Brothers and sisters, it's that time of the year again so pump up the volume! On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Greek Senate hosted this semester's Meet the Greeks event virtually. This is the second virtual Meet the Greeks and it was a success. Despite the new format, the show went on as organizations and students logged on to a night full of networking as well as introducing new members to become part of Greek life at Kean University.
This semester, Meet the Greeks was held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Cougar Link and was very different compared to previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of how big social gatherings have been held. Meet the Greeks is typically in Harwood Arena where guests from all over can join in on a night full of celebration, games, food and performances to get Kean students interested in joining the organizations.
This semester's Meet the Greeks, similar to last semester, was held in several video conference rooms through Zoom and Google Meet to welcome interested members to have that same in-person feeling just like all the previous years. All the organizations made the best of it to deliver the Kean Greek life experience from a distance without any worries for the safety of all the virtual guests.
All of the organizations that participated in the virtual Meet the Greeks are as follows:
- Chi Upsilon Sigma
- Delta Phi Epsilon
- Lambda Tau Omega Sorority Inc.
- Lambda Theta Alpha
- Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Inc.
- Nu Theta Chi
- Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated
- Sigma Beta Chi
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated
- Theta Phi Alpha
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
- Alpha Phi Alpha
- Iota Phi Theta
- Gamma Psi Epsilon
- Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc.
- Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc.
- Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc.
- Nu Delta Pi
- Nu Sigma Phi
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated
- Sigma Beta Tau
- Tau Kappa Epsilon
With big events such as Meet the Greeks, attendees were able to learn from organizations they were interested in as well as hear from panelists providing their own experiences.
"Meet the Greeks is the first step in finding your forever home," said Roshorn Shivers Jr. President of Lambda Delta Chi. "In my five years of being a founding brother of Lambda Delta Chi, this organization has given me an improvement and enhancement of my leadership skills. I am able to practice skills such as time management as well as balance out my other positions through other groups on campus. Lambda Delta Chi has not only given me a family but also helping me grow professionally and preparing me for my field. There are skills in Greek life that helped prepare me for my future."
Greek life can be a foundation of character development within oneself as students prepare for the rest of their college career as well as life after college. Greek life provides a family bond that will last a lifetime no matter how far they are from one another.
Kayleigh Polidura, president of Delta Phi Epsilon described some of the advantages she was able to get after rushing including the connections she has made and how the organization has impacted her in a positive way.
"I really found where I feel like I belong. My mental health has improved dramatically which I think is important and I have met so many people that really make my life really happy and I do not regret a second of it," said Polidura. "Some advice I would give to students is to be yourself. It's ok to be nervous. We were nervous too at first and this is the second time that we are doing virtual recruitment. We are still trying to adjust to this new format but the most important thing is to just be yourself at the end of the day."
Polidura expresses how much she enjoys being a part of Delta Phi Epsilon and the impact it has had on her life. She takes all of this with her practicing her leadership skills after becoming president of the organization this past semester.
Leonardo Polo, secretary of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc. spoke about how Greek life has changed him especially with all of the positive impacts he has already established at Kean enhancing his leadership skills.
"Greek life changed me a lot. I'm glad I took this step. If it wasn't for Greek life, I wouldn't have gotten the leadership skills that I have now, more communication skills that I have now, more understanding of other people's perspectives, meeting new people as well as gaining wisdom from alumni. Greek life is really one of those things that make me proud to be a brother," said Polo. "Make sure to talk to all of the organizations if you are interested in Greek life to see if it fits you. Greek life is not meant for everybody but that's ok. Greek life is not meant to be a border between the Kean community."
Elizabeth Chapleski, a sister in Nu Theta Chi who is on the sisterhood chair and philanthropy chair says that joining Greek life allowed her to break free from her comfort zone. Once a shy person, Nu Theta Chi showcased a whole new world for Chapleski opening her to a vast library of networking opportunities and friendships that can never be broken.
"Out of all the organizations, the girls in Nu Theta Chi would always go out of their way to say hi to me before rushing last spring. Whether it be walking to class or going to Starbucks on campus, I think about those interactions a lot because I was a shy person. It's the little things that count such as the kindness and positive attitudes really spoke to me. I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for them," said Chapleski.
Tariq Williams, president of the Mu Pi chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated at Kean says that compared to the in-person Meet the Greeks, the turnout is still positive. Though he and many members of the community wish Meet the Greeks Spring 2021 could've been in person, Williams made the best of the virtual showcase bringing the same energy as always so students can have that same feeling as if nothing has changed.
"Joining Greek life has opened me up to so many new advantages. I am able to put professional experience on my resume as well as meet new people whether it be from my organization or other organizations to help me in my future," said Williams. "Do not feel obligated to join a specific organization because at the end of the day, joining Greek life requires commitment... You need to join something that you can resonate with and feel like you will be home because at the end of the day, whatever organization you end up with is your final decision and no one can take that away from you," said Williams.
Joining Greek life at Kean definitely has its advantages to present to all of its members. Regardless of the virtual platform, students were highly interested in how to get involved and learn what it takes to join an organization.
Veronica Cepeda, a junior at Kean says she is interested in joining Greek life to find more connections on campus. Cepeda thinks the Greek life at Kean promotes positivity and definitely feels a difference with in-person compared to virtual.
"Personally, I am interested in joining Greek life because I want to find connections with other individuals. Ever since I came to Kean, I've been searching for meaningful connections and I feel like I can't find that anywhere else. I did speak to an organization that was so welcoming and made the experience worth checking out," said Cepeda. "Virtual Meet the Greeks is definitely different compared to in-person events. I feel like that makes things a little bit more difficult. However, it's definitely not impossible just different. I do see what Greek life is about and I want to be a part of that positive impact."
Cepeda spoke with such excitement talking about how Meet the Greeks may have possibly influenced her decision to join. Joining Greek life puts students into positions that enhance all of their professional skills as well as boost their confidence levels to new heights.