Campus has received a wave of feedback criticizing and condemning the article for being a slanderous, uninformed, and just flat-out wrong piece of journalism based on minimal research. I will say though, that it is wrong to blame the paper. The article was part of the commentary section, an opinion piece. However, biased and uninformed his opinion is, the dude’s got every right to voice it. The Daily Campus has posted plenty of articles about how impressive Greek life is and all the great philanthropic and charitable efforts that UConn Greeks have done over the past few semesters. So clearly, the paper is not a biased source, just this author. The Daily Campus SHOULD be printing stuff from every point of view.

As far as this guy’s article, I personally was pretty butt hurt about it. It compares UConn’s Greek life, and all Greek life in general, to a cult and lists a number of different criteria for what qualifies a cult and how Greek life fits that mold. I’m a little confused how exactly one can come to that conclusion when he has not participated in Greek life and doesn’t actually know how it operates. I will admit though, it’s hard to actually take this thing seriously. I mean the guy’s source for all this is an article about Greek life and hazing at another school (nothing to do with UConn) from fucking COSMOPOLITAN magazine! Right away, all this article’s credibility is out the window.

I’ve never been in a cult, so I really can’t say what being in a cult is like, but I have been in Greek life for years now and I’ve got a pretty good handle on what it’s like. Let’s take a look at a few examples from his article shall we?

  • Right off the bat here is his first example: “one quality of a cult is that ‘the group displays excessively zealous or unquestioning commitment to its leader’. Although most Greek organizations have more than one leader, their orders are almost invariably followed without question out of fear of rejection or worse.” Having actually been one of the executive members of my chapter I can call bullshit on this one. I’ve learned that the word “mandatory” in Greek life means about jack shit. Trying to get 100% of your chapter to do anything is like pulling teeth out of a fucking tiger’s mouth. I can tell you that some leadership in Greek life is pretty far from unquestionable.
  • Here’s the next one: “The ICSA notes that in cults, ‘the leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure.’ Fraternities certainly use peer pressure to force recruits to perform embarrassing or even dangerous tasks ‘for the organization.” Oh yeah peer pressure is our main tool to get people to sign up for stuff like Huskython, philanthropies, community service events and log study hours in the library. Ya know, for the organization.
  • ” In a Cosmopolitan article, former sorority member Tess Koman writes that from the time she pledged, she was “made to feel pretty terrible about any activity I was doing that wasn’t sorority-related.” Going to a family member’s funeral? Better be Sorority related! I like to use the old “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed” line for this one.
  • “One more quality of cults is that “members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.” Many fraternities and sororities at UConn have their own residence halls in Husky Village, and most of the ones that do definitely encourage or even require members to live there, rather than in traditional residence halls with friends from outside the organization” Fun fact: Some majors such as Nursing have their own communities where they are encourages to live with and socialize with other members. Also my chapter, along with several others, don’t even have houses in Husky Village. I for one live in an apartment with one other member and two guys who aren’t affiliated.

So clearly this is some Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism here. While the facts presented in his article are in no way shape or form true, the guy still has as much right to voice his opinion as I do mine. I might disagree with what he has to say, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to say it. I’d like to end my article with this. It’s a quote from a biography about Voltaire, ”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my cult and drink some Kool-Aid.

Here’s the article in question: http://www.dailycampus.com/commentary/how-fraternities-and-sororities-operate-needs-to-be-reformed-1.3150476#.UyNqYEJdUeZ

Yep, Here We Are!

Yep, Here We Are!

Greek Life at Hofstra University

January 10, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

To Greek or not to Greek, that is the all consuming question. Time and time again we see in movies and t.v shows the classic stereotypes of the obnoxious frat boys and the slutty sorority girls doing ridiculous things at crazy parties. This all makes for good television but is this what it is really like to be a part of greek life you may ask? Well, the answer is yes and no. To stick all people who take part in this culture in that stereotype is wrong, there are people of all walks of life that take part in Greek life, which is one of the many reasons that joining this culture can be a valuable and rewarding choice. But the idea that you have to be in a Fraternity or Sorority to have fun in college is not at all the case.Yes, you will meet lots of people and have lots of fun,but you will be doing that already by just putting yourself out there.

Joining Greek life is certainly something to consider, but don’t commit yourself until you really learn about all that each organization has to offer. It is a slippery slope from joining a group and having fun to devoting all your time and energy to “keep” these super-awesome new friends you have. While it is dubbed as an overall group, there are many different sorts of people who populate this division of college. Each organization stands for different things, and you will learn that when you get to your school. Some positive and definitely some negative, but that is different to each and every school. It is very fair to say that you will meet many people if you join Greek life; with all the mixers and parties, you will be drowning in acquaintances. But in order to have fun, keep up grades and satisfy all that your Frat or Sorority requires of its pledges can be a challenge for some. Schools such as Hofstra require at least one semester without Greek life in order to assimilate to college life and get your bearings for the new life you are living. I find that this trail time is as good a time as any to size up Greek life at your school and see if it is something you want to be a part of, not to mention make friends outside of the Greek world, because I promise there will be some winners in the other 90% of the school that you are missing out on if you don’t. As someone who is not part of a sorority, and someone who has no plans to join Greek life, my perspective is one who has lost friends to that lifestyle. The best advise that anyone can give you, is don’t limit yourself. Greek life can be very rewarding; the parties are fun for Greek and non-Greek alike. Yet, there are so many organizations out there, with people in all walks of life that can be just as rewarding. Consider wisely, but look at all the options. There will be a lot of choices out there, and you are the only one who knows what is right for you and you alone.