SG members speak on if Greek life impacts their jobs

SG elections will take place on Feb. 22 through Owl Central.


With members of Greek life holding leadership positions currently – and possibly in the future – the question arises: is SG too influenced by Greek life?

Justine Kantor, News Editor

While many students find themselves joining more than one on-campus organization, Student Government and Greek Life seem to be a popular extracurricular duo.

Student Body President Maxwell Simonson and Presidential Candidate Pierce Kennamer are in Pi Kappa Alpha, which is part of the Interfraternity Council.

Current Boca Raton Campus Governor Rhoda Hoods and Vice President Lily MacDonald are both members of Greek organizations, along with Boca Raton campus governor candidate Deanna Mancuso and Vice Presidential candidate Dalia Calvillo.

With members of Greek life holding leadership positions currently – and possibly in the future – the question arises: is SG too influenced by Greek life?

“I believe there is a bias for members of Greek life to vote for people who are also in Greek life,” said Vice President Lily MacDonald. “I feel that it’s similar to other [organizations], where people in an organization are more likely to vote for someone in their [organization]. There may be some circumstances where members of Greek vote for someone not in Greek, but there is definitely a bias, as there is in most [organizations].”

Deanna Mancuso, candidate for Boca Raton campus governor, poses with her sorority sister during Fall 2021 Spirit Week for Theta Phi Alpha. (Photo courtesy of Mancuso)

However, Deanna Mancuso says that members can separate themselves from Greek life within SG.

“I don’t think that there is an overwhelming amount of people in Student Government that are in Greek life,” said Mancuso. “I think that those [who] aren’t flashy about it.”

Fourth-year Anthropology major Farantos Carras says he does not vote for candidates based on personal relations.

“I try to vote for candidates who seem to focus on issues that I not only care about, but seem directly related to me as well,” Carras said. “If the candidate seems honest, reliable, and I believe that they are to genuinely help the student body, then they have my vote.”

Director of Student Activities and Involvement Donald Van Pelt also weighed in on the subject, pointing out that Greek life does not entirely make up SG.

“Although the [Student Government] President and Vice President positions have been held by members of the Greek community the past few years, we have many positions in Student Government held by non-Greek affiliated members who also represent the student body,” said Van Pelt.

Van Pelt does not believe that being a member of Greek life and SG creates any issues.

“I don’t believe being a member of the Greek community affects our student leader’s ability to effectively lead and make decisions.”

Several SG members agree that being in Greek life helps them better serve the student body.

“One of the values of Alpha Delta Pi, and my favorite one, is service. Being a sister of [ADPI] and living under our values comes with the great responsibility of always performing my best when it comes to service for others,” said Calvillo. “Learning this from my sisterhood is an advantage, as I can demonstrate these values within the student government as a servant to our community. It reminds me to give my best in everything that requires my leadership.”

Calvillo also expressed that being in Greek life helps her understand the student body’s needs.

“[Greek Life] allows me to view Student Government with a perspective of how others view Student Government. It has been beneficial as I get to listen to the suggestions from girls not only in my chapter, but all the Greek community,” Calvillo said.

Dalia Calvillo, vice presidential candidate, poses with her sorority sister during the Alpha Delta Pi Water Wars philanthropy event. “Our chapter raised almost 28k for Ronald McDonald House Charities,” she said. (Photo courtesy of Calvillo)

According to Kennamer, being a member of Greek life does not offer an advantage to SG members.

“I believe the skills and education that I’ve learned from being a member of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) has definitely helped translate to [Student Government], but I believe Student Government is a ‘come as you are’ organization,” said Kennamer. “Having individuals who are involved in different things with different interests helps create a diverse reach to students, as well as more diverse thoughts and opinions.”

Kennamer also says that he has regularly attended beneficial leadership events as a member of PIKE.

“During my undergraduate time I have been able to attend five different summits, speaking with community business leaders… This gave me a unique opportunity to learn how to be a better leader, as well as travel and become a more well-rounded and diverse individual,” Kennamer said. “I think finding my voice and passion for leadership was exemplified through these outlets, which definitely translates not only to [Student Government] but also my professional career.”

Pierce Kennamer, presidential candidate, at the Pi Kappa Alpha University Executive Conference in July 2021. (Photo courtesy of Pierce Kennamer)

Justine Kantor is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or message her on twitter @KantorJustine.