UMass Lowell Greek Life
Lately on social media, Greek life at UMass Lowell has been attacked. And I don’t just mean insulted, I mean slandered. False accusations of rape have been thrown around via anonymity on YikYak. Comparing girls to animals, accusing fraternity men of drugging women, and everything in between. Let me start by telling you that these accusations have no actual merit, they simply stem from a misinformed person typing on their phone, taking advantage of this anonymous application and ignorantly thinking that rape “jokes” and cyber bullying are laughing matters.
However, this misinformation stems past YikYak. Walking around campus or hanging out in the dining hall, you’ll overhear people discussing their opinions of Greek life on campus and often how the Greeks are just “alcoholics,” “lazy,” “stupid,” or “nothing.” Some people are even entirely unaware that Greek life exists on campus; meanwhile, the Greek organizations and Greek Council organize and sponsor numerous events that we, as students, attend. We want the student body to know who we are and what we do. We want to openly take a stand against these false accusations and attacks by telling you the truth about UMass Lowell Greek life; we want to in- form the uninformed and the misinformed. We want you all to know.
Students in Greek life are engineering majors, science majors, business majors, music majors – odds are you can find at least one member of Greek life in any major on campus. Students in Greek life are in the Honors College, in Omicron Delta Kappa and other honor societies; they are leaders on campus. They participate in the same clubs as you, they make Dean’s List, and they are Student Alumni Ambassadors. They are the students volunteering or the ones working in the dining hall. They are the ones that helped you move in and the ones that show you where to go when you’re lost. They are your tutors and lab partners. Students in Greek life are everywhere on and off campus, not just where the kegs are.
To begin, UMass Lowell Greek life is comprised of three sororities and six fraternities. These organizations come together via representatives to form Greek Council. Alumni from these organizations also come together via representatives to form the Greek Alumni Council. Now, here’s what we do.
Alpha Omega (AO) – Local sorority
Alpha Omega was founded in 1968 as the first sorority on campus. AO remains the only local sorority at UMa- ss Lowell. Being local allows them to govern themselves and create their own systems of rules and bylaws. From help with physics homework to providing a sister with a place to live, no questions asked, to working at a benefit to support an alumna injured in the Boston Marathon, the sisters of Alpha Omega share a strong bond like no other. Being a chapter of lower numbers (typically twenty or under), they know each other backwards and for- wards. Their sisters would do anything for each other. To find a “club” at UMass Lowell that provided us with this support system is something none of them could have anticipated happening, but now they can’t imagine it any other way. AO uses their close bond to work effi- ciently to improve the community. This past spring they, teamed with one of UMass Lowell’s fraternities, were the top fundraiser for UMass Lowell’s Relay for Life. AO is strongly involved with Toys for Local Children as well as other non-profit groups and charities, and genuinely enjoy giving back to the com- munity. Going Greek may have negative connotations in some communities, but it has affected these girls’ lives so positively that even if it may be considered pointless or stupid then they “are quite alright with being stupid for the rest of [their] lives because the people [they] get to be stupid with are what make it the smartest thing [they] have ever done.”
Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) – National Panhellenic sorority Alpha Sigma Tau was found- ed in 1899 and promotes the ethical, cultural, and social development of its members by:
– developing the character of each member through a study of ethics so that she will show in all her relation- ships sincerity, honesty, love, and understanding.
– helping each member enjoy the cultural advantages in life so that she will know how to select those things which are most worthwhile.
– establishing in each member the social graces to the extent that she will be able to take her place in life with true dig- nity and poise.
In a member of Alpha Sigma Tau, one will find a woman who is active, self-reliant, and trustworthy. AST is a di- verse group with a common dedication to advancing their members, serving their com- munities, building lifelong friendships, and fulfilling the purpose of the sorority.
The five core values of Alpha Sigma Tau are graciousness, respect, intellect, connec- tions, and excellence.
As the only National Pan-hellenic Sorority on campus, AST has a national philan- thropy and national service project that they raise mon- ey for: Pine Mountain Set- tlement School and Habitat for Humanity, respectively. On campus they are respon- sible for organizing events such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes for rape and sexual assault awareness as well as Make-a-blanket for Chil- dren’s Hospital. In the com- munity, AST participates in various charities and service projects and helps with Wish Project every semester as well as volunteering at the Lowell Humane Society and other locations. As an orga- nization, they were awarded Most Philanthropic at UMa- ss Lowell’s Leadership Ban- quet. AST is also an academ- ic sorority and as such they maintain both a local and na- tional GPA requirement and encourage their members to push themselves academical- ly. As the largest sorority on campus, AST sisters are rep- resented in an abundance of academic fields and extracur- ricular activities, as well as honor societies. Though they are large, they support each other and push each other to surpass and succeed in all things.
Delta Kappa Phi (DK) – National fraternity
Delta Kappa Phi, Beta Chapter was started in 1902 by a group of likeminded individuals seeking to better themselves through education and friendship. Beta chapter is now the oldest textile fraternity in America and still seeks to better itself through the quality of those that they call brothers. DK is dedicated not only to their house, but also to their community and school. Through donations from alumni and community service, they are always seeking to improve their surroundings. Around Lowell, the brothers of DK have been involved with organizations such as the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, UTeach, and Long Board for Life.
