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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.

A Look Into URI School Spirit

July 3, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Events, Sports

Rhody Ram

Rhody Ram

At the University of Rhode Island you’ll find a large group of students lined up and eager on only two occasions: when the dining halls open back up and when Greek week starts. I failed to mention any sports games or events, because if you ask any Rhody Ram they’ll tell you our teams have not been worth watching in the past few years. Although other events like concerts and shows have excited students to become more involved, here is a look into URI school spirit by a Rhody Ram herself.

Recently, our Men’s Basketball team has worked their way up to becoming a more recognized and respected team. From their improvement in defense to their confidence on the court, they’re definitely a team to follow. Last season I attended the Senior Game, a time where fans bid farewell to the teams graduating players and believe me, that game was worth watching. Players like T.J Buchanan, E.C Mathews, and Hassan Martin stepped up their game last season bringing the team to their first National Invitation Tournament appearance since the 2009-2010 season. Alongside head coach Dan Hurley, these men are single handedly bringing more school spirit to the University of Rhode Island.

Let’s not forget the other sports teams taking strides toward improving their athletic performance on and off the field. Men’s sports also include baseball, football, track & field, cross-country, golf, and soccer. The women are also making their mark as Rhody’s must-see players. Their teams include basketball, cross-country, rowing, track & field, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball. With a new training facility installed, these athletes are well equipped to have successful seasons this upcoming school year.

It’s only right that I also mention the group of students who have never failed to show school spirit at URI events. The Mob are high-energy school spirited Rhody Rams that have made it their mission to pump up the crowd and show players some Rhody spirit. Although they primarily focus on men’s basketball and football, they are always supporting sports teams at URI. With their crazy, energetic, and infectious energy, it’s no wonder they’re the biggest and most successful student-fan organization we have on-campus.

Kevin Hart at URI

Kevin Hart at URI

The University of Rhode Island also offers other events throughout the year like concerts, fundraisers, celebrity appearances, and educational forums. Since last year, I have found myself attending more and more events because of the wide-range of topics covered. If there’s one thing that has led to attend more events, it’s that there’s something for everyone. From film screenings to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) concerts and even appearances by Nev Schulman from Catfish and comedian Kevin Hart, URI offers a lot of events students do not take advantage of. The best part is, tickets are usually either free or at a discounted price.

This upcoming school year will be my final year at the University of Rhode Island, which mean’s I have some catching up to do. You’ll find me at some sports events and maybe even a concert or two. We only get four years to enjoy what our school’s have to offer so we might as well take advantage of it, right?

Here’s to being Rhode Island born and Rhode Island bred!

Let’s Talk Change URI

June 24, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

 It’s a bit unrealistic to like everything about your college and its campus, right? Well, the University of Rhode Island is no exception to that. From the hassle of selling back your old textbooks  to limited parking spaces and even the off-campus social scene,there are a few things I would change about URI and here’s why:

URI Bookstore

URI Bookstore

One thing I would change about URI would have to be the inconvenience of the bookstore. Every semester, thousands of students purchase books for their classes, some of them are never even used while others are used once or twice during the entire course. Not only is this unfair, but when it comes to the end of the school year, selling back your books to the URI Bookstore is horrifying. I’ve had instances where I’ve purchased a hardcover textbook for over $60 and have received $5-10 back. This just doesn’t seem fair especially because students cannot afford to be buying such expensive books. I remember as I freshmen, I was willing to purchase an expensive book because I was told I could sell it back to the URI Bookstore, but after realizing they would only pay me for a fraction of the original price, I stopped purchasing my books from them. Now, I use other alternatives allowing me to rent books and mail them back without any additional cost.
A URI Parking Lot

A URI Parking Lot

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how difficult it is to find on-campus parking. It usually starts off with an angry tone then a few dirty looks followed by one or two heavy breathes of frustration. These are the immediate responses of URI students when parking is mentioned. There’s always construction, which means heavy duty machinery is most likely blocking parking spots. With an increase in student body each year, you would think the school would add more parking spots conveniently near dorm buildings or even the library, but no. That’s the least of their worries and as you can see from the image above, some parking lots have massive potholes preventing students from pulling into spaces. If you ask me, some of these holes seem unsafe and could damage a student, faculty member or vehicle. For now, URI continues to expand its departments and programs by adding to the campus without taking into consideration the lack of parking spaces available.
South Kingstown Police

South Kingstown Police

The last thing thing that makes the University of Rhode Island difficult to stand is the off-campus social scene. Being a dry campus has arguably ruined URI’s reputation as being a party school. It’s difficult to even have friends over in your dorm room because the Residential Assistant (RA) may consider it to be a party. With that being said, most parties and friendly gatherings are ‘down the line’ in Narragansett and South Kingstown, where most upperclassmen live. This is about a twenty minute ride off campus, making the commute to hang out with friends a dreaded trip. In recent years, the parties off-campus have resulted in a lot of issues with local police. This has started a parking ban in off-campus residential neighborhoods throughout evenings and into the night. Students are now unable to get together with their friends because of transportation issues as well as disagreements with town police. What ever happened to having fun while in college?
 
It’s an unfortunate situation when the college or university you attend seems to make decisions without the student body in mind. In my opinion, these are changes that the University of Rhode Island should take into consideration and potentially change in order to be have a more positive effect on students. Although URI has been my home for the past three years, those in charge may need pay closer attention to its Rhody students and their desires for change. 

