Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


To Greek or Not to Greek?

Junior Brett Beardslee admits he didn’t want to join a fraternity when he first started at FAU. However, he didn’t realize that his newly-found freshmen friends were all brothers in the same fraternity.

“I met the Pikes [Pi Kappa Alpha] at the gym during one of my first days of school,” says Beardslee. “They asked if I wanted to come play football out on the beach.” Apparently, a game of football can seal the deal.

Beardslee says he has benefited academically, socially and athletically from joining Pike, and believes that Greek organizations exist to provide a community for students who want to have a tight group of friends.

However, FAU Greek Life Coordinator Ryan O’Rourke says that fraternities and sororities serve more than the opportunity for social affairs. O’Rourke says he is working on bringing Greek life back to what it originally stood for: the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood.

“It’s time for the rhetoric to match the reality,” he says. So what’s his goal as the main man in charge? “I want to empower the students to reach their potential.”

O’Rourke says he wants to educate Greek members and to authenticate their presence on campus. He wants the students to get the most out of the experience and work on strengthening friendship, which will ultimately make Greek life more distinct on a primarily commuter campus.

This is not to say that the bonds present at FAU are weak. O’Rourke feels they have a powerful foundation.

“The lack of housing makes these organizations stronger with the brotherhood and sisterhood because they don’t have housing to rely on,” O’Rourke says. “They have to be more proactive in connecting with each other.”

Sophomore Ali Williamson, a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, was looking for these bonds when she started at FAU last fall. “I was looking for sisterhood and a family away from home.”

She joined not only for the social scene, but because she believed it would help her adjust to a new environment. “It helps you to develop and become a better woman, and to get involved and become a better leader,” she says.

Williamson never imagined she would partake in so many different kinds of volunteer work. “Being in a sorority enhanced my freshman year by allowing me to get involved in ways I couldn’t even imagine. Doing a diabetes walk to help one of my sisters was memorable.”

Williamson and Beardslee agree that the pros of joining a Greek organization outweigh the cons.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a downside. Beardslee says that every member is required to pay varying dues by semester. These dues cover socials, formals, shirts, food and sports items, he says.

Beardslee, who was elected secretary of Pike for the upcoming academic year, believes that being in a fraternity opens many doors. He is in the works of setting up a fundraiser for one charity in the southeast region later this year.

“I never could have imagined that I would be able to create philanthropy and charitable events with Pike to help our local community.”

But in the end, Beardslee believes that being in a fraternity is all about where it takes you after college.

“Every day, you, in some way or another, will be faced with opportunities that can help you achieve greatness, and you should take every opportunity – no matter what.”

Get involvedMulticultural Greeks are also prevalent on campus and provide different bonds that are strong, if not stronger, than Greeks based solely on social foundations.

These organizations require direct contact if one is interested in joining. and are always accepting new members.

They range from Latino/Latina based ones (Multi-Cultural Greek), to black ones (National Pan-Hellenic) and Christian-based sororities and fraternities. Greek life is not just for the social scene, though; there are professional Greeks specific to your college.

These organizations are different in scope and focus on certain majors such as business or nursing.

For more info on how to join, log on to www.fau.edu/greeklife.

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