It’s good to be greek – a “greek life” primer

Hammond, La – In college life it isn’t unusual to hear the term “the greeks” tossed around and it conjures all kinds of questions. What does it mean?  What do these “greeks” do?  Do they provide a benefit to the community? Are they just social clubs?

The greeks are split up into 12 organizations based on their different morals and beliefs. From there, they are classified into 3 councils: National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), and The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).

The NPHC is the nationwide predominately African-American Greek organizations. Although, this national council has over 1.5 million members, SLU is proud to have the organizations of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

The IFC is the symbolic primary figure for all fraternities at SLU. The six fraternities on campus are: Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Tau Gamma, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi, and Theta Xi

Last but not least there is the NPC, which is the essential leading body of all Southeastern sororities. There are a total of 26 national sororities that make up this national council. On this campus we have the ladies of Alpha Omicron Pi, Theta Phi Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Phi mu, and Alpha Sigma Tau.

Most people view these “greeks” as the stereotypical partygoers that they see in movies, but what they do not see is the hard work through service and conduct they strive to succeed in every day. Aubre Lindsay of Hammond states, “As a non-greek I see them on the outside looking in. They are always doing something; whether it is raising money or handing out baked goods they are always active on Southeastern’s campus, which is something I really appreciate.”

Every greek organization has a philanthropy that they support and raise funds for. A lot of these fundraisers are held in our very own student union where the student body is invited to be a part of something bigger and help make a difference in someone’s life. Most of all the proceeds go to local hospitals and organizations so people know that their money stays within the community. Katelyn Thibodeaux of Alpha Omicron Pi states, “For the greeks, the service hours they do are so much more than a chore; it is a heartwarming and fun bonding time shared among the sister or brotherhood while giving back to the community. I love how involved each and every Greek is at school and in the community. At Southeastern not only are we greeks but many of us are also involved in other organizations around campus. Being involved at Southeastern is something in which all greeks take pride, and we will always be around to lend a helping hand!”

It also opens many opportunities for those who do not know where to begin. Caitlin Dupuy, the founder of Alpha Tau Eta states, “In high school I was extremely involved and I wanted to continue that in college. Joining a sorority was a perfect opportunity to get a foot in the door. I think that Greek life not only helps students get involved on campus but it opens up doors for their four years in college and their futures.” Sometimes your sister/brotherhood is that extra helping hand needed when it comes to stepping up above the rest and  succeeding. These organization have given chances to people such as Martin Luther King, Jr. of Alpha Phi Alpha, Neil Armstrong of Kappa Kappa Psi, and Carrie Underwood of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Greek life not only lets students serve in the community and being a leader, but it is also a helping hand when it comes to the overwhelming and cultural shock that is the college life. Amiee Dufreche of Phi Mu says, “My first year was so lonely. I had friends but they were the kind that would be there for you during good times but the second things got rough it was almost like they vanished.  I longed for lifelong friends and companionship that would be there when I had made mistakes. I wanted friends that would build me up not tear me down. When I joined Phi Mu I instantly knew these girls would stick by my side from school to everyday life crisis.” To many, their organization is a home away from home — a place where there is an escape from college and life. It gives people a chance to be around friends they know care for them. Dufreche says, “Joining later as a sophomore makes me appreciate my shorter time in Phi Mu. It’s allowed me to see what true friendship is. Although I’m graduating this year I know I’ll still be in touch with some of the girls for the rest of my life.”

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