Dinning Hall Dilemma at URI

June 19, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Health, Reviews

The University of Rhode Island offers more than just traditional dining halls. Although you’ll find yourself going to Hope Commons and Butterfield for most of your meals, it’s still important to change things up. Don’t fear the Freshmen 15 and enjoy some good eats on-campus!

At the top of campus, you’ll find the Emporium…you’ll grow to love it because of the diversity of foods, but you’ll also hate it because it’s not a far walk from your dorm. Which means, you’ll probably find yourself there at least once or twice a week.

Albie's Steak and Cheese Sandwich

Albie’s Steak and Cheese Sandwich

Albie’s Place offers some great greasy sandwiches a long with your traditional burgers, french fries and breakfast foods. My personal favorites have got to be the Phat Sandwiches. These are Albie’s signature sandwiches that you won’t find anywhere else. Like the Phat Albie, which includes chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, steak fries, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard on a sub or wrap. My freshmen year was changed the day I order a Phat Grenade. At 11PM on a Friday night I devoured a sub filled with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and marinara sauce. Not to mention the steak fries that are absolutely to die for.

Peking Tokyo General Tso's

Peking Tokyo General Tso’s

Are you in the mood for some Chinese or Japanese food? Peking Tokyo is the place for you! From traditional sushi to fried chicken and rice, this restaurant definitely switches things up for the students at URI. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for some sesame chicken, especially during finals week when nothing seems to satisfy your craving unless its greasy, unhealthy, and extremely filling. You won’t leave this place unhappy. Your greatest fortune has got to be trying some of this Chinese and Japanese food while attending URI.

Who doesn’t love burritos and some chips? At the University of Rhode Island Emporium ,you can find well known eatery, Caliente Mexican Grill. From traditional burritos to burritos that have steak, fried beans, and rice with some barbecue sauce on the side, your taste buds will be singing once you step foot inside. Don’t be shy, their friendly staff is always open to suggestions and will add just about anything to your burrito, including chips, guac and some tasteful salsa. Freshmen fifteen here we come!

Falafel Salad from I-Pocket

Falafel Salad from I-Pocket

Last, but certainly not least International Pocket brings a little bit of Greek culture to URI. Offering salads, gyro sandwiches and falafels, I-Pocket is exploding with taste! Their taziki is freshly made, which adds even more taste to the sandwiches and salads. If you’re ever looking for a little bit more taste than your average meal, this is the place for you.

Make your time at the University of Rhode Island a memorable one and try out some of these places! Although the dining hall food is digestible, sometimes you’re in a bit of a dinning hall dilemma and must make some decisions. Forget the freshmen fifteen and enjoy yourself…this is the time to do it!

Rhody Ragers: The URI Party Scene

June 12, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges

The best way to break this down is to base the party scene at URI on what year you’re in!

Freshmen: Okay, so maybe Barlow Circle isn’t exactly a party spot, but for the first few weeks you’re at URI you’ll probably meet a lot of your soon-to-be friends here. After dinner, freshmen usually walk around campus looking for plans (don’t worry – this won’t last long). Everyone eventually finds their way to Barlow Circle and you sort of just hang out there. Have some laughs, meet some new people and get honked at by upperclassmen driving by…you’re only a freshmen once, live it up.

Like I said, don’t worry because it won’t last long. Before you know it, you’ll make friends and start getting invited to parties. At URI, students who live in Narragansett, down near the beach refer to their borough as ‘down the line.’ These houses are rented our during the school year to students like you and me. So essentially, they’re the perfect spot for parties especially when you get together a group of friends and just hang out. Parties ‘down the line’ are acceptable for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. They never really get old!

Sophomores: At this point, you’ll probably have gone to a decent amount of parties ‘down the line’ and have probably traveled to new and old Eastward, another hot spot for student parties, at some point. These house parties are great and everything, but you’re probably wishing you had access to a different side of the party scene. Well for those of you capable of getting into bars…there’s a few you should know about:

Bobby G’s is great for some Tidal Wave Tuesdays. With a dance floor and a live DJ, you can’t go wrong with going to this bar for a night out. Very casual, yet fun – so grab a bunch of your friends and head over there if you’re looking for something to do during the week.

Poncho O’Malley’s also has a lot going on with music and is hot spot for students on Wednesday nights. $10 sangria pitchers and your night has basically been made thanks to Poncho’s! Not a bad deal for students on a budget, if you ask me.

URI Darty

URI Darty

Every wanted to day drink, jump on bouncy castles and eat some burgers while you’re at it? Welcome to a URI ‘darty.’ This day party will be hosted at a students house when the weather gets nice. Suns out? It’s darty time!

Juniors: Well, now that most you have definitely gotten sick of the house parties in Narragansett, welcome to the grown-up world! You’re now 21 and can legally go into bars (congrats, you made it). One of the  good things about Rhode Island is that you can take advantage of the bars in the area. Bonvue, sometimes referred to as “Bon-Zoo” because of how wild it gets, is a great place to go on Thursday nights. You’ll probably see every URI student you’ve ever met, but that makes the drinks taste a little better and the music a little more fun to dance to.

And for all of you seniors who have basically experience every form of partying at URI, feel free to drive by Barlow Circle once in a while, go to some get togethers ‘down the line’ or even tare up the bar scene. We know it’s your last year at URI and Senior Week can’t come soon enough!