At Kean University, there is one event that is integrated with diversity as it brings people together from all walks of life. On the night of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, Meet the Greeks [MTG] drew in waves of students and alumni.
Every Kean University student was welcomed to attend the event, for free, and address questions to the Greek organizations about what is expected of prospective members in order to join their fraternity or sorority. Many staff members were surprised to see the amount of Kean University students and alumni that attended the event. Lamda Theta Alpha member Vanessa Gonzalez, a junior-senior education major, believes MTG is “a good way to show what we do,” and indeed, attendees were given the opportunity to learn about Kean Greek Life. Laughs, smiles, and performances were all seen this past Wednesday.
To many Greeks, they understand the values and morals of what it takes to become a member of a fraternity or sorority. “Giving back to my community through service and being able to constantly build my future through my organization is something I consider important,” Paul Cassagnol, vice president of Gamma Psi Epsilon, notes. Other Greek organizations such as Psi Sigma Phi, Nu Delta Pi, Delta Phi Epsilon, Sigma Beta Tau, and Sigma Beta Phi share the same idea. Zach Denelsbeck, former president of Nu Sigma Phi, says “community service is something my fraternity takes very seriously. We made it to second place for the Greek Five Star Program one year and are always willing to do more.”
Another organization that had a lot to say about responsibility was Chi Upsilon Sigma. Adriana Castro, criminal justice major and president of Chi Upsilon Sigma believes that throughout her college years, she learned about the true value of professionalism and responsibility through community service. “Working together to achieve a common goal and learning about other cultures from other organizations helped me grow,” Castro said. Nu Sigma Pi brother Terrance Somesla-Mccornell is another believer in the value of responsibility. “I recently became secretary for my fraternity, so that means that I would have to be more responsible not only as a brother, but as a person,” Somesla-Mccornell said.
Looking into the sea of diversity, music blasting in the background, talking to old friends and making new ones, each attendee has something in common: wanting to see what Kean Greek Life has to offer. When Sarah Sleight, a sophomore student here at Kean University majoring in English, was asked if she was interested in becoming a Greek member, she replied, “I haven’t really figured it out yet… [but] it’s [MTG] a way to find out if it’s right for me.” MTG aims to appeal to each person as an individual, hopefully making them feel a part of something great. Whether an individual is a visiting alumna or alumnus of a sorority or fraternity, an active member, interested in rushing, or just came out to see the show, there is a certain attraction to draw all the goers to the largest event to take place on campus.
Lined up outside Hardwood Arena to gain entrance to MTG, people in line grew antsy as they heard the boisterous noises coming from inside. People flowed in by the dozen, with smiles and glowing faces full of excitement to see what is in store for them. When the bleachers became available for use, the masses of goers rushed to the bleachers to get a good seat, knowing the event was truly about to begin.
DJ Nix in the Mix told the audience, “Get comfortable: you’re the performers.” That was all the audience needed to hear to become interactive as the DJ invited people from the stands on stage. Readily jumping on stage, participants entertained their fellow attendees by partaking in a dance-off-turned-twerking-competition as the crowd cheered them on. When it was time for the volunteer participants to hand the spotlight back over to Greek Life, viewers soon discovered what each chapter is all about and their talents.
Psi Sigma Phi opened the performances with a bang as they engrossed the audience with their moves as Latch by Disclosure came across the speakers. Throughout the stepping routines, the crowd obviously approved of the effort put forth by the chapters as they cheered them on. Dante Adams, a sophomore marketing major, came to MTG because he “thought it would be fun,” and the event did not disappoint. When two members of Beta Kappa Psi jumped off stage, the eyes of audience members went wide and the noise that emanated broke records. The masses from the stands cheered on Omega Sigma Psi as they represented their sorority, favoring the music they chose to step to, and before long, the audience showed their support by dancing along.
As Iota Phi Theta took the stage as one of the last performers, the crowd was still bursting with vivacity. The biggest surprise of the night was when Iota brother Al-Tece Montgomery, a sophomore Kean University, let his vocal cords loose and began singing the song as the rest of his brothers performed. Once realization struck those in the bleachers and other Greek organizations, majority was struck with awe, leaving the only option to go crazy and roar with encouragement.
Following MTG, first-time-goer Stephen Cadot, a junior psychology student, declared, “It was cool. I’ll definitely come to the next Meet the Greeks.” Cabot was not the only audience member to think Greek Life came with an agenda and succeeded. Kean University student Sharell Lowe, a junior majoring in physical education, declared, “It [MTG] was poppin’!”
With all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Greek Senate had high expectations for this year’s MTG. “We expect around 300-400 people to show,” claimed Gerard Smithwrick, greek life specialist and senior history major, and the 2014 MTG was not a disappointment. This year, Greek Senate is proud to announce $2,200 was donated.
Regardless of size, each sorority and fraternity was full of energy, which in return overcame the viewers, leaving them no choice but to clap, dance, cheer, and have a good time.
For any questions or comments about Kean Greek Life, please contact the center for leadership and service or Greek affairs at 908–737–5170 or email CLS@kean.edu.