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Friday, August 15, 2008

Greek life at UNCP is a growing proposition

When students return to school this fall, they will have two new student organizations available to them, according to the Office of Greek Life at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

UNCP’s growing fraternity and sorority community will add Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in October and Kappa Delta sorority in September.

Greeks rally around UNCP athletics

Greeks rally around UNCP athletics

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The new student organizations bring the total number of fraternities and sororities to 21, up from 13 in 2006 when the Office for Greek Life was established. In 2007-08, 317 students were members of Greek organizations, more than double the 2006 census, said Sara Jahansouz, director of Greek Life.

“We have seen major, major growth in our fraternity and sorority communities,” Jahansouz said. “We’re very excited about the new organizations and very proud the growth our membership.”

One person especially pleased is Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, a Pi Kappa Alpha member whose name appears on the fraternity’s national Web site as an outstanding Alumnus.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, a Pi Kappa Alpha member at the University of Central Arkansas during his undergraduate days, is listed as an outstanding alumnus on the fraternity’s national Web site.

“I had a good experience as a Pi Kappa Alpha member at the University of Central Arkansas,” Chancellor Meadors said. “Greek life offers students leadership, civil service, academic, and networking opportunities that greatly enhance their experiences while on campus and as alumni following graduation.”

Pi Kappa Alpha is actually returning to UNCP. The fraternity has a very active alumni group with more than 50 people attending the 2007 Homecoming football.

Zeta Phi Betas participate in community service during the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on campus

Zeta Phi Betas participate in community service during the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on campus

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In the future, several fraternities and sororities are slated to tap UNCP student interest in Greek life. Delta Upsilon fraternity will launch in spring 2009, Gamma Phi Beta sorority in spring 2010 and Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority in fall 2011, Jahansouz said.

“We will all know when they arrive,” promised the director of Greek Life. “They will be very, very present on campus.”

Dr. Diane Jones, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, hailed the growth in student organizations at UNCP.

“I am excited about the growth and the many activities that come as a result of Greek Life on our campus!” Dr. Jones said. “The outcomes for Greek involvement are numerous and life long. They include development of positive interpersonal relationships, leadership development, and the building of citizenship and service learning.

“The memories and friendships that Greek students have after graduation tend to be some of the best,” she concluded.

UNCP was the only university within the state of North Carolina to open for NPC Extension during the 2007-2008 academic year.  This was an amazing opportunity for National Panhellenic Conference sororities to make their mark in the Southeast.

Greek life offers many benefits to students, she said.

“Membership in a sorority or fraternity is an opportunity to build meaningful interpersonal relationships,” Jahansouz said. “It offers opportunities for leadership development and community service.

“Greek life instills its members with a sense of accountability to a set of shared standards and values,” she continued. “And membership lasts for a life time as Chancellor Meadors can bear witness to.”

UNCP’s fraternities and sororities do not live together in student housing.

Tri Sigma members at Commencement 2008

Tri Sigma members at Commencement 2008

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“This can be a great advantage for members of fraternities and sororities because they are able to socialize in a wider circle as well as within a group,” Jahansouz said. “Being a member of a sorority or fraternity is really about living the life and values of a fraternal organization.”

The director of Greek Life said there is outstanding potential for future growth at UNCP.

“About 5-6 percent of our students are members, and I believe there is growth potential,” Jahansouz said. “As these student organizations grow and become more visible as well as values congruent, more and more students will find a home in a fraternity or sorority.”

“By values congruent, we mean living up to high standards that fraternities and sororities set for them,” she said.

For more information about fraternities and sororities at UNCP, please contact the Office of Greek Life at 910.775.4048 or email greek@uncp.edu.

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