It’s Greek to meet you

Greek Life members at November’s Food and Clothing Drive. Photo courtesy of Carrie Anderson.

By Sydney Fairbanks
Jambar Contributor

Greek Life at Youngstown State University allows students to get involved with campus events and meet new people while making a difference in the community.

Carrie Anderson, associate director of student activities, said service is a large part of the experience in Greek Life.

“What these organizations do is give back to the local community as well as the national philanthropy that they raise money for. A lot of those activities and different things are a great experience for students to help make their experience more well rounded,” Anderson said.

Anderson said another integral part of Greek Life is helping students feel accepted and get involved on campus.

“One of the main things that we try to do is make sure that we’re helping our students find a sense of belonging on campus. Something so that they’re not just going to classes and running back home,” Anderson said. 

According to Anderson, Greek Life offers leadership opportunities with positions in committees, chapter executive councils and more. Students can also find outlets to improve academically, such as study tables and connecting with students in similar majors. 

“[Greek Life is] going to help them build their resume further and assist them just in working with other people, meeting other people — and a lot of those skills are found in student organizations,” Anderson said.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at an organization fair. Photo courtesy of Carrie Anderson.

Alyssa Weyand, sophomore human resource management major, acts as the Panhellenic president and the treasurer for Zeta Tau Alpha. She said Greek Life helped her become more social.

“I definitely am not the same shy, quiet person that I was when I joined,” Weyand said. “It does a lot for your character development.”

Greek Life also provides students with a means for service. Weyand said service benefits the community and Greek Life members.

“I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without joining Greek Life and also without getting involved,” Weyand said.

Anderson said Greek Life applicants must be full time students, in good standing with the university, and meet the chapter’s academic standards.

“One of the biggest things, bottom line, is to have a certain GPA. So, the minimum across the board is a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA, but chapters can require [a] higher GPA,” Anderson said.

Five fraternities and four sororities are active on campus. 

While formal recruitment opportunities are at the beginning of the fall semester, the organizations are always looking for ways to grow.

“You’re going to see different recruitment events or activities depending on which semester you’re joining,” Anderson said. “They might have some smaller events where it’s more like sit-down coffee or maybe video game nights.”

Meet the Greeks Recruitment Night was hosted Jan. 17. The event gave each fraternity and sorority a table to discuss their chapter with attendees. 

Students who missed recruitment nights can still join the chapters that have not filled all of their openings. This is called continuous open bidding and is open all spring semester.

Greek Life on the YSU campus also fights the stereotype that fraternities and sororities are not diverse. Weyand said the groups aim to be more inclusive. 

“Everyone knows the stereotypes that Greek Life has and I don’t believe that those exist in YSU’s Greek Life at all. From what I’ve seen in my past two years in [the] chapter, everyone is very inclusive and welcoming,” Weyand said.

Nick Allen is a junior civil engineer major and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He is also the president of the Interfraternity council.

Allen said joining a fraternity was nothing like what he’s seen in movies.

“I know coming here, I thought it was going to be more of a stereotypical movie type of life, but it’s really not. It more or less just came down to meeting people with common interests and sharing it with them and getting to do fun things,” Allen said. “It just brings people closer together.”