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On The Right Path

Kean Greek Senate takes homes award at national convention

By Jacqueline Giase
On March 4, 2012

The 2012 Northeast Greek Leadership Association [NGLA] Conference was held from Thursday, February 23 to Sunday, February 26 in the Connecticut Convention Center, located in Hartford, Connecticut. The Kean University Greek Senate represented their school, among numerous others, to learn about various topics associated with Greek life. Throughout the convention, the representatives of the Kean University Greek Senate attended various workshops on topics such as leadership, hazing awareness, and alcohol safety.

In addition to increasing their knowledge, Kean shared some information of their own, and for it, won the prestigious Amy Vojta Impact Award for Philanthropy and Service. Amy Vojta, the assistant dean of fraternity and sorority affairs at Rutgers University of New Brunswick, is the namesake for this award for being "a dynamic force of change for the association."

Over 70 applicants applied for the award and -- out of six finalists -- Kean University proudly took home the crown. The six finalists included universities such as Drexel, Sacred Heart, Howard, and Cornell. Displays of philanthropic events were displayed with pictures and information so the convention could take note of the different community service activities each school was hosting through its Greek organizations. Kean displayed its work from the Somerset Hills Holiday Party, held during the previous fall semester.

Somerset Hills is a residential community center for emotionally disturbed boys ages six to 14. During the Somerset Hills Holiday Party, these children were given some Christmas cheer. Down's Hall was decorated for the holidays, including a tree decorated by several fraternities and sororities. There was music, food, and a dance contest, which was a favorite of the boys. The Greek Senate worked with recreation intern Melissa O'Brian to make this event a successful one.

"Our presentation had lots of pictures. The judges saw students representing different organizations coming together as a whole," describes Giselle Torres, the Graduate Assistant of Greek affairs and member of Mu Sigma Upsilon. Alex Louis, assistant director for the center for leadership and service, stated, "It was a great accomplishment for the Greek Senate to be recognized in the Northeastern area."

Attending the conference gave the Kean Greek Senate some insight onto their organizations -- as well as others -- on a local and national level. "Being part of a Greek organization, you do get to visit other schools and see your organization there," says Marie Olaya, the vice president of multicultural and community service and member of Lambda Theta Alpha. "But with this, you get to meet Greeks of all other different organizations. Compared to others, Kean has strong Greek unity. That is a benefit of a smaller school; at least you know who your brothers and sisters are."

"The award was not about how many Greeks a school has," says Olaya. "It was given based on how much of an impact a school's Greek Senate has on its community. It shows that Kean is on the right path."


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