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Monday, November 30, 2020

Greek Life

Getting into Greek


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In addition to building friendships, networking and gaining leadership skills, students in Greek life support their brothers and sisters in academic affairs to ensure success after graduation. | Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha

A 2.69 GPA is a no-no for Sigma Nu brothers. In fact, show up with a 2.69 and you’ll get summoned to face the Honor Board, which consists of eight brothers and alumni.

“You can come to Honor Board for a lot of things,” said Sigma Nu Sergeant at Arms Tyler Henderson, “like saying something out-of-line toward a sorority sister or messing up and talking bad about the fraternity or grades.”

Henderson, a hotel and restaurant management junior, said his brothers are always pushing each other to do well in and beyond school, hence the Honor Board and other traditions and commitments, such as house-cleaning parties and philanthropic events. As a result, some of his brothers have gone on to start businesses such as law firms, work for major institutions like NASA and be present in about every career field.

Sigma Nu is an example of many fraternities and sororities that have produced leaders in our society. According to a 2012 USA Today article, “85 percent of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life … and college graduation rates are 20 percent higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.” It also said people who go Greek build networks and gain communication, interaction and leadership skills that assist them in life.

Civil engineering sophomore Kimberly Gonzalez of Sigma Lambda Gamma said networking is a major aspect of being Greek. She said before she joined she had few friends, but now she has many from her sorority; their brother fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta; their cousin fraternity and sorority, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta; and the other UH Greeks who often host events together. Her network extends across the country.

“Even though I haven’t met (Gammas from other universities), I can contact them and say, ‘Hey, I’m a Gamma at U of H.’ Like you know people everywhere,” Gonzalez said. “I have sisters who have gone to Vegas, and they just contacted sisters over there and they had a place to stay.”

Phi Sigma Rho secretary Sarah Hinojosa, a chemical engineering sophomore, said being Greek has taught her invaluable leadership skills. She said in the beginning she would sometimes feel stress, but she has learned to use her time wisely because her sisters were there to support her and help her succeed, since they share the same sorority and many classes.

“We feel this is a safe haven,” Hinohosa said. “We push for our girls to graduate. You have a backbone here.”

Business marketing senior McKinney Stokes of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated said the article is accurate. He joined to receive guidance on making better decisions in college and life from the older fraternity brothers. He said his brothers — no matter where they are across the country or in life — are always eager to help each other.

“When you go Greek, there’s always someone that was before you, and there’s usually going to be someone after you. When you get into a fraternity, that’s a great opportunity within itself, and you wouldn’t have that opportunity if it wasn’t for the people who came before you,” Stokes said. “It’s an individual aspect and also paying your dues to just help the next person get the opportunity that you were given.”

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