Greek Life/The Endless Diary of a Sorority Girl

Miasha Lee

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Greek Life

Managing Editor Miasha Lee looks at the work some of NYIT’s fraternities and sororities are doing, and in her Erica Knows Best blog, Editor in Chief Erica Brandt offers her tongue in cheek take on what her own sorority would be like.

So you’ve been at NYIT for a couple of semesters. You declared your major and doing well in your studies. Yet, you still feel that something’s missing, something that would give you a sense of fulfillment being a part of something bigger than yourself. You may think, why not join a club. DING!! What about a sorority or a fraternity?  Uh.., don’t think of wild toga parties that’s only in the movies. These days sororities and fraternities are all about business, they’re socially aware and community driven. So be open-minded and get to know their way of life.

This year two New Greek organizations launched at NYIT, Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority and Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity. Kappa Phi Gamma was formed in 1998 by twenty-seven women at the University of Texas. They envisioned a worthy representation of South Asian women not only in their university, but also their community. It became the first women’s Greek letter organization to highlight the presence of South Asians. Pooja Berdia, the President of Kappa Phi Gamma’s Pi Colony says, “We, the sisters of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc., shall create a sisterhood directed towards the advancement of women.” “Aiming to instill integrity of character and trust, developing leadership skills and supporting the betterment and unification of society.” The sorority was brought to NYIT by Berdia and three other women: Prattasha Paul, Niti Ajmeri and Josselyn Jose. “We pride ourselves on eight principles: Character, Leadership, Scholarship, Sisterhood, Service, Womanhood, Culture and Self,” Berdia replies.

Delta Epsilon Psi (DEPsi for short) also started in 1998 at the University of Texas when eighteen men felt the lack of South Asians in the Greek community. In 2012, five men founded the Alpha Beta Colony within Delta Epsilon Psi. And in 2013, with the help of five additional men the fraternity became a full-fledged organization here at NYIT. They are the largest and fastest growing South Asian brotherhood in the nation. Parth Partel, the President of Alpha Theta Colony of Delta Epsilon Psi says, “We vow to be a fraternity whose primary purpose is to instill brotherhood, disciple, and commitment within its members through various social and service driven endeavors.” They have a strong alumni network, commitment to community service and leaders in Greek and Student organizations on campus. Most importantly they believe in cultural awareness for men of all diversities. Probably the biggest misconception of these two clubs in particular is that prefer South Asians only. Berdia replies, “This is entirely incorrect. We are open to all women of all different races and nationalities.” Partel responds, “Although Delta Epsilon Psi was established initially as a South Asian Brotherhood. We take great pride in the diversity of our fraternity. Brothers from all cultures, races and religions make up this Brotherhood of Kings.”

Both organizations are dedicated to their philanthropy work which is close to them. Kappa Phi Gamma focuses on cancer awareness. This is a personal goal for Berdia whose grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. “Kappa Phi Gamma helped me become stronger because I am united with people fighting against cancer,” says Berdia. Delta Epsilon Psi teamed up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation after Vishal Bhagat, one of the founding members of the fraternity suffered with juvenile diabetes. His mission was to find a cure for the disease, so he began reaching out and serving others who shared his same passion. Sadly, Bhagat died in 2006, but his legacy lives on through the fraternity and his mission remains a continual inspiration. With JDRF, the members of DEPsi have set a goal to an annual average of $100,000 for the next five years.

So when you think of Greek life, think a rewarding life, it’s more than just an organization. It’s a unit; a group of men and women coming together supporting each other and helping those in need. For more information on Kappa Phi Gamma go kpgpi98@gmail.com and visit Delta Epsilon psi on their Face book page (Facebook.com/DEPsiAlphaTheta) and their Twitter @DEPsiAlphaTheta. Learn more about them and the great events they’ll have this year.

________________________________________________________________________

Erica Knows Best

The Endless Diary of a Sorority Girl

Dear Diary,

What do you get when you put 28 Alabama Sorority Girls in one room? I know exactly what you are thinking. . . a full set of teeth. Can anyone tell me why a woman with a 4.3 GPA in high school, was salutatorian of her graduating class, who comes from a family with deep roots in local and state public service with a direct link to The University of Alabama, wouldn’t get into UA’s Alpha Gamma Delta? She’s black. As sickening as this may seem, it’s true. To me, that seems like the perfect sorority pledge yet didn’t receive a bid from any of the 16 Pan-Hellenic sororities during formal recruitment. This is just one of the millions of problems with sororities. Honestly, they all seem the same. If I can some them up in three words it would be, “White-Girl-Wasted.”  It’s like they live for Greek life. Why have so much Greek pride, if you aren’t even Greek? Sweetheart, with a name like Patty McGee, everyone knows you aren’t Greek. And WHY do they call themselves big and little? Personally, if another girl followed me around calling me big 24/7, I’d get offended. . . (Imagine trying to eat a cheeseburger!) I enjoy a good cheeseburger so it’s time for me to step in; literally, here is my not-so-perfect sorority. Remember. . . Erica knows best!

Did you ever wonder what they do during pledging and rush week? When they have to title events with names like, “Sober Socials,” there is a serious problem. In my sorority events would be planned much more intelligently. We wouldn’t be standing on top of a one hundred year old roof popping bottles of Cristal. We would be inside on the couch knitting sweaters and playing with our pet cats. Totally kidding. But really, there would be some happy medium going on.

When was the last time you saw a sorority girl posting a picture at a charity event? Never? Alright me too, just checking. In my sorority, that’s something we’d be proud to show off. There is an infinite amount of people that need help, and as a leader that’s the first thing that I would enforce. With charities such as, Saint Jude Children’s Hospital and Goodwill, how would you not want to make a lasting impact?

One thing that I’m not taking away from sororities is it’s a fantastic way to make friends. I love the concept of sisterhood, but I hate the rules. In most colleges, when a little goes near their big they have to formally greet them with a chant, hug and “thorough respect.” I’m certainly not asking my girls to sing me a nursery rhyme, and they should treat me no differently then they treat everyone else. Not only does that promote superiority, everyone outside the sorority should be treated with thorough respect not just the big.

When I think of a sorority girl, I think of one specific mold; bows, pearls, and Greek letter tee-shirts.  They give themselves names like diamond, moon, star, and pearl. No thank you, in my sorority the stripper names are going to be kept at a minimum. It’s hard enough to remember over fifty girls’ regular names let alone these ridiculous ones!

Here at NYIT there are four sororities and four fraternities and one co-ed multicultural service society (I have no idea what that means).

 

 

 

The girls of Eta Chi Gamma are one of the sweetest groups of girls at NYIT. They always have smiles on their faces and are ready to help in any situation. In 2000, five girls established Eta Chi Gamma promising to always embody, honor, respect, friendship, and lifelong commitment. They were officially recognized in May 2001 at NYIT, and still embody those same characteristics.

There is a high chance that sorority girls may have Vaseline on their teeth because there is no way girls are that happy all the time. It’s normal to have a bad day. My sorority would just simply be normal. No crazy names, no crazy rituals, just a bunch of girls looking for great new friendships and to make a difference. I just forgot one little detail, or maybe a few, everything will be pink, frilly and sparkly.

            -XOXO

Erica Knows Best

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