The stigma surrounding Fraternity and Sorority Life is murky at best, but in reality, the Greek organizations here at Slippery Rock University work hard every year to positively impact the community. For instance, during the 2017-2018 academic year, the 16 organizations performed 9,662 hours of community service total. They also raised a total of $41,049 for their respective philanthropies.
Engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society. Senior business management major and President of Kappa Sigma Chris De Santi said his fraternity has a focus on Four Pillars of Success: Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship and Service.
As part of the Service pillar, Kappa Sigma is involved with the Military Heroes Campaign, which supports ongoing care for military veterans and their families. Every semester, De Santi and his brothers host Pancakes for Patriots, a pancake delivery service, to raise money for the campaign. The fraternity also works with the Adopt a Highway program and has a stretch of highway by the Old Stone House on William Flynn Highway.
“When we’re initiating new people, we try to let them know about our focus on community service and fundraising, and how it’s a big part of being a brother,” De Santi said. “We wanna be better for the Slippery Rock community.”
Additionally, Kappa Sigma brothers volunteer at Cedar Point during their Halloweekends events, running photo booths and the like, and the fraternity also participates in events with Autism Speaks, where De Santi acts as the Public Relations chair, as well as other student organizations on- campus. De Santi said he encourages brothers to be part of organizations other than Kappa Sigma so they can be set up for success in the future.
“We really want to help people out and help our brothers develop a good network and build their resumes,” De Santi said. “You want to surround yourself with people who will better you, not hinder you.”
As President, he said he’s very proud of how far the fraternity has come since joining in the fall of 2014, especially concerning the fraternity’s dedication to community service and the group’s overall GPA, which was the highest average in Fraternity and Sorority Life last academic year.
Madison Roxbury, senior integrated marketing communication and philanthropy and nonprofit management double major and President of Alpha Omicron Pi, included that each Greek organization, while hosting their own philanthropic events throughout the semesters, make a point to attend other events and support other organizations’ events and philanthropies, too. Alpha Omicron Pi was another organization that reported a high number of community service hours.
According to Roxbury, Alpha Omicron Pi volunteers often at the Woodlands in Wexford; the Woodlands is a facility that holds programs for children and adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses helping them find freedom and empowerment. In January, sisters volunteered during the Divas Weekend retreat, helping the young girls get dressed, do their makeup and prepare for a fashion show at the facility.
“Diva Weekend is one of our favorite events to be involved in, it’s really great,” Roxbury said with a smile.
Alpha Omicron Pi also holds feminine hygiene product drives with the Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe) in Butler and Strike Out Arthritis! events in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation.
Delta Zeta also reported a high number of community service hours, which isn’t surprising because a number of sisters regularly travel around and outside the country on care breaks providing things like hearing aids, hygiene education and literacy, according to President Lauren Debiec, a senior healthcare administration management major.
“Even though we’re all different organizations, we do always try to come together and support each other’s events,” Debiec said of Fraternity and Sorority Life as a whole. “We’re always posting other organizations’ events on our social media, we always make sure to stop by, and others do the same for us. We’re really passionate about that.”
Delta Zeta is involved with the Paint a Turtle Camp in California, a camp designed for children with chronic illnesses, to be able to have the classic summer camp experience; locally, the sorority often collaborates with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on the Adopt a Highway program, cleaning up a stretch of highway on Route 79. Debeic said Delta Zeta also hosts a number of food-related philanthropy events on campus every year.
“It’s been such an honor,” she said of being President of Delta Zeta. “It’s crazy sometimes to sit there and think, ‘Wow, this is a chapter I’m helping lead.’ We’ve done so many great things, and I’m a little sad because I graduate in December, but it also makes me feel so good to know that I’m leaving this chapter in amazing hands.”
In July, during the national Delta Zeta convention in San Fransisco, the Zeta Phi chapter received two awards: the Crest Award for excellence in all areas of college programming, and the Founders Award for a high record of achievement in membership, programming and cooperation. The Zeta Phi chapter was one of 12 recipients of the Crest Award and one of only two recipients of the Founders Award.
Going into this semester, all three presidents agreed that their organizations plan to continue their achievements and success by hosting numerous events, providing community service around Slippery Rock and overall contributing positively to SRU as a whole.