The Wichitan

Greeks give members sense of purpose

Naomi Skinner

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Hunter Wolf, a Kappa Alpha member and a biology sophomore, and Tristen Cunningham, management information systems freshman, perform a dance to Fergalicious by Fegie at the Mr. MSU Male Pageant in D.L. Ligion Coliseum. Entry required a package of diapers for entry, April 14. Photo by Francisco Martinez

The Greek community on campus makes up about 431 students which is about 9 percent of the student population. These students create friendships, interact through social gatherings and help out around the community.

“Greek life has provided me with many opportunities to better myself as a person,” said sports and leisure junior from Tau Kappa Epsilon Preston Mitchell. “I have made life-long friendships. Also it has shown me how to run and be a part of an organization which is an invaluable resource for later in life.”

Not only does Greek life give you experience at being a leader, but it’s helped some Greek members find lasting friendships.

“From being in a sorority, I have gained so many friendships and stories,” said Kira Smith, one of Chi Omega’s 65 members. “I know that no matter what is going on in my life, I’ll always have my sisters.”

“I went through recruitment hoping to meet new friends and to find a way to get connected on campus,” said Chi Omega President Kelsie Allen. “What I’ve found in Chi Omega has been more than I could’ve ever hoped for. Chi Omega has improved my grades, study habits, and community service, but it’s done so much more than that.”

Fraternities and sororities participate in group meetings, study sessions, social services, and campus activities, such as Relay for Life, the annual fundraising walk to fight cancer. During Greek Week, Greek organizations participate in events such as a food eating contest and a diaper building fort.

“Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropic mission is building strong girls, so in our community service we strive to empower women to reach their full potential,” said Megan Piehler of Gamma Phi Beta the second largest MSU chapter. “We do this through hands-on service at the local Wichita Falls Camp Fire. We take care of kids at their after school program.”

Fraternities and sororities are nationwide organizations, but the local groups, called chapters, determine membership fees.

“Each individual member is paying things, such as dues or a chapter fee, which doesn’t necessarily fund local operations, but supports the existence of the headquarters,” said Matthew Park, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “At Midwestern, dues are cheaper than other institutions primarily because our chapters do not have houses on campus.”

For his TKE fraternity, which has 28 members, Marty Kuehler pays an average of $350 a semester.

“Dues are so many a month which works out to $350 a semester,” said Kuehler. “Then there’s additional costs like T-shirts, philanthropy and big and little stuff. We want to make sure we have money to take our littles out to dinner.”

“We have baseline monthly fees of $75 a month,” said Allen. “They only pay four months out of each semester and those cover things like rent for fain hall, cable for our chapter room, filtered water, extra storage units and things like that.

Greek life isn’t cheap. Each fraternity or sorority has their own additional costs outside of the standard dues.

“There are extra fees like shirts that are optional based on what the member buys,” said Allen.

In addition to paying fees, fraternity and sorority members are required to do community service hours to support a local charities.

“We have to put on at least one event per semester for one of our charities: St. Jude and the Alzheimers Association,” said Kuehler.

Chi Omega members are required to do 4.5 community service hours.

Being in a Greek organization does take up a lot of time between service hours, chapter meetings and study hours, but it can also help teach time management.

“Time management: that’s one of the things you learn in college,” said Kuehler. “You learn to make a schedule, work a part-time job, go to class and be active in your fraternity.”

Sororities and fraternities have GPA requirements and other academic goals for joining and returning members.

“Each member is required to have at least a 2.0,” said Kuehler. “If not, you’re put on probation which leads to having to do grade checks. If you’re on probation, you can’t go to recreational sports.”

“One of the main things we focus on is scholarships,” said Allen. “So members with a GPA lower than a 3.0 are required to do study hours that vary based on what the GPA was.”

Depending on a member’s GPA, members may be required to have study hours in the library.

Despite all the hours of service, fees, and other requirements, members say the benefits-particularly the friendships-outweigh the cost.

“I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and gained leadership skills that I never imagined I would have,” said Allen. “Chi Omega has given me the confidence I needed to grow from the shy person I was into the woman I am today.”

Students in Greek life have gained close friends and for some; guidance for their future.

Mitchell said, “If it was not for Greek life, I would not have volunteered my time and found how rewarding community service is, the most important thing Greek life has given me is brotherhood and mentors to help me find my way through college.”

“It’s given me connections and resources to future job opportunities,” Piehler said. “I have a wonderful support system of women that I can count on for anything, and opportunities to grow through leadership positions.”

 

Quotes:

“It is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made and I appreciate the knowledge I have gained from the experiences I have been apart of,” Gamma Phi Beta member and junior in international studies and political science Madi Parker said.

“It’s a good way to get me involved on campus. I’ve gotten really close with all of the girls and it opens up a lot of connections with people in the community,” Sigma Kappa member and sophomore in nursing Abby Olson said.

“I didn’t intend to and I really got along with the women. They were really encouraging and the type of people I wanted to be around,” Kappa Delta Chi member and senior in spanish Brianna Hatcher said.

“It’s always something I wanted to do. I really wanted the full college experience,” Alpha Phi member and freshman in radiology Alyssa Bell said.

“I feel like it’s given me a place on campus and made me into a better leader,”Alpha Phi member and sophomore in nursing Kaitlynn Wattersen said.

“It can be challenging finding where you fit in in a new place especially college. Being part of a sorority can give you a feeling of belonging. It’s like a home away from home. The bonds, experiences, and life-long friendships are definitely worth it,” Alpha Kappa Alpha member and sophomore in sociology Alexus Moore said.

“I joined Greek life to build bonds outside of the classroom with men with like ideals. Also I joined to become more involved in the student body around campus. My experience in Greek life has set me up with tremendous opportunities and has helped me become a better student, friend and leader,” Kappa Alpha member and sophomore in management Cobi Niedzwiecki said.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

First Bank of Wichita Falls

Foreign Languages of Midwestern State University

Mustang Village

Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Career Management Center

Boys and Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls

Taft Haus Apartments

Stone Oven Pizza

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Greeks give members sense of purpose