Greeks Host Dinner to Foster Community Service
When I was invited to attend the IFC/PHC Community Coalition banquet, I was uncertain of what the event would entail. Part of me imagined being lectured at by IFC President Dan Florencio and PHC President Paige Rothaus about how the town hates Greeks and they must do more service to better their image. While Florencio and Rothaus did make remarks at the meeting, they did not touch upon how the Greek organizations on campus needed to do more service. In fact, the night was aimed at celebrating the service achievements already being made by Penn State’s fraternities and sororities, and to foster interaction between the different chapters.
Attended by the service chairs of Penn State’s Greek organizations, the event centered around 4 short talks about some local philanthropies. Two were headed up by students, Jordan Rolon (Alpha Gamma Rho) discussed his efforts to assist a young man who was hit by a car, nearly died and was left with over $600,000 in medical bills. Eric Bodnar (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) described his work with the women’s basketball team and their planned Pink Out on February 27th, to benefit local organizations that fight breast cancer. In addition representatives from the American Cancer Society and CentrePeace discussed their respective philanthropies.
Following the presentations, the guests were encouraged to discuss with one another their respective chapters’ philanthropies and how they could work together to better the community. I had the pleasure of sitting with one of the organizers of the event, who explained that, despite rumors, the event was in no way prompted by the “Death to Greek Life” video. In fact, the event was in the planning stages long before that video surfaced.
During the discussion, I witnessed one sorority representative describe her chapter’s philanthropy but remarked how it was difficult to make the event a success because her chapter only had 15 members. Another girl from a chapter with a significantly larger membership immediately asked for contact information and expressed interest in getting her chapter involved. This was the norm that I experienced while at this event.
I ended up leaving the event extremely encouraged. I’ve never been one to hate on the Greek organizations, being a member of a non-IFC fraternity myself, but seeing the passion that these students had for their organizations service projects outside of THON helped reaffirm my notion that there’s more to Greek life at Penn State than appears at first glance.