Greek Life offers more than just a second family

The experience goes beyond college life once members graduate.


Graphic by Marcy Wilder with illustrations by Michelle Rodriguez-Gonzalez.

Natalia Ribeiro, News Editor

When students arrive on campus, one thing they may notice is Greek organizations tabling during Club Week. FAU is home to 27 Greek chapters which are broken down into 12 sororities and 15 fraternities.

Valerie Malfa, president of the College Panhellenic Association, said that a sorority offers more than just opportunities.

“Genuine lifelong friendships, networking opportunities inside and outside of FAU, exciting leadership opportunities of different levels, fun philanthropy events, and mentorship are just some of the amazing benefits of joining a sorority,” said Malfa. “Sisterhood is forever; there are even alumni membership opportunities in the local area and across the country for individual organizations.”

Each Greek chapter recruits new members during recruitment week within the first month of the fall semester. For the spring semester, recruitment week is open for the chapters that have open spots for new members. Recruitment offers prospective members the opportunity to learn about the costs, events, and general information of the different sororities or fraternities on campus.

William Powell, treasurer of Lambda Alpha Upsilon, received an internship offer because of the support of the brotherhood and resources provided by the fraternity.

“I had the opportunity to gain three leadership positions which assisted me in achieving organizational and personal goals, by which I was able to receive an out-of-state internship offer for one of the big four accounting firms,” said Powell.

After a new member joins Greek life, there are dues that they must pay. Each chapter has its own set of costs that are paid differently from each other, but should a member have financial hardships, there are resources to help them.

Fabio Cabrera, vice president of Lambda Alpha Upsilon, lost his job when he was pledging to the fraternity. Pledging happens after a new member has chosen to commit to a Greek chapter but isn’t fully initiated. Lambda Alpha Upsilon wanted Cabrera to be a part of the chapter and found ways for him to pay his fee.

“They were extremely considerate of the circumstances that weren’t in my control at all,” said Cabrera.

Diamelys Vargas, external vice president and associate member educator of Alpha Psi Lambda, always told herself that she wouldn’t be a part of Greek life because she had her own ideas of what it would be like. At an FAU FUTUROS retreat, Vargas met a member of Alpha Psi Lambda. It was then that she did more research and decided that the chapter was a fit for her. Although her process was during the pandemic, she wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I loved finally having people in my life that wanted the best for me and pushed me to be the best person,” said Vargas. “I found sisterhood, brotherhood, personal growth, amazing friendships, and the funniest memories.”

Madeline Friedman, vice president of communications of the College Panhellenic Association, said she wouldn’t have met the people who she now calls her second family if she hadn’t gone Greek.

“No matter where I go in life, I will always have my Panhellenic sisters. Going Greek helped me find the person in myself that I’ve always wanted to be,” Friedman said.

Members are encouraged to go out and support other chapters as each organization holds events throughout the school year in support of their philanthropies.

“There is always something to do within the Greek community,” Malfa said.

For new members looking to join, Vargas said it can be tempting to pledge with your friends, but it’s okay not to fit into the same chapter as them.

Vargas said, “Do what’s best for you!”

Students can learn more about the different Greek chapters on the Fraternity and Sorority site.

Natalia Ribeiro is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet her @nataliar_99.

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