GVSU fraternities, sororities work to promote positive Greek-life image
The recent punishments and bans of Grand Valley State University fraternities Delta Upsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon have cast a shadow over Greek life at GVSU.
Students in the Greek community have come forward with their thoughts on the events and expanded on why they think these incidents should not affect people's opinions of Greek life as a whole.
“The image of Greek life is a little messed up now because certain people have ruined it for the whole,” said Kyler Kupres, former member of Delta Upsilon. “But despite the chapter getting kicked off campus, I still think the whole experience was worth it. I have made so many connections that I still use today.”
While the banned organizations caused controversy, violated policy and raised safety concerns, members of Greek life at GVSU maintain that fraternities and sororities have changed the lives of many by giving students the opportunity to find themselves and create friends that could last forever.
“I personally have no regrets about going Greek,” said Brielyn Stevens, Zeta Tau sorority member. “It has helped me in many ways: I have volunteered, it’s made me more motivated in my major and I have met friends that I would put in my wedding.”
In an email correspondence with the Grand Valley Lanthorn, Conner Carns, founding member and president of the Epsilon Beta chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, said he hopes people see all the positive work Greek life does in the community. A major area the Greek communities pride themselves on is the work they put in to raise money for their chapters' philanthropies. Each chapter does volunteer work for a specific charity in the hopes of raising more money for the philanthropy than the year before.
For example, the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega walk from Allendale to Traverse City, totaling 160 miles, for multiple sclerosis. The men dedicate their spring breaks to the event and have raised more than $100,000 over the past five years.
The Panhellenic community, which is all nine sorority chapters at GVSU, is also engaged in noteworthy service work.
“We (the Panhellenic community) had a surplus of around $40,000 in the budget, so we are going to send one woman from each chapter to Nicaragua to build a school,” said Sam DeBoer, Phi Sigma Sigma sorority member.
In addition to providing opportunities to engage in volunteer work, fraternities and sororities also provide their members with opportunities for networking and growth within the chapters.
“I am constantly communicating with people from different fraternities and helping to schedule recruitment events," said Kyle Molloy, member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. "It’s a lot more than just partying and hanging out."
Molloy also discussed his success in getting a position within the fraternity and said the position has helped him grow in many ways. He said Greek life has contributed most to his experience at GVSU and has given him something he can be passionate about.