Kappa Delta Phi (KY) – Nationally Affiliated sorority
The purpose of the Kappa Upsilon chapter of Kappa Delta Phi is to promote higher education, good citizen- ship, individual character and fellowship, and to achieve togetherness through unity. This year and the year be- fore, the sisters of KY participated in many philanthropic events, such as volunteering at an Alzheimer’s walk and participating in walks for both breast cancer and diabetes, which directly affect some of our sisters. They will also be participating in Omicron Delta Kappa’s Day of Service this fall and are currently raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Omicron Pi (O Pi) – Local fraternity
In 1902, when Lowell Textile School was just seven years old, seven men met and formed the first fraternity to be established at the Tech, Omicron Pi. Choosing to remain independent, Οπ was founded with the intention of promoting brotherhood and forming a society of men having common interests and ideals. Our motto, “Unity in Progress,” speaks volumes about what the fraternity stands for. The brothers are dedicated to standing together and always moving forward, not just as an organization, but bettering themselves as human beings. Each member is expected to hold himself and his fellow brothers to a high moral standard. They are committed to having a positive impact on the community and aspire to be upstanding members of said community. Omicron Pi has recently participated in many fundraising charity events for causes such as Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Relay for Life event. Moving forward O Pi intends to continue supporting these and any and all causes they are able to.
Phi Kappa Sigma (Phi Kap) – International fraternity
Phi Kappa Sigma’s seven core values are trust, honor, respect, knowledge, wisdom, responsibility, and integrity. Phi Kappa Sigma was founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1850 and has 46 active chapters in the United States and Canada.
Sigma Beta Rho (Sig Rho) – National fraternity
Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity, Inc. is a professional, national, multicultural fraternity. Their vision is “Brotherhood Beyond Barriers,” as their goal is to unite people from all different races, backgrounds, ethnicities, creeds, religions and beliefs into one brotherhood. What makes an individual unique is not something they try to suppress when someone joins the fraternity, but rather they celebrate and embrace it. Sig Rho prides it- self on diversity, as well as their three pillars of society, brotherhood and remembrance. Nothing is more important to them than their community and philanthropy, staying close and connected as brothers and remembering where they came from, as well as those who came before them.
Sigma Phi Omicron (Sig O) – Local fraternity
Sigma Phi Omicron has always had a high level of commitment to their university, their community and their brotherhood. They promote academic success and are dedicated to helping each member achieve his academic potential. Beyond their involvement on campus, the brothers are extremely active within the community, trying to better it as much as possible. Through tradition, philanthropy and campus lifestyle Sig O provides to its members the highest quality of brotherhood and the most beneficial college experience.
Sigma Tau Gamma (STG/Sig Tau) – National fraternity
Founded in 1920 at the University of Central Missouri, Sigma Tau Gamma was started by seventeen veterans of World War I, who firmly believed that as social beings, the friendships of college men are lasting ones. In 1992, a colony of Sigma Tau Gamma was created at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, becoming the official Epsilon Delta chapter in April of 1995. Although one of the younger chapters on campus, the Epsilon
Delta chapter strives to uphold the principals and the creed set forth by its founders. Every year Sig Tau holds various philanthropy events, working closest with the Mike McNeil Foundation, a foundation started by brothers and friends of Mike McNeil, a brother of the Epsilon Delta chapter who lost his battle with cancer five years ago. Working with the organization last year, Sig Tau helped raise over $20,000 to aid cancer research.
Below is a statement from UMass Lowell Greek Council:
Since Greek Life has become re-affiliated with the school, the number of students in Greek Life has doubled. At the beginning of each semester, Greek Life comes together to host Greek Week where we have multiple events to benefit the whole campus. While each organization does their own community service events, we also work together as a whole to help the community. Every spring we do a community clean up and every fall we help at the Pawtucket Congregational Church by helping unload their shipment of pumpkins for their annual Pumpkin Patch fundraiser. Within the past year we had an alcohol awareness event where we raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a Jail and Bail at a hockey game that raised $1,182 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year we are hosting Up ’Til Dawn, which is a fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This event is held at college campuses across the nation, but this is the first time it is at UMass Lowell. On November 8th at University Crossing, the doors will open at 11 p.m. and starting at 12 a.m. all participants will be celebrating their hard work with fun challenges against other teams throughout the night!
Now, a statement from the Greek Alumni Council:
The primary purpose of the Greek Alumni Council (GAC) is to aid the University in fos- tering the relations amongst the undergraduate student body, the active Greek students, and the Greek alumni for the perpetuation of Greek life. The GAC also serves as an advisory board to the undergraduate Greek Council and to assist the active Greek Life in accessing the opportunities and resources granted by the University for the promotion and welfare of a stronger Greek life. GAC is proud to take part in many events on campus including Homecoming weekend, a Greek Alumni Gala, and speaker series. The speaker series is an event for active Greeks, Greek alumni and Greek affiliates to learn more about career possibilities and future directions for a specific major from graduates currently working in that field. Last year, the School of Engineering was featured and this Nov. the School of Business will be featured. It is a great opportunity for students to make networking connections and receive answers to any questions they may have. Members of GAC can also be found at events hosted by the actives of Greek life and at hockey games. If you see a member, do not be afraid to introduce yourself and ask any questions you may have! We look forward to meeting you!
Next week you can expect a Q&A with various Greek life members as well as random students as we continue to address this and continue to openly show the student body who we are and what we stand for. Thank you for reading!