Hello, my name is Nicole, and I am a senior global supply chain management major with minors in project management and law studies. I currently work as a marketing intern and blogger here at Clarkson University. I am also a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma, a social sorority, so I wanted to write a post introducing all the different types of Greek life organizations Clarkson has to offer.
Greek life. It’s an amazing community available here at Clarkson. We have a wide variety of houses that will make your experience here even more precious. Let me start by saying, though, that Clarkson has a very strict zero-tolerance hazing policy to protect the safety and welfare of students who wish to pursue an enriching and fulfilling Greek experience.
There are many different types of Greek life organizations — way more than the stereotypical displays you see on television. Let’s start with some of the lesser-known organizations that could be very useful during your time here and many years after.
First we have the honor societies. Upperclass students who demonstrate high scholastic achievement in a given field and possess exemplary qualities of character and leadership are eligible for membership in a number of national and local honor societies. These include:
- Alpha Mu Alpha — marketing.
- Beta Gamma Sigma — business.
- Chi Epsilon — civil engineering.
- Gamma Sigma Epsilon — chemistry.
- IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu — electrical and electronics engineering.
- Omega Chi Epsilon — chemical engineering.
- Phi Alpha Theta — history.
- Phi Kappa Phi — all disciplines.
- Phi Theta Kappa — transfer students.
- Pi Mu Epsilon — mathematics.
- Pi Tau Sigma — mechanical engineering.
- Sigma Pi Sigma — physics.
- Sigma Xi — scientific research.
- Tau Beta Pi — engineering.
These societies are typically run through the office of the chairperson in charge of your major, so if you’re interested, speak to your academic advisor about it. These organizations can be an excellent resource for help with school work and applying to graduate programs, internships and full-time jobs!
Next we have our co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. It’s the nation’s largest service fraternity, with chapters in schools across the country, including our very own Clarkson chapter. The members are very involved on campus and undertake a variety of community service events and initiatives throughout the year. An inclusive, campus-based, leadership development organization, they provide service to others while fostering a community for growth and camaraderie. They also work alongside local businesses toward the common goal of outstanding community service.
We also have Alpha Kappa Psi, which is our co-ed professional business fraternity. Their primary focus is to develop future leaders, foster academic goals and achieve perfect professionalism. The best part is, you don’t even have to be a business major to join! Their principles are primarily to teach their members and the public to appreciate and demand higher ideals in business activities and to further the individual welfare of their members during college and beyond.
Finally, we have our social Greek organizations, both fraternities and sororities, which also involve themselves in philanthropy, fundraising, leadership and academic improvement. In fact, the two Clarkson organizations that earned the most service hours across the entire school were both fraternities. The social Greek houses on campus are as follows:
- Alpha Chi Rho.
- Delta Upsilon.
- Tau Kappa Epsilon.
- Sigma Phi Epsilon.
- Sigma Chi.
- Omicron Pi Omicron.
- Zeta Nu.
- Tau Epsilon Phi.
- Phi Kappa Sigma.
- Kappa Delta Chi.
- Theta Phi Alpha.
- Phi Sigma Sigma.
- Delta Zeta
Each Greek house is unique in its own way. The majority of Greek organizations have a Greek-zoned house for the use of their members (at this time, Kappa Delta Chi is the only one that does not have a house). Greek housing is available to any members of the organizations that have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Greek houses are a great place to live. Not only do they save you money on housing, but you get to live with all your friends and have a blast doing it!
As I write this, I am a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma. Going Greek was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have made lifelong friendships, not only with people in my sorority, but with those in other Greek organizations as well. My grades have improved, I’ve become more confident and, through our network of alumni, I was able to get not only professional advice but a professional experience too. This can be achieved in any recognized Greek organization on campus, as we all take pride in our houses.
On the lighter side, Greek life is just fun. Yes, we do a lot of philanthropy and fundraising, but that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that we are a group of friends that gets to hang out all the time. We also take part in fun events like Sigma Chi Derby Days, Greek Week, the Delta Zeta Rose Bowl and many more.
Joining a Greek organization is a lot easier than you would imagine. There are two recruitment times during the school year. These are always the first two weeks of the spring and fall semester, when you can explore the different houses and find the best fit for you. (It is important to note that you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 to join a Greek organization.) When going through recruitment, please remember to go to the house you feel the most comfortable in and that has the most members you genuinely click with. If the house so chooses, they will extend a bid that you can either accept or reject. If you accept, there is a six-week new member process, otherwise known as pledging. (Again, Clarkson has a zero tolerance policy in regards to hazing.)
Being a member of Greek life is not only fun, but it is an amazing networking opportunity that opens doors not only campus, but in the professional world as well. Houses have membership development programs that focus on things like study skills, interview prep, public speaking and much more. You are held to a higher standard, as you are no longer representing just yourself but your fellow Greek members as well.
Greek life is not for everyone. If it’s not for you, there are so many other clubs on campus that offer some of the same opportunities. Check out the activity fair that happens every semester, and keep an open mind to new experiences. That is, in fact, what college is all about!