Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by one of Phired Up’s interns this semester — Becky Cohen. She and a team of undergraduates are collecting stories to help our readers gain insight into the fraternity/sorority experience, and how we can help share the gift of Greek Life with more deserving people.
My name is Becky Cohen, and I am a proud member of the Delta Zeta sorority. I am currently a junior at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and am currently geeking out about the opportunity to help Phired Up an intern.
People ask me all the time, “Why did you go Greek?” For the population of students on a college campus, this concept can be hard to grasp. They are already going to college and working to get good grades, and having a social experience. There seems to be no need for anything more than that.
I thought to myself, why do people go Greek? What other reasons do people have for joining this massive community? So, I decided to take my questions to the Greek leaders on my campus at Southern Illinois University, and dig for the stories that continue to motivate me to be the best member I can be.
First, I talked with Hannah Vercelote, a Sigma Kappa. When I asked her why she went Greek, her answer flew out. She told me that the philanthropies really hit home with her. “My grandpa has dementia, and when I found out that Sigma Kappa’s philanthropy is Alzheimer’s it was like ‘wow, people really care’ and I could finally do more than just watch this happen.” This passion for philanthropy really shows when talking to Hannah about her Panhellenic experiences. She is dedicated to making a change.
When I heard Katie Gutierrez’s story about deciding to go Greek, it inspired me. Katie is a founding member of Delta Phi Epsilon, the sorority that just chartered on our campus in the fall. I actually knew Katie my freshman year and she was not about Greek Life at all, now we can laugh as we talk about that. The story she shared with me was, “I’m so glad that I decided to go to recruitment last fall. I definitely found my home away from home through this organization. Everyone was so welcoming and genuine that I knew right away I made the right choice. I have met so many amazing women that I’m so glad to call my sisters and have already made so many unforgettable memories. In a short amount of time we have done so many fantastic things and I’m so excited to see what we will do in the years to come.” From not wanting to join a sorority, to becoming a founding member it has been such a wonderful experience being able to watch her grow and be a part of this incredible change on our campus.
When I talked with fraternity man Gerard Dudzinski, brother of Delta Chi, I sensed his drive immediately. He told me about how he rushed a few fraternities, but struggles with a low GPA. Gerard was drawn to Delta Chi because they were so open to rushing him for his personality. “I met great brothers that I would do anything for and they would do the same for me. They support me when I’m down and I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. After that, my grades went up and I was a part of making this chapter skyrocket to where it is now. We’re getting better and better and I know I’ve been part of this change.”
Now, if these stories don’t warm your heart I don’t know what will. When people talk about their reasons for going Greek, it’s like they are giving you a little piece of who they are. You get a glimpse of what they value and the changes they want to make. I don’t doubt for a second that these three members are going to do wonders for our world.
Being a member of a Greek organization connects you with this community that is larger than one could ever imagine. I never thought for a second that by going through recruitment in the fall of 2012 I would end up with this love for what greek life has to offer. It moves me. It drives me. I geek out about it all the time. I’m so thankful for the doors in my life that have been opened for me from being a sorority woman.