By Mirna Youssef
People might think that Greek life is all about the parties, cliques, and frat houses, because movies portray them that way. However, this isn’t the movies, this is LIU Post. At this university, there are no fraternity houses or cliques, but Greek life is a “community of students who are initiated into one of our recognized fraternities or sororities,” said Katherine Wieme, Director of Greek Life & Student Involvement, a position in Campus Life.
Wieme explained that it offers students opportunities to bond, strengthen leadership qualities, and network with alumni. There are 11 fraternities and sororities on campus: Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Delta Zeta, Phi Sigma Kappa, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Iota Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Chi Nu Alpha.
“We currently have over 250 students in fraternities and sororities,” said Michael Berthel, Director of Campus Life. “We are proud to now be home to some of the largest national organizations in the world and are excited to add Sigma Delta Tau to our community in the spring
.”These organizations are not all the same; they have different recruitment processes, structures, and types of councils. The three types of councils are the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, or the Multicultural Council. Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Phi Epsilon, and Delta Zeta are Panhellenic sororities. Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, Theta Chi, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon are fraternities a part of the Interfraternity Council. Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Iota Alpha, Delta Sigma Tau, and Chi Nu Alpha, are the fraternities and sororities that belong to the Multicultural Council.
“Being in a cultural organization differs from other organizations because we’re very passionate about our organization’s history and the meaning behind the letters; we take pride in the roots of where we come from,” said Richard Batista, President of Phi Iota Alpha, and a senior adolescence education major in mathematics. Batista also explains that one thing you learn is that you should “never forget who you are and where you come from.”
Each fraternity and sorority has a philanthropy that they partner with. “In DZ [Delta Zeta], we raise money and awareness for our philanthropy Speech and Hearing, to try to make a difference in other people’s lives,” said Nicole Cunningham, President of DZ and graduate literacy education major. Their philanthropy focuses on those that are affected by speech and hearing challenges.
“Engaging in community service projects and raising funds and awareness for various philanthropic organizations are fundamental components of being an active member of a Greek organization,” said Alexa Regina, President of Alpha Phi Epsilon, and a senior social work major. She mentions that AEPHI “values service, which has allowed me to give back to the community with the help of my
sisters.”It can be hard to find your place in college. Now that doesn’t mean your clique or “it” group, but a group of people that help you find yourself and enjoy your college and life experience. Greek life can help “students to find their home in a fraternity or sorority,” Wieme said.
“Joining Greek life is so important because when you join your org, you are also joining a community,” said Giovanna Domingo, Financial VP of Alpha Xi Delta, and sophomore accounting major. “Over the last year I have seen such a positive change in Greek life. Even if you don’t know a person and you’re wearing letters, you always have something to talk about because there is that common thread.” She explained that more people have joined, which has shown such a positive growth.
These organizations have made an impact on many students and the campus itself. “Joining Greek life has without a doubt been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. It’s gotten me way more involved than I ever was before on campus and it’s equipped me with invaluable leadership opportunities,” said Jawaan Smith, VP of Phi Sigma Kappa, a senior arts management major. “Also, knowing you have 20 plus guys who always have your back and are there for you through your highs and lows is a great feeling. It’s definitely a rewarding experience.”
“We are proud that our Greek Life students are also active in student organizations, residence halls, athletic teams, and student run businesses,” Wieme said.
“Being in Greek life means being involved, but still the most important job is for you to be a student. The hardest part about Greek Life is time management,” according to Michael Aquilano, Programing Director of Phi Sigma Kappa and sophomore psychology major.
“When you join Greek Life, you become a part of something that is very active and you need to learn or already have time management skills. Especially if you want to hold and E-board or chair position,” he said.
Wieme explained that the Office of Campus Life serves as the primary advisor to Greek life, including all the governing councils, organizations, and individual members and that they support the growth of these organizations. Campus Life “maintains a Greek life expansion policy for any organization who is interested in becoming recognized on campus,” she said.
“All of our organizations are national with chapters across the country,” Wieme said. “Post students who join a fraternity or sorority will have the opportunity to attend conventions, network with alumni, and meet fellow members from other institutions.”
Berthel added that Campus Life, and the university fully support the fraternities and sororities. “Providing opportunities for students to take part in Greek life is very important to us and we will continue to look
for ways to grow and strengthen our current organizations and add new organizations,” he said. If you think Greek life is for you: go out and meet the different organizations during Greek week or Greek events, which are held every semester and maybe you’ll find your new home.