Greek members win in excellence, service at banquet
April 16, 2018
For the second year in a row, Sigma Lambda Alpha won the Standards of Excellence Award at the Greek Awards Banquet.
Cynthia Hubbard, marketing sophomore and president of Sigma Lambda Alpha, said their continued efforts were rewarded thanks to the guidance from their advisor.
“It feels great knowing that all the hard work you have put in for one entire year pays off,” Hubbard said. “Honestly, I was not surprised because our alumni advisor does a great job at helping us complete the binder. I’m really proud of my sorority. ”
Between the excitement of Greek Week and the components that make up the banquet, Mario Ramirez, interim director of student involvement, said each member helped make the evening what it was and the preparation beforehand helps keep the event organized.
“It takes a lot of work from a lot of different places and a lot of different offices,” Ramirez said. “You have to be strategic and organized to get this done.”
Treston Lacy, mass communication senior and president of Omega Delta Phi, said the Greek Awards Banquet is a wrap-up of Greek Week.
“The purpose of this is to kind of acknowledge those Greek organizations that are excelling,” Lacy said. “It’s all about honoring those that are not living the negative stereotypical Greek life.”
Throughout her time in a sorority, Hubbard said her challenges of being a part of such organizations include coping and compromising with diverse opinions.
“There’s different personalities that could cause problems,” Hubbard said. “And you just have to work around it and know how to communicate well. We always find a way to fix things, but, of course, it’s just a cycle of life.”
According to Hubbard, being a part of a sorority gave her further opportunities like working in the Office of Student Involvement, but Hubbard said the biggest benefit of being a part of a sorority and other student organizations is the recognition she receives.
“I wanted to be really involved in college, so I can get my full money’s worth,” Hubbard said. “People recognize me on campus, rather it’s through SLA [Sigma Lambda Alpha] or OHS [Organization of Hispanic Students].”
Hubbard said her most memorable experience was attending a Sigma Lambda Alpha event called retreat. During this event, she had made many close friends.
“During this event, we have a lot of food, and I have met some of my greatest friends,” Hubbard said. “They are more than my sisters. They are my family.”
Hubbard also said that the benefits of joining Sigma Lambda Alpha are the awards they receive as well as the connections they have.
“SLA tends to win a whole lot of awards when it comes to the community service,” Hubbard said. “It’s one of our pillars. We have a lot of connections with businesses outside of the campus and on campus. We have a lot of connections and a history of winning awards.”
Sigma Lambda Alpha was a historically Hispanic based organization founded in 1971. However, no one is required to be a Hispanic to join, and Hubbard said it is the first multicultural organization on campus and is “very welcoming to anybody.”
Along with SLA, Lacy said his fraternity is a service fraternity. Lacy also talked about the mentorships that Omega Delta Phi is a part of.
“We’re all about giving back to our community,” Lacy said. “We have a mentorship program called Young Knights. We talk about different things with our mentees like how to tie a tie and how to change a tire. We also have fun with them.”
Lacy also talked about how vital joining Omega Delta Phi was in his development as a college student. He also said that a student must do research on a fraternity or any student organization before officially joining it.
“I joined my fraternity as a freshman, so I really didn’t know too much about Greek life, but I did a lot of research,” Lacy said. “That’s what would tell anybody. Do your research before you join any organization, but it’s really been a growing experience for myself. It really helped me with time management and leadership qualities.”
Before winning the Greek Man of the Year, Lacy said that he wanted Omega Delta Phi to win the Standards of Excellence Award, and he said the group has worked hard to focus their attention towards this goal over the last year.
“We had a big turn around for it. Before, we didn’t do so hot. And this past year, we had a 60-70 percent increase in our score so I would hope that would stand out. We’re not like the rest. We consider ourselves a true brotherhood at the end of the day,” Lacy said. “Many of us come from different backgrounds and different parts of the world, different nations, different states and different cities. If you’re looking for something that is out the box, diverse and inclusive, than Omega Delta Phi is for you.”
Austen Lange, history senior and president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, attended his first Greek Awards Banquet and said it’s a great opportunity to hang out and see his brothers through these events and meetings they have.
“You don’t get to meet your brothers very much, so it’s really nice getting to see everyone on Mondays,” Lange said.
According to Lily Greeno, special education sophomore and member of Gamma Phi Beta, fraternities and sororities offer emotional support and encouragement to their members, and this has helped her achieve success throughout her college career.
“It’s like having a support system at all times,” Greeno said. “There’s always times where it’s up and down, but, all in all, we come together. They are always supportive of me and I always have someone to turn to when I need a friend.”
The keynote speaker was Jesse Brown, student organizations and leadership program coordinator. In his keynote speech, Brown said that he would be stepping down to relocate with his wife, who is pursuing a doctorate degree.
“It was more of a farewell speech. He is the Order of Omega advisor. Order of Omega actually puts on Greek Week, including the banquet,” Ramirez said. “He had a huge impact on the MSU, Greek and Wichita Falls communities. I felt like it was an appropriate time for him to do a keynote speech in his last Greek Banquet.”
In his keynote speech, Brown talked about living in a small town under a very low social economic household where college was not the first option for many of his family members.
“I didn’t have a very broad scope of the world,” Brown said. “I didn’t know about other ethnicities or cultures or races. I was from a small town and we had a very limited demographics.”
Leia De La Garza, criminal justice junior and vice-president of Chi Omega, was awarded Greek Woman of the Year. She explained how nervous she was winning the award.
“I started shaking so much,” Garza said. “I was not expecting it but I really am honored. I am so thankful to be given this award.”
Despite having a short supply of seats available, Ramirez said that the event was successful.
“I think we had a good attendance,” Ramirez said. “However, we do have to limit the number of members that come because we can’t have all 400 students here at once, so we have to designate each chapter to only allow 12 members to come here.”