Fraternities, sororities give back to community, hold initiations

Greek organizations on campus are seeing more initiates this semester and Greek members think it is high time.

“We had a huge rush this year,” said Dallas Major, senior graphic design major and president of Alpha Sigma Alpha. “It hasn’t been that big in five years at least.”

Friday will be a busy day for Alpha Sigma Alpha as they help with a pet adoption for the Joplin Humane Society in the afternoon and then initiate 13 new members later that evening.

Major sees more interest campuswide in Greek life this year, due in part to cooperation among the groups.

“We all tried to, like, come together,” Major said. “And we try to support each other.”

It seems to be working. Tori Christensen, director of student activities, said the groups have come together very well this semester and hopes the trend continues.

“There are a lot of positive benefits,” Christensen said. “Other than just having a good time.”

Carolyn White, junior biology major and Zeta Tau Alpha president, found one of those benefits is supportive friends now that she is away from home. She says the Greek bond is something not found in other organizations.

“In college I found friends,” White said. “In Zeta, I found bridesmaids.”

In a combined ceremony with University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, on Nov. 10, Southern’s Zeta Tau Alpha added 10 new members.

“The sisterhood is incredible,” White said.

For Sigma Pi Vice President Shawn Grove, junior international business major, his involvement in Greek life has taught him success. He lists skills in leadership, multitasking and learning to be a successful citizen as what Sigma Pi has done for him.

“Sigma Pi has been the culmination of my college experience,” Grove said.

His group showed their community spirit earlier in the week by setting up the Ronald McDonald House “a gift of light, a gift of love” tree in Joplin’s Northstar Cinema. They will initiate five new members this weekend. Grove describes them as a “solid group of guys with a lot to bring to the table.”

Although Grove admits there is still not a huge Greek presence on campus, he attributes it partially to the number of commuter students attending Southern. Others disagree.

“In my opinion,” said Dylan Slagle, junior political science major and president of Kappa Alpha, “Greek life at Missouri Southern could use improvement.”

He lists the lack of Greek housing and no central Greek government as part of the problem and wonders if the idea of fraternities and sororities is “Greek” to the administration.

But overall, Slagle said his experience has been a positive one; one that will help him in the future.

“Greek life, in my opinion,” Slagle said, “is the single most effective networking tool for anyone.”

Kappa Alpha will wait until Dec. 9 to hold its initiation ceremony. They will add five members.

The newest Greek organization, Kappa Sigma, wants to expand the number of activities available on campus.

Kappa Sigma President Ryan Goodman, junior computer forensics major, was pleased with the turnout for the “Great MoSo Chicken Wing Eating Contest” which Kappa Sigma held Nov 14.

“It was an incredible success,” he said.

“We went through 300 wings in less than 30 minutes and six or seven pizzas,” said Kurt Perry, freshman undecided major.

Students packed the media room in the Student Life Center for the event.

Approximately 15 members will attend an initiation on Saturday.

Kappa Sigma is getting closer to obtaining its national charter. The group began last spring with a few members and although only 24 are on the list as members, they now have close to 40 members and would-be members as they try to reach the requirements set by the national group.