Saturday, January 23, 2021

Back to School Guide: Greek life offers fun way to get involved

Greek Life is something of interest to many Plattsburgh State students. With 20 different sororities and fraternities here on campus one is bound to make you feel right at home.

Allison Swick-Duttine, director of Fraternity/Sorority Life at PSUC said that “all sororities and fraternities stand for four main things — friendship, scholarship, leadership and service. If a fraternity and a sorority is a good organization, then they are going to be able to support students and help them grow and develop in those areas.”

Students who join all have different yet relatable views on why it is beneficial to be a part of Greek life.

Grace Hanlon, current president and former recruitment chair of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, said one of the best reasons to join Greek life is because of the sisterhood.

“It is about having a family away from home and having a support system. We do a lot of fun things together,” Hanlon said. “We have philanthropy events, bonding activities and we do community service.”

Jesse Fishkin, brother and recruitment chair of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, said networking is one of the many great reasons to join Greek life.

“Being in a fraternity itself just gives you a lot of connections to other people and other opportunities. Greek life is a whole other community and a great chance to meet new people and get involved in different things,” he said. “This opportunity is only available in college, so take advantage of it.”

Hanlon and Fishkin took on the responsibility of being the recruitment chair for each of their organizations. They look for men and women who fit the bill for what their specific sorority or fraternity stand for.

Contrary to stereotypes about Greek life that are portrayed in the media, Greek life at campus does more good than just partying and having fun.

“We look for gentlemen who can help us stride to be a better fraternity and not just for the social aspect of it,” Fishkin said.

Swick-Duttine agreed with Fishkin about the skewed perception of Greek Life. “There is a misconception about a lot — people don’t really know what fraternities and sororities are really about. They think hazing has to be a part of the joining process.”

Hazing is a huge concern for many students, but PSUC has a zero tolerance policy toward hazing of any kind.

“Hazing is anything a person has to do to join any type of organization that puts them at risk psychologically, emotionally or physically,” Swick-Duttine said.

Any allegation of hazing is investigated by University Police, and depending on the severity of the situation, the college can take disciplinary actions to suspend or even ban the accused group.

Whether it is being a sister or the president, Hanlon said time management is the most important part.

“It almost is like taking another class,” she said. “You need to learn how to balance your schoolwork because you do need to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the organization.”

Both Hanlon and Fishkin recommend looking around at all the options available and not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Do not join just because your best friend is in it; join because the people there bring out the best in you. Swick-Duttine also recommends asking a lot of questions. With the large number of options of fraternities and sororities on campus, there will be one that fits you the best.

For more information students can visit the PSUC Greek life website, stop by the Greek Life office, located across from the information desk in the ACC or email

Email Jessica Miles at

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