Greek Corner: Spring Rush

As fraternity and sorority Rush approaches in February, members of UVM Greek life to consider why they love being part of the system. Community service, academic connections, forming a network of friendships, and social events such as formals and gatherings with other houses, are among different positive experiences cited by Greek members. UVM’s 10 fraternities and five sororities yield a variety of opportunities that help students grow socially and academically, providing a fulfilling and well-rounded college experience. In short, many relate that UVM’s Greek system embodies being active, involved, and most importantly, having fun! “I love being in a sorority because I know I can always rely on the support from my sisters,” said Jenn Ohler of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Friendship is the backbone of Greek life. Brothers and sisters are there to help each other with school, stress, and life issues in general. While not everybody in a house may be best friends, most everyone can connect on some level. Through the different activities that Greek houses do as a group, people can not help but bond. Each brother or sister in a house is unique, and yet everyone comes together in a certain way. Community service opportunities are an invaluable component of Greek life. Greeks make a point of giving back to the community by performing various projects throughout the year. Furthermore, many houses identify with a certain charity and raise money in support of its cause. “We spend lots of time doing community service on the weekends,” said Raphael Okutoro of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. “Last semester, around Halloween we volunteered at Huntington’s annual Haunted Forest for hours. “It was a very cold Saturday night, and everyone could have been doing something else, but we stayed volunteering to make the Haunted Forest a success.” Greek life also provides academic benefits. “Having older brothers in the chapter has proven to be a great resource academically,” said Justin McCormick of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. “Being able to ask older individuals for their advice on classes, professors, and post-graduation opportunities is a service that cannot be measured.” Greek life also cultivates leadership skills that are applicable on campus and post-graduation. As evidenced by the large numbers of Greeks involved with leadership-oriented activities such as the Student Government Association, AdvoCats, Orientation Leaders, etc., it is clear that Greek life encourages its members to get involved on campus through various activities. Additionally, different leadership positions also exist within each house. “I was president of my fraternity for a year and I would have to say that it was the single college experience that I feel prepared me a little bit more for the real world,” said Matthew Ogelby of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. “Fraternities have a bad reputation for being immature, but I can’t think of any other experience that helped me mature more as an individual.”